Henry Whitley was an influential politician who served in the House of Commons. Known for advocating liberal reform and industrial relations policies.
His innovative model included regular formal consultative meetings between workers and employers – known as Whitley Councils – to address any potential issues or arbitrate any potential claims that might arise.
Early Life and Education
Henry Whitley was born in Bladon, Oxfordshire, England to William Whitley and Ann Woodward and was baptised at St Martin’s Church there. After attending Wiseman’s House and Clifton College he started work at S. Whitley & Co in Hanson Lane Mills Skircoat where his education continued.
He was an outspoken supporter of universal education, a much-revered local politician and Speaker of the House of Commons. Additionally, he served as Chairman of the Royal Commission on Labour in India and as trustee for BBC.
John Hargreaves delivered the 2015 Whitley Lecture at Halifax Minster and Charles Barry-designed Town Hall – two iconic buildings that served as backdrop for Whitley’s political career and where his lecture took place.
He was an architect who owned and managed his own firm in San Diego, serving on both the AIA California Board of Directors and Autodesk Regional Leadership Council. Additionally, he was an enthusiastic supporter of arts in his community.
Whitley led Georgia Southern’s defensive backs team in 2019 and assembled an outstanding squad, led by Kindle Vildor, Monquavion Brinson and Jessie Liptrot. Under his tutelage they allowed only 2.4 points per game during conference play while setting new school records for passes defended and pass breakups.
“He was a devoted family man who enjoyed hunting, fishing and tending his livestock. He will be greatly missed by many.” William Whitley Jr. was survived by six brothers: Clarence Whitley (Mary), Larry D. Whitley(Viola), Leon Whitley and Jeffrey Whitley from Suffolk as well as numerous nieces, nephews, family and friends who cherish his memory.
Achievement and Honors
Whitley became known for his prolific writing on oceanic creatures and ecosystems, and as an influential public speaker who often addressed many audiences.
He was recognized with the Order of Australia award and his efforts have led to the development of several new drugs, including antiviral treatments for both hepatitis C and herpes B infections.
The Whitley Collection has since been transferred to Heritage Quay archive centre at Birmingham University, with an annual bursary award made available in his name to encourage research of his collections. He also donated generously to several charitable and professional causes, as well as being on several boards of directors and serving on committees at Birmingham. Finally, he serves as trustee at London’s National Museum of Natural History.
Henry Whitney, born and raised near Cleburne on a family farm, left behind an extraordinary legacy of service to his community. His commitment to philanthropy was spurred on by poverty around his childhood home.
Later on he became the Liberal member of parliament for Halifax and served as chairman of the royal commission on labour in India; an outspoken advocate for impoverished Indians.
He married Nancy Jane Whitley (nee Kilgore) and they had 12 children together. On the month day 1951 at age 94 in North Carolina he died and was laid to rest there.
Whitley had become a successful businessman during his later years, owning numerous real estate properties (including an apartment complex in Nashville) as well as investing in stocks and mutual funds. He enjoyed good health throughout his life, living a luxurious lifestyle.
Whitley first became a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Halifax in 1900 and served until 1928, holding this seat during which time he also held positions of Junior Treasury Minister 1907-1910, Liberal Party Whip 1910-1911, and Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means 1911-1921.
He is survived by his wife Kelly and their sons Keith and Jesse; also by his brothers and sisters as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Unfortunately, no donations should be made in his memory at this time.