Keir Hardie

Keir Hardie

Keir Hardie

Keir Hardie

Excerpt

Like Ramsay MacDonald and Ernest Bevin, James Keir Hardie was an illegitimate child. He was the son of Mary Keir, a farm servant living in the small mining village of Laighbrannock (or Legbrannock) near Holytown in the Lanarkshire coalfield. On 15 August 1856 James was born here in an earth-floored, one- roomed cottage that had vanished long before his death; the site is now occupied by a cottage in the grounds of an ugly modern factory. The boy's father was later named in a paternity suit as William Aitken, miner. Later, a romantic and unsubstantiated story grew up that Hardie's real father was a prosperous doctor who paid Aitken to abscond when the suit was issued and thus appear guilty. Three years . . .

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