Henry Broadhurst was a leading early British trade unionist and a Lib-Lab politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1885 and 1906.
Broadhurst was born in Littlemore, Oxford, the son of Thomas Broadhurst, a journeyman stonemason. He followed his father into stonemasonry at the age of thirteen and during the late 1850s spent a considerable period travelling the south of England, attempting to find work. In 1865, he moved to London and worked on the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster.
In 1872, Broadhurst was elected as the Chair of a Masons' Committee during an industrial dispute. After achieving a major victory, Broadhurst began working full time for the Stonemasons Union. He also became the union's delegate to the Trades Union Congress and was elected to its Parliamentary Committee. In 1873, he became the secretary of the Labour Representation League.
At the 1874 general election, two candidates sponsored by the League were elected, but Broadhurst was unsuccessful at High Wycombe. In 1875, he was elected Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee of the TUC, the post which was later to become the General Secretaryship.