20/03/2017
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Politician Robert Cunninghame Graham died - On this day in history

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Scottish politician Robert Cunninghame Graham died in Argentina on 20 March 1936. Cunninghame was the first Socialist member of the UK’s parliament and founded the National Party of Scotland in 1928.

Cunninghame Graham spoke Spanish as his first language and was brought up on his family's estate at Finlaystone in Renfrewshire. Before entering politics, he was an adventurer and travelled widely. When he entered the world of politics, he became known for his defiance of the usual conventions of the Houses of Parliament - he was the first MP to be suspended from the House of Commons for swearing - using the word 'damn'.

He was also keen to support home rule for Scotland, and joked that he wanted a:

'...national parliament with the pleasure of knowing that the taxes were wasted in Edinburgh instead of London.'

Cunningham Graham was also an author and his works include:

  • Thirteen Stories (1900)
  • Scottish Stories (1914)
  • Doughty Deeds (1925)
  • Mirages (1936)

He died from pneumonia at the age of 83 after visiting a friend’s birthplace in Buenos Aires.

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