James Craig (1871 - 1940):
Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
James Craig was born in Belfast and was educated in Edinburgh. Before serving with the Royal Irish Rifles in the South African War, he was a stockbroker in Belfast. In 1906 he was elected member of parliament for East Down and continued to represent the constituency until 1918, when he transferred to Mid Down. He supported Carson in the anti-Home Rule lobby and was Ulster representative at the Buckingham Palace Conference on the Third Home Rule Bill in 1914. He organised the Ulster Volunteer Force and during the First World War he was Quartermaster-General in France, of the 36th (Ulster) Division, which consisted largely of Ulster Volunteers. Before being knighted in 1918 he held office as a parliamentary secretary in the British government, led by Lloyd George. In 1920 he was appointed First Lord of Admiralty. He participated in the drafting of the Government of Ireland Act which led to the establishment of the parliament of Northern Ireland. He was elected member of parliament for North Down and in 1921 he became the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, a position he held until his death. He was insrumental in abolishing the proportional representation voting system. He was created Viscount Craigavon of Stormont in 1927, and was buried at Stormont.
||8 January 1871
||24 November 1940