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William Stapleton Royce (13 December 1858 – 23 June 1924)[1] was an English Labour Party politician who served as Member of Parliament for the Holland-with-Boston constituency from 1918 until 1924. He was born in Spalding, Lincolnshire, and was educated at the Willesby School and at Pretty’s Commercial School, Spalding. On leaving school, he was apprenticed to a joiner, but served only two years of his apprenticeship before running away to London where he worked on the construction of the General Post Office building in St Martin’s-le-Grand. Three months later, he learnt that the Government of Cape Town were offering a free passage to South Africa for men to build the railways in that country. He accepted a three year contract, at the end of which he had saved enough money to set up in business on his own account. During the next thirty years he was heavily engaged on the construction of various railway lines in South Africa as well as some important public buildings. In May 1882, he married Emma Broedelet, the daughter of a Dutch missionary. In 1910, he sold out his business interests in South Africa and returned to England where he fought the January and December 1910 elections as the Conservative Party candidate for the Spalding division of Lincolnshire, but lost to his Liberal opponent.[2] In 1917, the seat became vacant on the death of the sitting member, but he felt that this was no time for political conflict, and the Liberal candidate was returned unopposed. However at the December 1918 general election, in a three-cornered fight, he successfully contested the new Holland-with-Boston division[3] on behalf of the Labour Party,[4] and held the seat at the both the 1922[5] and 1923 general elections.[6] In June 1924, he was offered the Governorship of Tasmania and decided to accept. However, before he was could do so, he died of a heart attack on 23 June 1924 on a London bus near Russell Square. The resukting by-election for his Commons seat was held in July 1924, and won by the Conservative Party candidate[4] Arthur Dean.[7] References ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "H" (part 3) ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 342. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.  ^ London Gazette: no. 31147. p. 1359. 28 January 1919. Retrieved 13 December 2010. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 414. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.  ^ London Gazette: no. 32775. p. 8706. 8 December 1922. Retrieved 13 December 2010. ^ London Gazette: no. 32897. p. 361. 11 January 1924. Retrieved 13 December 2010. ^ London Gazette: no. 32962. p. 5886. 5 August 1924. Retrieved 13 December 2010. This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (December 2010) Sources “William Stapleton Royce: a memoir” by Charles Woodrooffe Ould, published by George Allen & Unwin Ltd in 1925. External links Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Royce Parliament of the United Kingdom New constituency Member of Parliament for Holland with Boston 1918–1924 Succeeded by Arthur Dean Persondata Name Royce, William Stapleton Alternative names Short description Date of birth 13 December 1858 Place of birth Date of death 23 June 1924 Place of death This article about a Labour Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.v · d · e