GEORGE N. BARNES

    BORN at Lochee, in Forfarshire 2nd January 1859, the member of Parliament for the Blackfriars Division of Glasgow is the third son of James Barnes, a mechanic, of Leyland, Lancashire. As his family moved from place to place, his youth was spent partly in Scotland and partly in England. He was in Birkenhead and Liverpool in his eighth and ninth years, at Pondersend, Middlesex, till his twelfth, in London till his fourteenth, and in Dundee till his eighteenth year. He then started upon a career of his own. As an engineer he went first to Barrow, and afterwards, about the age of twenty, removed to London, where he has remained "off and on" ever since. His actual school life was limited to a couple of years. From nine to eleven years of age he attended Enfield Highway Church School, to which he had two miles to walk, and from irregular attendance at which he derived little good. He began work in a jute factory at eleven, and at thirteen became an apprentice engineer at Lambeth, finishing with Messrs. Parker of Dundee. His real education was got at night schools, first in Dundee and afterwards in London, but mostly in his own home in conjunction with a few neighbours.
He worked at his trade till he was thirty-three, but having qualified by passing through classes with some success at Woolwich Arsenal and at Onslow College, Chelsea, he also engaged to some extent in teaching geometry, applied mechanics, and kindred subjects. For three years from 1892 he was employed at office work, and then he made his first bid for public distinction by contesting Rochdale as Socialist candidate in the General Election of 1895. That effort proved unsuccessful, and he went back to his trade. In November of the following year, however, he became Secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, a position which he occupied till the autumn of 1908.
Meanwhile at the General Election of 1906 he was returned in the Labour interest as M.P. for Blackfriars Division, in which capacity he enjoys a salary of 200 a year. The immediate cause of his resignation of the Secretaryship of the A.S.E., after the strenuous and notable service of twelve years, was a difference of opinion which he considered vital, in the method of working of that body. He has since turned to journalism, both as a profession and as a means of promulgating his ideas on labour and other questions. In January, 1909, he was appointed chief of the organising department of the Independent Labour Party in London.
    Mr. Barnes married in December, 1882, and has a family of three sons and a daughter, all now working happily for themselves. His mother, who is a native of Kirriemuir, is still living, eighty years of age, in Dundee. His only recreation has been cycling, but he has done little of that in recent years through lack of time.

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