Arthur Anderson

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Arthur anderson2.jpg
Arthur anderson1.jpg

Arthur Anderson (b. 17 February 1792, Böd of Gremista, Lerwick, d. 27 February 1868, London) was a businessman and Liberal Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland. He was the first Shetland-born man to represent the Isles.

In 1808, at the age of 16, he joined the Royal Navy. He was released from the Navy after 10 years, and was employed as a clerk in Brodie McGhie Willcox's shipping company. He became a partner in the company in 1822, and later they formed the "Peninsula Steam Navigation Company", which later became the "Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company".

Despite living most of his life in London, he never forgot the islands where he was born.

In 1836 he founded Shetland's first newspaper, the Shetland Journal. He both financed, edited and partly wrote the newspaper himself. In 1837 he founded the Shetland Fishery Company at the island of Vaila. It was an attempt to break the monopoly of the Lairds

He served as a radical Liberal Member of Parliament for the Orkney and Shetland from 1847 to 1852. He was elected as the first MP for Orkney and Shetland not from the landowning class.

He a founded a school in Out Skerries in 1852, and provided the funds for the building of (and later endowed) the Anderson Educational Institute which was opened in November 1862, now the Anderson High School, "providing a school such that from it the youth of Shetland could proceed to any University". He also provided funds for the building of Widows Homes in Lerwick, in memory of his wife.

Anderson was a close friend of James Scott R.N., who acted as his political agent. John Nicolson wrote an early biography.

He died in London on 27 February 1868 and is buried at West Norwood Cemetery.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Frederick Dundas
Member of Parliament for
Orkney and Shetland

Succeeded by
Frederick Dundas
Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
MPs Robert Honyman (1801-1806) • Robert Honyman (1806-1807) • Malcolm Laing (1807-1812) • Richard Honyman (1812-1818) • George Dundas (1818-1820) • John Balfour (1820-1826) • George Dundas (1826-1830) • George Traill (1830-1835) • Thomas Balfour (1835-1837) • Frederick Dundas (1837-1847) • Arthur Anderson (1847-1852) • Frederick Dundas (1852-1873) • Samuel Laing (1873-1885) • Leonard Lyell (1885-1900) • Cathcart Wason (1900-1921) • Malcolm Smith (1921-1922) • Robert Hamilton (1922-1935) • Basil Neven-Spence (1935-1950) • Jo Grimond (1950-1983) • Jim Wallace (1983-2001) • Alistair Carmichael (2001-present)