CHARLES THOMSON RITCHIE RITCHIE, 1ST Baron (1838-1906), English politician, was born at Dundee, and educated at the City of London school. He went into business, and in 1874 was returned to parliament as Conservative member for the Tower Hamlets. In 1885 he was made secretary to the Admiralty, and from 1886 to 1892 president of the Local Government Board, in Lord Salisbury's administration, sitting as member for St George's in the East. He was responsible for the Local Government Act of 1888, instituting the county councils; and a large section of the Conservative party always owed him a grudge for having originated the London County Council. In Lord Salisbury's later ministries, as member for Croydon, he was president of the Board of Trade (1895-1900), and home secretary 0895-1900); and when Sir Michael Hicks-Beach retired in 1902, he became chancellor of the exchequer in Mr Balfour's cabinet. Though in his earlier years he had been a "fair-trader," he was strongly opposed to Mr Chamberlain's movement for a preferential tariff (see the articles on Balfour, A. J., and Chamberlain, J.), and he resigned office in September 1903. In December 1905 he was created a peer, but he was in ill-health, and he died at Biarritz on the 9th of January 1906.
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