Alfred Enoch Baldwin

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About Alfred Enoch Baldwin

Alfred Baldwin

From Wikipedia:

(4 June 1841 – 13 February 1908) was an English businessman and Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP). He was the father of Stanley Baldwin, the Conservative Prime Minister.

Baldwin was the twelfth and posthumously-born child of George Pearce Baldwin and Sarah Chalkey Stanley. He started work at the Wilden Iron and Tin Plate Company at Wilden (near Stourport, Worcestershire), which, in 1840, had been taken over by his uncle Enoch Baldwin, who ran the business with his nephews, Pearce and William, trading as E.P.& W. Baldwin of Wilden. In 1879, Alfred and his brothers dissolved the partnership. Alfred then moved into Wilden House and took over the Wilden Works, changing the name of the business to Baldwins Ltd. As well as being an ironmaster, Alfred also became a director and chairman of the Great Western Railway.

At the 1892 general election, Baldwin was elected as MP for Bewdley in Worcestershire, holding the seat until his death, when he was succeeded by his only child, Stanley Baldwin, who later became prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Other public offices held by Alfred Baldwin were those of Justice of the Peace (JP) for Staffordshire, JP for Worcestershire and Deputy Lieutenant of Worcestershire.

He married Louisa Macdonald, daughter of Reverend George Browne Macdonald, a Wesleyan minister, and Hannah Jones, on 9 August 1866. Through his wife, Baldwin was connected to three famous English artists and an even more famous writer. The eldest sister, Alice, married the art teacher John Kipling in 1865; they became engaged at Rudyard Lake, near Leek in Staffordshire -- hence, the name of their son, the writer Rudyard. In a joint wedding with her, her sister Agnes married the painter Sir Edward John Poynter. Another sister, Georgiana, married the painter Edward Coley Burne-Jones in 1860.

Alfred Baldwin paid for the construction of All Saints Church, Wilden, which was consecrated in 1880. The original windows were replaced with 14 designs by Burne-Jones between 1902 and 1914. They are mostly dedicated to members of the MacDonald, Baldwin and Burne-Jones families; one shows Stanley Baldwin setting out on life's journey accompanied by a guardian angel.


History of Wilden Industrial Estates Church unlocks its treasure of Victorian art Stained glass on show The Baldwin Family and Wilden Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs Parliament of the United Kingdom

Preceded by

Edmund Anthony Harley Lechmere Member of Parliament for Bewdley 1892–1908

Succeeded byStanley Baldwin

Person data Name Baldwin, Alfred Date of birth 4 June 1841 Date of death 13 February 1908

Alfred Baldwin was the 12th child of George Pearce Baldwin, born a few months after his father’s death. The Baldwin family owned various companies including carpet manufacturing works at Bridgnorth and Tinplate works at Wolverhampton. Alfred Enoch Baldwin took over the Wilden Iron and Tin Plate Co in 1840 and ran the business with his nephews, Pearce and William trading as "E.P. & W. Baldwin of Wilden". At the age of 21, Alfred started work under his brothers, half-brothers, uncle and cousins. In 1864 two half brothers died and the control of Wilden passed in to the hands of the two elder brothers who through mismanagement brought the Wilden company close to bankruptcy. In September of 1870 at the age of 29 Alfred took control, dissolved the partnership, brought out his two brothers and by business acumen and hard work put the company back into profit. In 1866 Alfred married Louisa MacDonald, and in August 1867, while they were living at their first home in Lower Park, Bewdley, their only son Stanley was born.

In 1870 Alfred and his brothers dissolved the partnership and Alfred took sole charge changing the name to Baldwins Ltd. Alfred and the family moved from Bewdley to Wilden so that he could be near his employees to whom he became a father and benefactor, most living in company houses.
Wilden House lay just across the lane from the forge and when the wind was from the west the smoke would have blown into the windows of the house. The forge, as so often in those days, was set in a pastoral landscape as can be imagined from a walk about in Wilden today.
When the church commissioners gave a site for a church and a portion of land for burial, Alfred offered to erect a suitable church.
 On May 3rd 1879, Alfred Baldwin laid the Foundation Stone for Wilden Church, which he generously built for the community at a cost of £3,000.
Alfred also built the village hall and the school and playing fields where the Baldwin Works' cricket team played were also provided. In 1888, Alfred's 21year old son Stanley joined the company as a partner. He was to spend twenty years in the business before following his father into politics and ultimately becoming Prime Minister (1923, 1924-29,1935-37).
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Alfred Enoch Baldwin's Timeline

June 4, 1841
Age 25
Bewdley, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom
Age 66