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Walter Russell Rea, 1st Baron Rea (18 May 1873 – 26 May 1948), was a British merchant banker and Liberal politician.

The Lord Rea
Walter Rea.jpg
Comptroller of the Household
In office
12 November 1931 – 30 September 1932
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterRamsay MacDonald
Preceded byGoronwy Owen
Succeeded byGeorge Penny
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
3 February 1915 – 5 December 1916
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterH. H. Asquith
Preceded bynew apappointment
Succeeded byJohn Pratt
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
29 January 1937 – 26 May 1948
Hereditary peerage
Preceded byPeerage created
Succeeded byThe 2nd Lord Rea
Member of Parliament
for Dewsbury
In office
27 October 1931 – 14 November 1935
Preceded byBenjamin Riley
Succeeded byBenjamin Riley
Member of Parliament
for Bradford North
In office
6 December 1923 – 29 October 1924
Preceded byArchibald Boyd-Carpenter
Succeeded byEugene Ramsden
Member of Parliament
for Scarborough
In office
8 February 1906 – 14 December 1918
Preceded byJoseph Compton-Rickett
Succeeded byconstituency abolished
Personal details
Born18 May 1873 (1873-05-18)
Died26 May 1948 (1948-05-27) (aged 75)
Political partyLiberal

Rea was the son of Russell Rea. He was elected to the House of Commons for Scarborough in 1906, a seat he held until 1918, and served under H. H. Asquith as a Junior Lord of the Treasury from 1915 to 1916.

General election 1918: Oldham[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
C Unionist Green tickYEdmund Bartley-Denniss 26,568 34.3 +12.4
C Liberal Green tickYWilliam Barton 26,254 34.0 +6.1
Labour William C. Robinson 15,178 19.6 N/A
Liberal Walter Rea 9,323 12.1 −16.0
Turnout 54.2 −32.6
Registered electors 71,378
Majority 11,390 14.7 N/A
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing +14.2
Majority 11,076 14.4 +8.6
Liberal hold Swing N/A
C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.

He later represented Bradford North between 1923 and 1924 and Dewsbury between 1931 and 1935. From 1931 to 1932 he held office in the National Government of Ramsay MacDonald as Comptroller of the Household. Rea was created a Baronet, of Eskdale in the County of Cumberland, in 1935[2] and in 1937 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Rea, of Eskdale in the County of Cumberland.[3]

Lord Rea married, firstly, Evelyn, daughter of J. J. Muirhead, in 1896. After her death in 1930 he married, secondly, Jemima, daughter of Reverend Alexander Ewing, in 1931. He died in May 1948, aged 75, and was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son from his first marriage, Philip, who became Liberal leader in the House of Lords. His daughter Elisabeth, also from his first marriage, was married to the industrialist Sir Michael Clapham. Lady Rea died in 1964.

Coat of arms of Walter Rea, 1st Baron Rea
Rea Achievement.png
A stag at gaze Gules resting the dexter fore-leg on an anchor Or.
Or on a fess wavy Azure between three stags courant Gules a lymphad sails furled of the field.
On either side a stag Gules each charged on the shoulder with a bezant thereon an anchor Azure.
In Omnia Promptus [4]


  1. ^ The Liberal Year Book (1923), p.261
  2. ^ "No. 34179". The London Gazette. 12 July 1935. p. 4522.
  3. ^ "No. 34408". The London Gazette. 15 June 1937. p. 3856.
  4. ^ Burke's Peerage. 1949.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joseph Rickett
Member of Parliament for Scarborough
constituency abolished
Preceded by
Archibald Boyd-Carpenter
Member of Parliament for Bradford North
Succeeded by
Eugene Ramsden
Preceded by
Ben Riley
Member of Parliament for Dewsbury
Succeeded by
Ben Riley
Political offices
Preceded by
Goronwy Owen
Comptroller of the Household
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Penny
Party political offices
Preceded by
Goronwy Owen
Liberal Chief Whip
Succeeded by
Percy Harris
Preceded by
Percy Heffer
Treasurer of the Liberal Party
With: Herbert Worsley (1942–1947)
Succeeded by
Patrick Moynihan
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Rea
Succeeded by
Philip Rea