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William Whitelaw (Perth MP)

William Whitelaw (15 March 1868 – 19 January 1946)[1] was a Unionist Party politician in Scotland and a long serving railway director and chairman.

He was elected at the 1892 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Perth, but lost his seat at the 1895 general election and was defeated when he stood again in 1900.[2]

Of a Scottish landed gentry family, of Gartshore, Dumbartonshire,[3] and an Old Harrovian and alumnus of Trinity College, Cambridge,[4] Whitelaw was a director of the Highland Railway (HR) from 1898,[5] and Chairman of the HR from 1902 to 1912, and again in 1916.[6] He was later Chairman of the North British Railway (NBR),[7] being appointed in 1912, and when the NBR amalgamated with other railways at the start of 1923 to form the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), Whitelaw was elected unanimously to become the first Chairman of the LNER. He resigned from this post in September 1938.[5]

Whitelaw was married to Gertrude, daughter of Colonel T. C. Thompson of Milton Hall, Cumberland; they were the paternal grandparents of politician William Whitelaw, 1st Viscount Whitelaw by their son, William Alexander Whitelaw, who was killed in the First World War.[8][9]


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "P" (part 1)
  2. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 518. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
  3. ^ A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, 1898, volume 2, ed. Bernard Burke, pg 1585, 'Whitelaw of Gartshore'
  4. ^ The Railway Gazette, volume 37, 1922, pg 553
  5. ^ a b Hughes, Geoffrey (1987) [1986]. LNER. London: Guild Publishing/Book Club Associates. p. 14. CN 1455.
  6. ^ Vallance, H.A.; Clinker, C.R.; Lambert, Anthony J. (1985) [1938]. The Highland Railway (4th ed.). Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 202. ISBN 0-946537-24-0.
  7. ^ Ellis, Cuthbert Hamilton (September 1959) [1955]. The North British Railway (2nd ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 214. 813/284/15 959.
  8. ^
  9. ^ The Railway Gazette, vol. 89, p. 633, 1948

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Stuart Parker
Member of Parliament for Perth
Succeeded by
Robert Wallace