Alfred Howitt (politician)

For other people named Alfred Howitt, see Alfred Howitt (disambiguation).

Sir Alfred Bakewell Howitt CVO (11 February 1879 – 8 December 1954[1]) was an English medical doctor who became a Conservative Party politician.

Early life and medical career

Howitt was born in Nottingham, the youngest son of Dr Francis Howitt, a doctor from an old Quaker family whose relatives included the anthropologist Alfred William Howitt. He was schooled at Epsom College and then graduated in natural sciences from Clare College, Cambridge,[2] before training as a doctor at St Thomas' Hospital in London. After several years as a hospital doctor in London, he served during the First World War in France as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps, before returning to London in 1919 and practising as a physician in Berkeley Square.[3]

Political career

Howitt first stood for Parliament at the 1929 general election in Preston, where he failed to win either of the two seats.[4] He was unsuccessful again at the Preston by-election in July 1929.[4]

Howitt entered the House of Commons on his third attempt, when he was elected at the 1931 general election as Member of Parliament (MP) for Reading in Berkshire.[5] He was re-elected in 1935 and held the seat until he stood down at the 1945 general election.[5]

In Parliament, Howitt worked with doctors in other political parties, and was chairman of the Parliamentary Medical Committee in 1943.[3]


He was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in April 1928,[6] and knighted in the New Year Honours in 1945, for political and public services.[7]


  1. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "R" (part 1)
  2. "Howitt, Alfred Bakewell (HWT898AB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. 1 2 "Obituary: Alfred Bakewell Howitt". British Medical Journal. 2 (4902): 1489. 18 December 1945. PMC 2079909Freely accessible.
  4. 1 2 Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 220. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  5. 1 2 Craig, op. cit, page 222
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33390. p. 3851. 1 June 1928. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  7. "New Years Medical Honours". British Medical Journal. 1 (4383): 23. 6 January 1945. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.4383.23. PMC 2056708Freely accessible.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Somerville Hastings
Member of Parliament for Reading
Succeeded by
Ian Mikardo
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