Thomas Gibson Henderson, High Sheriff of Belfast (1942)

© The Estate of Frank McKelvey. All rights reserved. DACS 2024. Image credit: Belfast City Hall

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Henderson (1887–1970) was born in Belfast and brought up in the Shankill Road area. He was educated at Jersey Street National School and Hampden Street National School later working as a housepainter and decorator. He was a strong trade unionist and Orangeman.

In 1923, Henderson was elected as an independent Unionist to Belfast City Council. He was to retain the seat until his death. Henderson was also a Member of Parliament in the Parliament of Northern Ireland from 1925 until 1953. The high point of Henderson's Parliamentary career came on 26th May 1936 when he spoke for over 10 hours in opposition to the Appropriation Bill. This was at the time, the longest speech in any British legislative history.

Henderson was made a Freeman of the City of Belfast in 1964.

Belfast City Hall



Thomas Gibson Henderson, High Sheriff of Belfast (1942)


oil on canvas


H 120 x W 100 cm (E)

Accession number


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