He was a fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, where he taught from 1889 to 1895. He was the unsuccessful Liberal candidate for Wednesbury in the 1895 general election and for Lincoln in 1900. He was elected to Parliament for Lincoln in the 1906 general election and reelected in both elections in 1910.
He served under H. H. Asquith as Under-Secretary of State for India 1914 to 1915.
He was then made both Comptroller of the Household and Chairman of the National Health Insurance Joint Committee from 1915 to 1916. He lost his seat in 1918 when the Coalition Government gave endorsement to his Unionist opponent, but returned briefly to the House of Commons in 1922 when he was elected for Derby.
However, he lost this seat in the 1923 general election and retired from national politics. He afterwards committed himself to work creation schemes in Cumberland, reopening collieries and starting brickworks, limeworks and quarries.
He also became involved in farming.
From 1938-1958 he was chairman of Cumberland County Council and the Cumberland branch of the National Farmers" Union. He also chaired the Aborigines" Protection Society. He was Chairman of the Cumberland War Agricultural Committee, 1939-1947.
He served as a Justice of the Peace in Cumberland from 1900 to 1950 and was Deputy Chairman of Cumberland Quarter Sessions until 1950.
Private Lady Cecilia died in 1947.
28th United Kingdom Parliament. 29th United Kingdom Parliament. 30th United Kingdom Parliament.
32nd United Kingdom Parliament.