The Rt. Hon. Sir Stafford Henry Northcote, Bt., GCB PC (1818-87), 1869-74. Sir Stafford Northcote was born in London, went to Eton and Oxford, and became a lawyer. He became involved in public service and co-wrote the Northcote-Trevelyan Report of 1854, which reformed the civil service appointment system and eliminated a lot of patronage. Sir Stafford was then elected a Conservative MP for thirty years, representing Dudley from 1855 to 1857, Stamford from 1858 to 1866, and Devonshire North from 1866 to 1885. He served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury during the second Derby ministry in 1859, then during the third Derby ministry (1866-68) he served as President of the Board of Trade, then as Secretary of State for India. Sir Stafford was elected Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company early in 1869 and in April of that year signed the documents by which the Hudson’s Bay Company surrendered its claims over Rupert’s Land to the government of the Dominion of Canada, in exchange for a cash settlement and land grants totaling seven million acres.
Sir Stafford resigned as Governor in 1874 when the Conservatives were returned to power, in order to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Disraeli. Sir Stafford was made the 1st Earl of Iddesleigh in 1885; he was later First Lord of the Treasury in the first Salisbury ministry (one of only three people to hold that office without being Prime Minister) and Foreign Secretary during the second Salisbury ministry, until his death in 1887.
The Rt. Hon. George Joachim Goschen PC (1831-1907), 1874-80. George Goschen was born in London, the son of a German merchant. He was educated at Rugby and Oxford and went to work for his father until becoming a director of the Bank of England in 1856. Goschen then sat as a Liberal MP for the City of London from 1863 to 1880, serving as Paymaster-General and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the second Russell ministry and joining the first Gladstone ministry, first as President of the Poor Law Board, then as First Lord of the Admiralty. Upon the election of a Conservative government in 1874, Goschen, now out of government, was elected to replace Sir Stafford Northcote as Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. It was under Goschen in 1875 that the HBC’s North American centre of operations was moved inland from York Factory on the Hudson Bay coast to Fort Garry in Winnipeg. For a good part of his governorship, Goschen was concerned with other matters: he was sent to Cairo in 1876 to negotiate with the Khedive of Egypt for relieving his debts to Britain in exchange for Egypt’s shares in the Suez Canal.
Goschen quit his post at HBC when Gladstone was returned to power in 1880; Goschen was the Liberal MP for Ripon from 1880 to 1885, and Edinburgh East from 1885 to 1886. However, Goschen disagreed with Gladstone over voting reform and foreign policy, and did not join his new cabinet; he also refused appointments as Viceroy of India and Speaker of the House of Commons. Goschen finally split with Gladstone over the First Irish Home Rule Bill of 1886, joining the Liberal Unionist Party under the Marquess of Hartington; later that year, Goschen lost his seat in Parliament. In 1887, the Marquess of Salisbury invited Goschen to join his cabinet as Chancellor of the Exchequer after the resignation of Lord Randolph Churchill; Goschen won a by-election as a Conservative MP in St. George Hanover Square, and held the seat until he was ennobled as the 1st Viscount Goschen in 1900; he would also serve again as First Lord of the Admiralty in the third Salisbury ministry. After his appointment to the House of Lords, Lord Goschen became the Chancellor of Oxford University in 1903, serving until his death in 1907.
Eden Colvile (1819-93), 1880-89. Eden Colvile, whose first name was his mother’s maiden name, was the son of former HBC Governor Alexander Wedderburn Colvile. Eden was educated at Eton and Cambridge, then moved to Quebec in 1842 to manage lands being leased out to Irish settlers by the North American Colonial Association of Ireland, serving one term as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada in 1844. In 1848 he left the NACAI and accompanied Sir George Simpson to the Red River Settlement, beginning his professional association with the HBC; Colvile thereafter resided at Fort Garry as the HBC’s governor of the Red River Settlement from 1849 to 1852. Colvile joined the board of directors in 1854, and was one of only two directors kept on after the takeover by the International Finance Society in 1863; he became Deputy Governor in 1870 and Governor in 1880. Under his directorship, the HBC opened its first Canadian retail outlet, in Winnipeg in 1881. Colvile retired from business life in 1889 and died at his home in Devonshire on Easter Sunday of 1893.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, GCMG GCVO PC (1820-1914), 1889-1914. Born in Moray, Scotland, Smith moved to Montreal at 18 to clerk for the Hudson’s Bay Company. He was made Chief Factor of the District of Labrador in 1862, Commissioner of the Montreal Department in 1868, and President of the Council of the Northern Department in 1870. Smith was sent by the Canadian government to negotiate with Louis Riel in ending the Red River Rebellion of 1869, beginning his political career: Smith was elected to the assembly of Manitoba in 1870, the Canadian House of Commons in 1871, and the Council of the Northwest Territories in 1872, holding all three simultaneously (while retaining his employment with HBC) until resigning from the Manitoba legislature in 1874. Smith was defeated in re-election to Parliament in 1880 and became one of the founding directors of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and personally drove in the last spike of the transcontinental line at Craigellachie, BC, in 1885. He was elected Governor of the HBC in 1889, serving until his death in 1914; Smith oversaw the transition of the business interests of the HBC from fur-trading to retail, shipping, and real estate. Smith’s governorship also saw HBC’s expansion into the High Arctic, opening its first post on Baffin Island in 1911. Smith was re-elected to the Canadian Parliament from 1887 to 1896; he was offered the post of Prime Minister on the resignation of Sir Mackenzie Bowell in 1896, but refused it. The new prime minister, Sir Charles Tupper, appointed Smith as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, which he held until his death. Smith, whom King Edward VII called “Uncle Donald”, was ennobled as the Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal in 1897. He then bought the isle of Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides, and is still owned by the Smith family. During the Second Boer War, Strathcona paid to raise a Canadian cavalry regiment and send it to South Africa; the regiment, Lord Strathcona’s Horse, is still a regiment of the Canadian Army. Strathcona worked closely with the Burmah Oil Company of Glasgow to develop petroleum exploration in Iran, and in 1909 became chairman of a subsidiary company, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which is now British Petroleum (BP). Strathcona paid to build the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, and gave large endowments to Birmingham University, McGill University and the cadet program of the Canadian Army, in whose honour the Lord Strathcona Medal for exemplary performance in military training is named. Strathcona died in London in 1914, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery after a funeral held in Westminster Abbey.
Lord Strathcona was the Hudson’s Bay Company’s longest-serving employee, as his career there lasted 75 years. The town of Fort Smith, NWT, and the settlement of Smith’s Landing, Alberta (later renamed Fort Fitzgerald), were named for him, as was Strathcona Provincial Park in British Columbia, Mount Sir Donald in Glacier National Park in British Columbia, Strathcona County in Alberta, Strathcona Regional Municipality in Manitoba, the Strathcona Park neighbourhood of Calgary, the Strathcona neighbourhoods of Vancouver, Edmonton, and Hamilton, Strathcona Park in Ottawa, Strathcona Park in Kelowna, Strathcona Island Park in Medicine Hat, Strathcona Park and Lord Strathcona Public School in Kingston, Strathcona Senior Public School in Owen Sound, the Strathcona Hotel in Victoria, the Strathcona Music Building and the Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building at McGill University in Montreal, Strathcona Street and the Strathcona Desjardins Credit Union in Montreal, Strathcona Street in Port Alberni, Strathcona Road in Chilliwack, Strathcona Avenue in Scarborough, Strathcona Avenue in Thunder Bay, Strathcona Drive in Burlington, Strathcona Drive in North Bay, and Donald Street, Smith Street and Strathcona Street in Winnipeg; additionally, the town of Transcona, Manitoba, which was founded to service the cross-country railways, is a portmanteau of “Strathcona” and “transcontinental”.
Sir Thomas Skinner, Bt. (1840-1926), 1914-15. Thomas Skinner was born in Bristol and came to London in his twenties to work as a financial journalist. In 1875 he founded the Stock Exchange Yearbook, which became an invaluable reference material on the state of the companies trading in the City of London. Skinner was approached by George Stephen (later Lord Mount Stephen) to help secure financing for the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and his success in this endeavour led to Skinner being appointed as a director of the CPR in 1889, a post he held for the rest of his life. Skinner joined the HBC board of directors in 1890 and became Deputy Governor in 1910, earning a baronetcy in 1912 and succeeding Lord Strathcona as Governor on his death in 1914, serving until his retirement the next year. He grew very ill in his old age and died at his home in Sussex in 1926.
Sir Robert Molesworth Kindersley GBE (1871-1954), 1915-25. Robert Kindersley was born in Essex and went to Repton before clerking in some London firms, eventually joining the London Stock Exchange and becoming a rich merchant banker. Kindersley was Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company from 1915 to 1925; he was concurrently a director of the Bank of England from 1914 to 1946, and head of Britain’s National Savings Committee from 1916 to 1946. Under Kindersley, the HBC started a new magazine for employees dedicated to HBC news special interests, The Beaver, in 1920. The Beaver gained a wide readership outside the Company and was taken over by Canada’s National History Society in 1994; it was renamed Canada’s History magazine in 2010. Kindersley was made the 1st Baron Kindersley in 1941. Lord Kindersley retired from public life in 1946 and died in 1954; the town of Kindersley, Saskatchewan, was named for him.
Charles Vincent Sale (1868-1943), 1925-31. Charles Vincent Sale was a member of the family controlling F.G. Sale & Sons, a major coal-shipping concern, eventually becoming its president. He was brought in to the HBC by Lord Kindersley in 1915 to improve the HBC merchant fleet, and replaced him as Governor in 1925. Sale founded the Hudson’s Bay Oil and Gas Company as a subsidiary in 1929, which had a major role in the first oil boom in Alberta in the 1940s. Under Sale a new Hudson’s Bay House was built in 1926 at 60, 62 and 64 Bishopsgate in London (between Liverpool Street Station and the current location of the Gherkin). Sale was forced out by HBC shareholders dissatisfied with his management in 1931.
Sir Patrick Ashley Cooper, Kt. (1887-1961), 1931-52. Born in Aberdeen, Cooper attended Fettes (the Eton of Scotland) and Cambridge, was wounded in the back in World War I, and became an accountant. He married a rich and beautiful Welsh heiress and became invaluable to the Bank of England for his work in turning around ailing companies, becoming a director of the Bank in 1932. Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman chose Cooper personally to replace Sale as Governor of the HBC, and he worked hard to keep the Company going through the Great Depression and World War II. In the 1940s he sold Hudson’s Bay House and moved HBC headquarters to its fur warehouses at Beaver House on Great Trinity Lane, next to the Lord Mayor of London’s office at Mansion House; Beaver House would be the HBC’s final London home. Cooper’s tenure saw the escalation of a struggle for control of the company between its British corporate rulers, led by Cooper, and its Canadian heads of operations, led by HBC General Manager Philip Chester.
Sir William Johnstone Keswick, Kt. (1903-90), 1952-65. “Tony” Keswick was born in Yokohama, Japan, to the wealthy Keswick family that controls Jardine Matheson, the largest commercial conglomerate in the Far East. (Although it moved its headquarters to Bermuda after the loss of Hong Kong in 1997, Jardines is still a major player in the area, doing $60 billion of business per year, and is still in the hands of the Keswick family.) He returned to England as a boy to attend Winchester and Cambridge, then was the head of Jardines’s Shanghai office from 1935 to 1941, during which time he was shot by an angry union leader. He joined the British Army after Japan invaded Shanghai, saw action in the Middle East and at the Normandy Invasion, and retired with the rank of Brigadier. After the war Keswick became managing director of Matheson & Co., Jardine Matheson’s London office; he also became a director of the Bank of England and Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company from 1952 to 1965, a job he regarded with such sentimental fondness that on his passport he listed as his occupation as “Merchant Adventurer”. In 1956, the Company conferred upon Sir Winston Churchill the honorary title of “Grand Seigneur of the Company of Adventurers”. HBC began marketing its urban department stores as “The Bay” in 1965, shortly before Sir Tony left the Company. He lived quietly on his country estate until his death in 1990; Keswick, a sentimental eccentric, named his second son John Chippendale Lindley Keswick because he was conceived in a bed designed by Thomas Chippendale. Sir Chips Keswick is currently the chairman of Arsenal FC.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Derick Heathcoat-Amory, Bt., 1st Viscount Amory, KG GCMG TD PC (1899-1981), 1965-70. Derick Heathcoat-Amory was born in London; his mother was the niece of the Marquess of Hertford. Derick went to Eton and Oxford and joined the Territorial Army as an officer in 1920. He served in the Army in World War II, and was wounded in Operation Market-Garden (a failed attempt to invade the Rhineland in 1944); he retired in 1948 as a Lieutenant-Colonel. Heathcoat Amory then entered politics, serving as Conservative MP for Tiverton from 1945 to 1960. He served various minor posts in the ministries of Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Anthony Eden before becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer under Harold Macmillan from 1958 to 1960. He was ennobled as the Viscount Amory in 1960 and retired from political life. He became Governor of the HBC in 1965 and presided over the transfer of the headquarters of HBC from London to Winnipeg in 1970, the Company’s 300th anniversary, whereupon he resigned. Lord Amory spent the rest of his retirement as Chancellor of Exeter University and indulging his love of sailing, donating a trophy to the Civil Service Sailing Association to be given out annually for sailing prowess. Lord Amory died in 1981; his nephew is David Heathcoat-Amory, Conservative MP for Wells from 1983 to 2010 and Paymaster-General under John Major.
Sir Bibye Lake, Jr., Kt. (1720s?-1782), 1770-82. Bibye Jr. was the son of HBC governor Sir Bibye Lake Sr. and the younger brother of governor Sir Atwell Lake. He joined the HBC board of directors in 1743 and became Deputy Governor in 1765, then Governor in 1770, serving until his death at his home in Hertfordshire twelve years later. During Lake’s time as Governor, Samuel Hearne reached the shores of the Arctic Ocean at Coronation Gulf, near what is now Kugluktuk, coming overland from Hudson Bay in 1771; the first inland trading post, at Cumberland House, was built in 1774; Peter Pond discovered the Athabasca tar sands and founded Fort Chipewyan in 1778; and the HBC’s great rival in the fur trade, the North West Company, was founded in Montreal in 1779.
Samuel Wegg, FRS (1723-1802), 1782-99. Born in Colchester, Essex, Wegg studied law at Cambridge and became a lawyer, inheriting his first stock in the HBC from his father in 1748. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1753, then joined the HBC board of directors in 1760 before becoming Governor in 1782. It was during his time as Governor that Sir Alexander Mackenzie went on his legendary expeditions, reaching the Arctic Ocean overland in 1789 and the Pacific in 1793. This period also saw the Company’s London headquarters move into a new Hudson’s Bay House at numbers 3 and 4, Fenchurch Street, in 1795. Wegg died at his home in Acton in 1802, a few years after retiring from public life.
Sir James Winter Lake, Bt. (1741-1807), 1799-1807. Sir James Winter Lake, the grandson, son and nephew of three previous governors of the HBC, inherited his father’s HBC stock in 1760 and joined the board of directors in 1762, becoming Deputy Governor in 1782 and Governor in 1799. During his time as Governor the city of Edmonton, Alberta, was founded, named after the town in Middlesex where the Lake family resided.
William Mainwaring (1737-1812), 1807-12. Mainwaring was born in Staffordshire, joined the HBC board of directors in 1794, became Deputy Governor in 1805, then Governor in 1807, serving until his death. It was under Mainwaring that the HBC began expanding into British Columbia, with David Thompson crossing the Rockies on a mapmaking expedition in 1807 and Simon Fraser exploring his eponymous river in 1808. It was also at this time that the Earl of Selkirk purchased a tract of land on the Red River from the HBC in 1811 to establish a colony for poor Scottish settlers.
Joseph Berens, Jr. (1770s?-1853), 1812-22. Joseph Berens, Jr. was an Oxford-educated lawyer whose father. Joseph Sr., and grandfather, Herman, had both been HBC directors. Joseph Jr. joined the board of directors in 1801, became Deputy Governor in 1807, and Governor in 1812. He quit as Governor in 1822 but stayed on the board of directors, finally retiring in 1833. The Berens River in Manitoba was named after him. During the Berens governorship, HBC operatives and Selkirk settlers in the Red River Settlement were attacked by North West Company operatives at the Seven Oaks Massacre in 1816. The southern Red River valley was lost to the US in the Treaty of Washington in 1818. In 1815 the Company created the post of Governor-in-Chief of Rupert’s Land to act as colonial administrator over their North American territories, with Robert Semple as the first Governor; he was replaced by William Williams in 1816 after Semple was killed in the Seven Oaks Massacre. Importantly, in 1821 the HBC finally merged with the NWC, eliminating its biggest competitor; the post of Governor-in-Chief was dissolved and replaced by governors of the Northern and Southern Departments, split roughly at the modern border between Ontario and Manitoba. Williams stayed on as Governor of the Southern (or, more accurately, Eastern) Department, and to govern the western expanses of the Northern Department the HBC sent a functionary named George Simpson, beginning a forty-year reign over the Canadian West by the man known to his contemporaries as “the little emperor”.
Sir John Henry Pelly, Bt. (1777-1852), 1822-52. John Henry Pelly was a fourth-generation sailor and served in the Royal Navy as a youth before turning to business. He owned shares in a hardware supplier and a Norwegian timber company and was involved in the governance of the Corporation of Trinity House, the UK’s lighthouse and deep-sea pilotage authority. Pelly joined the HBC board of directors in 1812 and in 1822 became Governor, serving for thirty years until his death in 1852. Under Pelly, the HBC built Fort Garry, which is now Winnipeg, in 1831; George Simpson, who took over as Governor of both the northern and Southern Departments in 1826, was designated as Governor-in-Chief of Rupert’s Land in 1839, then circled the globe promoting the HBC’s interests in international markets, and was knighted for his efforts; and the HBC’s territory on Vancouver Island was made a Crown Colony in 1849.
Andrew Wedderburn Colvile (1779-1856), 1852-56. Born Andrew Wedderburn in Scotland, his grandfather had lost his estate after the Second Jacobite Rebellion in 1745 and most of the family moved to Jamaica, where Andrew’s father, James Wedderburn, an unlicensed doctor, built up a lucrative sugar plantation. Andrew inherited his father’s estates and set up a prosperous sugar brokerage firm, then in 1814 Andrew changed his surname to Colvile, as his mother Isabella had become the heiress to the last Lord Colvile of Ochiltree. Colville joined the HBC board of directors in 1810 and served the company for 46 years, the last four of which were as Governor.
John Shepherd (1792-1859), 1856-58. John Shepherd’s main area of business was in the British East India Company, where he was a director continually from 1835 to 1858 and served three one-year terms as Chairman in 1844, 1850 and 1851. He joined the HBC board of directors in 1850, became Deputy Governor in 1852, then Governor in 1856, serving two years before retiring in 1858. He died a year later. During Shepherd’s governorship, John Palliser began his survey of HBC lands in 1857 and British Columbia was made a Crown Colony in 1858.
Henry Hulse Berens (1804-83), 1858-63. Henry Berens, the son of Governor Joseph Berens Jr., joined the HBC board of directors in 1833, became Deputy Governor in 1856, then Governor in 1858. Berens was the first Governor to actually set foot on the HBC’s territorial possessions when he visited the Red River Settlement in 1833. During Berens’s term, the HBC lost its licence for its monopoly on trading rights in Rupert’s Land in 1859, and Sir George Simpson died in 1860, with Alexander Grant Dallas succeeding him as Governor-in-Chief of Rupert’s Land. In 1863, the HBC was bought out by the International Finance Society, a consortium led by railway tycoon Edward William Watkin, which reorganized the HBC’s corporate structure, sacking Berens in the process.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Edmund Walker Head, Bt., KCB PC FRS (1805-68), 1863-68. Edmund was born in Essex and went to Winchester before he studied and taught classics at Oxford, where he translated some of the Icelandic sagas. He left Oxford in 1838, the year he married and inherited his father’s baronetcy. Sir Edmund served as a commissioner of the Poor Law and wrote a three-volume treatise on schools of European painting before being appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick in 1848, where he oversaw the establishment of responsible government there. He was then appointed Governor-General of the Province of Canada in 1854, serving until 1861; for most of that time, Canada was governed by John A. Macdonald and George-Étienne Cartier as premier and deputy premier. Sir Edmund was elected as Governor of the HBC in 1863, at which time he was in negotiations with the Colonial office for the transfer of Rupert’s Land from the Company to the British government as a Crown Colony; however, little progress was made before Sir Edmund died suddenly of a heart attack in January of 1868. During his tenure, William Mactavish was appointed Governor-in-Chief of Rupert’s Land in 1864, serving until 1869, and the London headquarters of the Company moved to a new Hudson’s Bay House down the block at 1 Lime Street in 1865.
The Rt. Hon. Sir John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley, 3rd Baron Wodehouse, KG PC (1826-1902), 1868-69. Born at his family’s estate in Norfolk and educated at Eton and Oxford, Wodehouse inherited his grandfather’s peerage in 1846 and sat in the House of Lords as a Liberal. He was made Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the governments of Lord Aberdeen and Lord Palmerston, the became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for India in 1864 before becoming Lord Lieutenant of Ireland later that year. Wodehouse became the first Earl of Kimberley in 1866 upon leaving Cabinet due to the government’s defeat. Now in Opposition, Kimberley accepted his election as HBC Governor in February 1868, to replace the recently deceased Sir Edmund Head; however, the election of the Liberals under William Gladstone in December of that year saw Kimberley re-appointed to Cabinet as Lord Privy Seal, and so he quit as Governor in early January of 1869, after less than a year in office. Although short, Kimberley’s tenure was very important; in October of 1868, he was involved in negotiations with the Colonial Office and a delegation from the new Dominion of Canada, led by Sir George-Étienne Cartier and Sir William McDougall, for the transfer of Rupert’s Land to the new country.
Kimberley went on to serve in all four of Gladstone’s ministries, later becoming Colonial Secretary, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Secretary of State for India, and Lord President of the Council. He capped off his long political career with his service as Foreign Secretary in the ministry of the Earl of Rosebery from 1894 to 1895. Kimberley died at his London home in 1902; the town of Kimberley, South Africa, is named after him. Kimberley was third cousins with the famous author P.G. Wodehouse.
Three hundred and forty-five years ago this month, on May 2, 1670, King Charles II signed an official charter for a commercial enterprise calling itself The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson’s Bay. The King granted the Company, whose first investors included the chemist Robert Boyle and the architect Sir Christopher Wren, exclusive rights to trade in the area draining into Hudson Bay, effectively granting them ownership of the land; for the next 200 years, this would make the Hudson’s Bay Company, as it came to be called, the single largest private landowner on the planet.
The Hudson’s Bay Company still exists today, though it has changed from trading furs to operating high-end retail chains in Canada and the US. The head of the company, instead of being called President or CEO, still retains the old title of Governor. It alone has survived among its contemporary trading rivals – the Muscovy Company, the Royal African Company, the East India Company; indeed, the HBC is the oldest corporate entity of its size in the world.
Because the HBC existed for so long, I am breaking up my examination of the HBC’s governors into several parts. I will start with the Company’s first hundred years.
HRH Prince Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Duke of Cumberland, Earl of Holderness, KG PC FRS (1619-82), 1670-82. Prince Rupert of the Rhine, as he was commonly known, was born in Prague to Frederick V, Elector Palatinate; his maternal grandfather was King James I of England, and through his sister Sophia he was the uncle of King George I of Great Britain.
Prince Rupert’s family were driven into exile from Prague to The Hague when he was a child, where the Prince began a crazily long and varied military career: he fought with Holland against Spain in the Eighty Year’s War and against the Holy Roman Empire in the Thirty Years’ War before moving to England to serve as a cavalry general for the Royalist forces in support of his cousin, King Charles I, during the First Civil War, eventually becoming the senior Royalist general. He was followed everywhere in battle in England by his white poodle, Boye; this was the subject of a lot of propaganda accusing Boye of being a witch’s familiar. Prince Rupert surrendered to Cromwell’s forces in 1646 and was exiled to France, where he fought for Louis XIV against the Spanish in the final years of the Thirty Year’s War; Rupert was shot in the head at this time, but survived. (His commanding officer, the Maréchal de Gaisson, said at the time, “I am most annoyed that you are wounded.” “Me too,” replied Rupert.)
Prince Rupert then turned his martial energies to the sea. He joined up with the Royal Navy in 1648 during the Second Civil War after it mutinied against Parliament, and eventually took command of the Royalist fleet and became a privateer in the Caribbean to raise money for the Royalist cause. Between 1655 and 1660 Rupert fell out with the Stuart court-in-exile and returned to Germany, where he had several minor military command for various states, got involved in palace intrigues at the court of his brother Charles Louis (the new Elector Palatinate), and turned his attention to art. It was at this time that Prince Rupert involved himself in the perfection of the mezzotint, a new form of printmaking, and became a master of its use.
After the English Restoration Prince Rupert returned to England, serving as an admiral in the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars. He also became involved in politics, serving in the House of Lords as the Duke of Cumberland and as a Privy Councillor, serving on a number of its committees. The official records of these committees show Rupert as an active participant, but the famous diaries of Samuel Pepys, who admittedly did not get along well with the prince, record him as doing little but laughing and swearing. Prince Rupert also became very involved in scientific innovation at this time: he built a laboratory and worked on improving gunpowder and grapeshot. He made significant contributions to metallurgy, finding a vastly improved way to strengthen the metal in fishhooks and creating a new alloy of brass for cannons, now known as Prince’s Metal. He was a founding member of the Royal Society and was an active member, demonstrating the glassblowing curiosity known as the Prince Rupert’s Drop and positing the geometrical puzzle known as Prince Rupert’s Cube.
It was at this same time that Prince Rupert entered a number of historically important business ventures. He was a shareholder in the Royal African Company when it was founded in 1662 and was a founding councillor of the Royal Exchange in 1670. But his biggest investment was in fur trading in Canada. Prince Rupert put up most of the money behind the first ship sent to Hudson Bay, the Nonsuch, in 1669, and the HBC’s first public fur auction in London was held on January 24, 1672, at Garraway’s Coffee House on Change Alley. (Change Alley was a shortcut between the Royal Exchange at Cornhill and the post office on Lombard Street, and so was host to dozens of coffee houses and trading offices. Garraway’s was destroyed along with most of the rest of the alley in a fire in 1748.) Prince Rupert became the first Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company when it was granted its charter in 1670, a post he held until his death. The Company then named the territory it had been granted “Rupert’s Land”, in his honour.
Prince Rupert died of a lung inflammation at his home in Westminster in 1682, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. The city of Prince Rupert, BC, was named after him, as was the Rupert River in northern Quebec. In a 1970 British biopic of Oliver Cromwell, Prince Rupert was played by future James Bond actor Timothy Dalton.
HRH Prince James, Duke of York, Duke of Albany, Earl of Ulster, KG (1633-1701), 1682-85. James was born in London as the second son of King Charles I and the younger brother of King Charles II. He was confined to St. James’s Palace by Cromwell’s forces in 1648, but escaped in a clever ruse and fled to Holland. He served in the French army during the Protectorate and returned to England after the Restoration to serve as Lord High Admiral, commanding the English fleet in the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars. After the British capture of New Netherlands, King Charles II grated the territory to James; it was renamed New York in his honour, as was the city of Albany.
Prince James was appointed Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1683 but did not take an active role in its governance. It was at the start of his tenure that the HBC got its first permanent London headquarters in Scriveners’ Hall at the corner of Noble Street and Oat Lane. Two of the Company’s main trading ports on Hudson Bay, Fort York and Fort Albany, were named in his honour. He resigned in 1685 when he succeeded his heirless brother Charles as King James II of England and King James VII of Scotland. Parliament dethroned James in 1688 for his Catholicism and installed his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange, as joint monarchs. James mustered an army of French and Irish troops to retake his crown but was defeated by William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. James then went into exile in France, where he died in 1701. His tomb was raided in the French Revolution.
King James appears as the main villain in the Victor Hugo novel The Man Who Laughs, where he orders the son of a man who insulted him to have his face disfigured into a permanent maniacal grin. The book was made into a film in 1928 with Conrad Veidt as the disfigured son, whose frightening look inspired Batman co-creator Bill Finger to create Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker.
The Rt. Hon. John Churchill, 1st Earl of Marlborough, 1st Baron Churchill of Sandridge, 1st Lord Churchill of Eyemouth, PC (1650-1722), 1685-92. Born at his family’s estate in Devonshire, as a boy John Churchill was appointed as a page to the Duke of York as a reward for his father’s loyalty during the Civil War. He joined the Grenadier Guards and was garrisoned at Tangiers, where he gained tactical experience in skirmishes with the Moors. He fought in the Anglo-Dutch wars and returned to England, marrying a woman from a well-off Hertfordshire family named Sarah Jennings. He was appointed to negotiate with Holland in preparation for a war with France that never happened, then was obliged to attend to the Duke of York for some time during his exile to the Low Countries after the Popish Plot of 1678. Upon the Duke’s return to London in 1682, Churchill was elevated to a Lord of Parliament in the Scottish peerage. At this time, Churchill’s wife Sarah was appointed as a lady-in-waiting to James’s daughter, Princess Anne.
Upon the Duke of York’s succession to the throne as James II, Lord Churchill succeeded him as Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and was made a baron in the English peerage. It was during his time as Governor that Henry Kelsey began exploring what is now southern Saskatchewan for the Company, and the town of Churchill and the Churchill River, both in Manitoba, were named for the Governor. Churchill commanded the English infantry to quash a rebellion led by Charles II’s illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, but his strong Protestant faith led him to abandon James and ally himself with William of Orange during the Glorious Revolution. Upon the coronation of William III and Mary II, Churchill became the Earl of Marlborough and a Privy Councillor. Soon thereafter, Churchill was placed in command of a large number of British troops on the Continent during the Nine Year’s War, in which a coalition of European states aimed to curtail the land power of Louis XIV of France. Churchill was then called to Ireland in 1690 to take control of the ports used to supply Jacobite troops at the time of the Battle of the Boyne. Soon thereafter the relationship between William and Churchill soured, and upon suspicion of aiding James II in returning to power Churchill was stripped of all appointments in 1692 and imprisoned on accusation of high treason.
Churchill’s relationship with the royal court improved in 1694, with the death of Mary II, leaving Princess Anne, to whom Sarah Churchill was extremely close, as heir presumptive. Churchill was restored as a general in the army and a Privy Councillor in 1698. William appointed Churchill to command British forced allied with Holland and the Holy Roman Empire against France and Spain in the War of the Spanish Succession in 1700. William died soon after and was succeeded by Queen Anne, who also appointed Churchill as Master-General of the Ordnance and made him a Knight of the Garter. Churchill’s greatest victory was at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, turning the French army away from a planned attack on Vienna; for this Queen Anne paid for Churchill’s impossibly large country home, Blenheim Palace, and made him Duke of Marlborough; the Holy Roman Emperor declared him Prince of Mindelheim at the same time. During his time away, political fighting between Marlborough’s supporters and rivals loosened Sarah Churchill’s hold over Queen Anne, which, coupled with French military gains in 1707 and 1708, severely weakened Marlborough’s position at home, despite a rout of the French forces at Malpaquet in 1709. A pro-peace government was elected and dismissed Marlborough as commanding general, attempting to prosecute him for corruption. Marlborough, rather than return to England, toured the royal courts of the Holy Roman Empire, particularly that of the Electorate of Hanover. By 1714, after the Treaty of Utrecht was signed much to Britain’s advantage (the Treaty demanded Marlborough surrender his title as Prince of Mindelheim, whereon the Holy Roman Emperor made him Prince of Mellenburg instead) and Marlborough’s nemesis, the Earl of Oxford, had fallen from predominance, Marlborough and Queen Anne reconciled, and the Queen died shortly thereafter. Marlborough stayed on good terms with the new King, George I, who was also the Elector of Hanover, and oversaw the suppression of the First Jacobite Rebellion in 1715.
Marlborough died of a stroke at Windsor in 1722. He was initially buried at Westminster Abbey, but later moved to the chapel at Blenheim Palace upon the death of his wife Sarah. The Duke of Marlborough was the great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Sir Winston Churchill, who wrote a biography of him, and the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.
Sir Stephen Evance, Kt. (1655-1712) (first time), 1692-96. Stephen Evance (as it is spelled in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Peter C. Newman’s definitive history of the Hudson’s Bay Company gives it as “Evans”) was born in New England and sent back to London as a boy to apprentice as a goldsmith. He became a capable banker and loaned a lot of money to the government, for which he was knighted in 1690. He was made chief cashier of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1681, then was appointed Governor in 1692. One of his first acts was to move the Company’s headquarters from Noble Street to Culver Court, off of Fenchurch Street. Evance also owned stock in the East India Company and the Royal Africa Company, and founded a company to manufacture hollow sword blades. Evance was made to leave the governorship in 1696 due to poor attendance, and he pursued other business interests, but returned to the office in 1700 and served until he committed suicide in 1712, two months after declaring bankruptcy following failures in insurance speculation. After his death the Hollow Sword Blade Company switched from manufacturing to finance and became one of the first privately-held banks in England.
Sir William Trumbull, Kt. (1639-1716), 1696-1700. William Trumbull was born to a good family in Berkshire and earned a law degree from Oxford. He entered the Middle Temple and practiced ecclesiastical and admiralty law, eventually becoming Judge Advocate of the Fleet and going to Tangiers in 1683 to aid in the evacuation of the British garrison there. Samuel Pepys, who was on the same expedition, was unimpressed with Trumbull. Trumbull was knighted the following year and was sent as an ambassador to Paris and Constantinople before returning to London in 1694 to serve as a Commissioner of the Treasury, became a Privy Councillor the following year, and in 1696 became Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His tenure coincided with calamity: as a result of the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1697 the French fleet seized all of the HBC’s trading ports on Hudson Bay, except for Fort Albany. Trumbull resigned as Governor in 1700, when he retired from public life; he had resigned from his seat in Cabinet three years earlier. Trumbull became friends with the poets John Dryden and Alexander Pope, and died at his home in Berkshire in 1716. Trumbull’s granddaughter married into the family of the Marquesses of Downshire; he is an ancestor of the current Marquess.
Sir Stephen Evance, Kt. (1655-1712) (second time), 1700-12.
Sir Bibye Lake, Sr., Bt. (1684-1744), 1712-43. Bibye Lake (his first name was his mother’s maiden surname) was born in Lincolnshire to a good family. He read law and entered the Middle Temple. After his father’s death Bibye discovered that his great-uncle had been granted a baronetcy by Charles I that was unfinalized due to the Civil War; as Bibye would have stood to inherit this title, he presented it to the government, and was awarded the baronetcy in 1711. Sir Bibye was Governor of the HBC for 31 years, the longest term of any Governor; for most of that time, he was also the Sub-Governor of the Royal African Company. Bibye also saw the Company’s good fortunes after the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, when France returned to the Company all of its ports on Hudson Bay. Bibye died in 1744 and was buried in Edmonton, London; two of his sons and one grandson would also go on to serve as Governor of the HBC.
Benjamin Pitt (?-1746), 1743-46. Pitt was chosen as a member of the HBC board of directors in 1711. He became Deputy Governor in 1735 and Governor in 1743, serving until he died three years later.
Thomas Knapp (1685-1750), 1746-50. Knapp bought £300 of shares in the Hudson’s Bay Company in May of 1720 and joined the board of directors in November of that year. He became Deputy Governor in 1743 and Governor in 1746, serving until he died four years later.
Sir Atwell Lake, Bt. (1713-60), 1750-60. Sir Atwell Lake inherited his baronetcy and his shares in the Hudson’s Bay Company from his father, Sir Bibye Lake. Like his father, his first name was his mother’s maiden surname. He became Governor on the death of Thomas Knapp and held that office until he died ten years later. It was while Sir Atwell was Governor, in 1754, that Anthony Henday explored the length of the Saskatchewan River.
Sir William Baker, Kt. (1705-70), 1760-70. William Baker was born in London and became a prominent merchant trading with the Americas, becoming a director of the HBC in 1741 and trading extensively with New York and the Carolinas. He was Deputy Governor under Sir Atwell Lake and served as Governor for the last ten years of his life; he was also knighted in 1760, and served as an alderman of the City of London from 1739 to 1770. Baker Lake, in Nunavut, was named for Sir William Baker, who had sent an expedition to explore Chesterfield Inlet.
The Dominion of Newfoundland had, like every other British Dominion, had a High Commissioner to London, starting in 1918. It stopped in 1934, when Britain started talking directly to the Commission of Government.
The Newfoundland High Commissioners to the UK were:
Sir Edgar Rennie Bowring KCMG (1st time), 1918-22.
Lt.-Col. Thomas Nangle CF, 1923-24.
Capt. Victor Gordon CMG MC, 1924-28.
Sir John R. Bennett KBE, 1928.
Daniel James Davies CBE, 1928-32.
Sir Edgar Rennie Bowring KCMG (2nd time), 1933-34.
The position of High Commissioner to the United Kingdom was instituted in 1880 so that the Canadian government had representation in London. It was a strange point in Canadian external relations; Canada was no longer entirely a colony, so some diplomatic channel to the UK was needed, but it wasn’t an independent country, so Canada couldn’t exactly send an ambassador. Since Canada was the first member of the Empire in this position, it set the standard; now, the ambassadors between all the countries of the Commonwealth are called “High Commissioner”.
The High Commission of Canada is at Canada House, Trafalgar Square, Westminster. There are also honorary consulates in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. From 1961 to 2013 the High Commissioner had a separate residence at Macdonald House, 1 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, but it has since been sold to an Indian tycoon.
The High Commissioners of Canada to the United Kingdom have been:
The Hon. Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt GCMG PC (1817-93), 1880-83. Born in London, the son of the Scottish novelist John Galt, Galt was an influential member of the legislature of the Province of Canada and was one of the Fathers of Confederation, sitting as the Conservative MP for Sherbrooke from 1867 to 1872 and serving as Canada’s first Minister of Finance from July to November of 1867. After leaving London he pursued business ventures in the Canadian West, and co-founded with his son Elliott the city of Lethbridge, AB.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Tupper GCMG CB PC MD, Bt. (1821-1915), 1883-96. Born in Amherst, NS, Tupper earned a degree in medicine from the University of Edinburgh. He became a key figure among the Fathers of confederation as premier of Nova Scotia from 1864 to 1867. He was then MP for Cumberland County from 1867 to 1884, and served in the cabinet of Sir John A. Macdonald. After serving as High Commissioner, he returned to Canada to become leader of the Conservative Party, becoming Prime Minister for 69 days in 1896 – Canada’s shortest-serving prime minister. He was then MP for Cape Breton and Leader of the Opposition from 1896 to 1900 and was the longest-lived Father of Confederation, dying in 1915 at the age of 94. Tupper’s son, Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper, was Fisheries minister under Macdonald, Abbott and Thompson, Justice minister under Bowell, and Solicitor-General under his father; another son, William Johnston Tupper, was Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Donald Alexander Smith GCMG GCVO PC DL, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal (1820-1914), 1896-1914. Born in Moray, Scotland, Smith moved to Montreal at 18 to clerk for the Hudson’s Bay Company. He was made Chief Factor of the District of Labrador in 1862, Commissioner of the Montreal Department in 1868, and President of the Council of the Northern Department in 1870. After being sent to negotiate with Louis Riel in the Red River Rebellion of 1869, Smith was elected to the assembly of Manitoba in 1870, the House of Commons in 1871, and the Council of the Northwest Territories in 1872, holding all three simultaneously until resigning from the Manitoba legislature in 1874. Smith was defeated in re-election to Parliament in 1880 and became one of the founding directors of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and personally drove in the last spike of the transcontinental line at Craigellachie, BC, in 1885. He was Governor of the HBC from 1889 to his death in 1914; he was the company’s longest-serving employee, as his career there lasted 75 years.
The Rt. Hon. Sir George Halsey Perley KCMG PC (1857-1938), 1914-22. Born in Lebanon, NH, he moved as a child to the Ottawa Valley, where his father, William Goodhue Perley, became a lumber baron and Conservative MP. George Perley followed his father into the lumber business and became a big wheel in Ottawa society, donating a million dollars in relief of the Ottawa-Hull Fire of 1900. He was the Conservative MP for Argenteuil County from 1904 to 1917 and served as Minister of Overseas Military Forces in the cabinet of Sir Robert Borden. After returning from London, Sir George served again as MP for Argenteuil County from 1925 to 1938, and was Secretary of State for Canada in the brief 1926 government of Arthur Meighen, and as Minister Without Portfolio in the cabinet of R.B. Bennett.
The Hon. Peter Charles Larkin PC (1855-1930), 1922-30. Born in Montreal, Larkin made his fortune in the import of exotic foodstuffs, and founded the Salada Tea Company, which was the first tea merchant to seal tea in foil to preserve its freshness. In 1899 he joined a consortium of wealthy men, including department store magnate Timothy Eaton, Postmaster-General Sir William Mulock and Sen. George Cox, in buying a controlling share of the Toronto Star in order to install Joseph E. Atkinson as its Editor-in-Chief. Larkin was a friend and patron of W.L. Mackenzie King, and paid for the refurbishment of Laurier House, King’s Ottawa residence; King, in turn, made Larkin a Privy Councillor and appointed him High Commissioner. While in London, Larkin moved the High Commission from some scattered offices in Victoria Street, Westminster, to Canada House, which had been two buildings housing the Union Club and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Lucien Turcotte Pacaud (1879-1960), 1930 (acting)
The Hon. George Howard Ferguson PC (1870-1946), 1930-35. Son of Conservative MP Charles Frederick Ferguson, Howard Ferguson was born in Kemptville, ON, went to Osgoode Hall Law School, and was Conservative premier of Ontario from 1923 to 1930. Before his death he was was briefly Chancellor of the University of Western Ontario.
The Rt. Hon. Charles Vincent Massey PC CH CC CD (1887-1967), 1935-46. Scion of the wealthy Massey family of farm equipment fame (almost any old-timer’s farm in Canada will have a Massey-Harris or Massey-Ferguson tractor), grandson of Hart Massey (who built Massey Hall in Toronto), and brother of actor Raymond Massey, Vincent Massey attended the University of Toronto and Oxford, then was appointed Dean of Men at Burwash Hall, U of T, where he lectured in history. He then married Anna Parkin, daughter of the Principal of Upper Canada College, thus becoming by marriage the uncle of the political philosopher George Grant and great-uncle of Michael Ignatieff. Massey ran for the set of Durham County in the 1925 election as a Liberal and lost. He was then Canada’s first official Envoy to the United States from 1927 to 1930, then was President of the National Liberal Federation of Canada before being sent to London. He was High Commissioner during the Abdication Crisis, the coronation of George VI and World War II, where his secretaries included Georges Vanier and Lester Pearson. After the War Massey chaired the Massey Commission into the state of the arts and humanities in Canada, then became the first Canadian-born Governor-General of Canada, serving from 1952 to 1959.
Norman Alexander Robertson CC (1st time) (1904-68), 1946-49. Born in Vancouver, Robertson went to Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship. He joined the Department of External Affairs in 1929 and became friends with Lester Pearson and Hume Wrong. During World War II, he served as deputy minister of External Affairs.
Leolyn Dana Wilgress CC (1892-1969), 1949-52. Born in Vancouver and educated at McGill, Dana Wilgress was a career diplomat. Besides serving as High Commissioner, he was also Ambassador to the USSR, deputy minister of External Affairs, and Representative to NATO and the OECD.
Norman Alexander Robertson CC (2nd time) (1904-68), 1952-57. Robertson, who was Clerk of the Privy Council from 1949 to 1952, was High Commissioner during the coronation of Elizabeth II, where he was a standard-bearer. He later served as Ambassador to the US.
The Hon. George Alexander Drew PC CC QC (1894-1973), 1957-64. George Drew went to Osgoode Hall Law School and married the daughter of an opera singer who was general manager of the Met in New York. Drew was then Mayor of Guelph from 1925 to 1929, chairman of the Ontario Securities Commission from 1931 to 1934, leader of the Conservative Party of Ontario from 1936 to 1948, premier of Ontario from 1943 to 1948 and the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1948 to 1956, during which time he was Leader of the Opposition; he was also the MP for Carleton County from 1949 to 1957. After his time as High Commissioner, he was the first Chancellor of the University of Guelph.
The Hon. Lionel Chevrier PC CC QC (1903-87), 1964-67. A graduate of Osgoode Hall, Chevrier was Liberal MP for Stormont County from 1935 to 1954, President of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority from 1954 to 1957, and Liberal MP for Laurier from 1957 to 1964. Chevrier was also Minister of Transport from 1945 to 1954, Opposition House Leader under Diefenbaker, and Minister of Justice from 1963 to 1964.
Charles Stewart Almon Ritchie CC (1906-95), 1967-71. Born into a rich family in Halifax, Ritchie, whose brother Roland would eventually become a Justice of the Supreme Court, went to the University of King’s College, Oxford, Harvard and the École Libre des Sciences Politiques before becoming a diplomat. He was Ambassador to West Germany, the UN, the US and NATO before being appointed High Commissioner. He also had a long intermittent affair with the Irish author Elizabeth Bowen.
Jack Hamilton Warren OC (1921-2008), 1971-74. Warren served in the Navy in World War II and was Deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce. He would later become Ambassador to the US, then a director of the Bank of Montreal.
The Rt. Hon. Joseph James Guillaume Paul Martin PC CC QC (1903-92), 1974-79. Born in Ottawa and raised in Pembroke, ON, Paul Martin survived polio as a child and graduated from Osgoode Hall. He was Liberal MP for Essex East from 1935 to 1968, and was Secretary of State for Canada under King, Minister of Health and Welfare under King and Saint-Laurent and Secretary of State for External Affairs under Pearson. He ran for leadership of the Liberal Party in 1958, placing second, and in 1968, placing fourth on the first ballot and dropping out. (Martin was also nominated in the 1948 leadership convention, but withdrew before voting began to throw his support to Louis Saint-Laurent. This was actually a ploy by Mackenzie King to ensure that Saint-Laurent would win; the same thing was done by Minister of Finance Douglas Abbott, Minister of Trade and Commerce C.D. Howe, Minister of Transport Lionel Chevrier, and Manitoba premier Stuart Garson.) Martin was appointed to the Senate from 1968 to 1974, and was Leader of the Government in the Senate under Trudeau. After he left London, Martin taught political science at the University of Windsor. His son, Paul Martin Jr., was Minister of Finance under Jean Chrétien and Prime Minister from 2003 to 2006.
Jean Casselman Wadds OC (1920-2011), 1980-83. Born Jean Rowe near Bradford, ON, Jean married Grenville–Dundas MP A.C. Casselman in 1946. He died in 1958, and so Jean Casselman ran for the vacant seat as a Progressive Conservative, and won it. Her father, William Earl Rowe, was at the same time the MP for Dufferin–Simcoe, making them the only father-daughter team in Parliamentary history. Casselman became the first female parliamentary secretary in 1962, serving under Minister of Health and Welfare Jay Waldo Monteith. Casselman remarried to a Toronto stockbroker, Robert Wadds, and served in Parliament until 1968. The first female High Commissioner to the UK, she played a key role in the repatriation of the Constitution in 1982.
The Hon. Donald Campbell Jamieson PC (1921-86), 1983-85. Born in St. John’s, NL, Jamieson was a beloved broadcasting personality and the first Newfoundlander in the parliamentary press gallery in 1945, despite opposing Newfoundland joining Confederation, preferring instead political indepedence with economic union with the US. He founded the first TV station in Newfoundland, CJON-TV (now NTV Superstation) and was president of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. Jamieson was the Liberal MP for Burin-Burgeo from 1966 to 1979 and served in the Trudeau cabinet as Minister of Defence Production (1968-69), Minister of Transport (1969-72), Minister of Regional Economic Expansion (1972-76) and Secretary of State for External Affairs (1976-79).
Roland McMurtry OC Oont (1932-now), 1985-88. Born in Toronto and a grad of Osgoode Hall, “Roy” McMurtry took landscape painting lessons from Group of Seven painter A.J. Casson and was a close friend of Ontario premier William Davis and was the PC MPP for Eglinton from 1975 to 1985, during which time he was also Attorney-General of Ontario He ran for the provincial PC leadership in 1985, finishing fourth. After being High Commissioner, McMurtry was the Commissioner of the CFL, then was appointed to the Superior Court of Ontario in 1991, and was Chief Justice of Ontario from 1996 to 2007.
The Hon. Donald Stovel Macdonald PC CC (1932-now), 1988-91. Born in Ottawa, Macdonald went to U of T, Harvard and Cambridge. He was Liberal MP for Rosedale from 1962 to 1977, serving as President of the Privy Council, Minister of National Defence, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources and Minister of Finance under Trudeau. Macdonald chaired a Royal Commission in 1982 which recommended free trade with the US, which was the beginning of NAFTA.
Fredrik Stefan Eaton OC Oont (1938-now), 1991-94. Scion of the Eaton department store family, Fred Eaton attended UNB and was CEO of Eaton’s from 1977 to 1988.
Royce Herbert Frith CM QC (1923-2005), 1994-96. Born in Lachine and educated at Osgoode Hall, Roy Frith was a legal advisor to the Commissioner of Official Languages and was a Liberal senator from 1977 to 1994. He was later a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Arts Centre.
The Hon. Roy MacLaren PC (1934-now), 1996-2000. Born in Vancouver, MacLaren went to UBC, U of T and Cambridge. He worked in the foreign service for 12 years and was the Liberal MP for Etobicoke North from 1978 to 1984 and from 1988 to 1996. He was Minister of National Revenue under Turner and Minister of International Trade under Chrétien. He is now the chair of the Canada-India Business Council.
Jeremy K.B. Kinsman (1942-now), 2000-02. Born in Montreal, Kinsman went to Princeton and was a career diplomat. He was Ambassador to Russia and to Italy before going to the UK, and afterwards he was Ambassador to the European Union.
Melvin Samuel Cappe OC (1948-now), 2002-06. Born in Toronto and an alumnus of U of T and UWO, Mel Cappe had a long career in the civil service, culminating in becoming Clerk of the Privy Council from 1999 to 2002. He was later CEO of the Institute for Research on Public Policy from 2006 to 2011.
James R. Wright (1949-now), 2006-11. A Montrealer and McGill grad, Wright was a career diplomat, serving in a number of low level postings in Moscow DC and London before becoming High Commissioner.
Gordon Muir Campbell OBC (1948-now), 2011-now. A Vancouverite, Campbell went to Dartmouth College, was Mayor of Vancouver from 1986 to 1993, became leader of the BC Liberal Party in 1994, and was Premier of BC from 2001 to 2011.
His Majesty Edward VIII, Dei Gratia Magnae Britanniae, Hiberniae et terrarum transmarinarum quae in ditione sunt Britannica Rex, Fidei Defensor, Indiae Imperator, reigned for only 10 months and 20 days, from 20 January to 10 December of 1936. In his reign he created only nine peerages: six barons, two viscounts and a marquess.
The first two peerages were issued twelve days into his reign, on 1 February. One went to Sir Arthur Benn, Bt., who was a Tory MP on and off from 1910 to 1935 and a member of the London County Council from 1907 to 1911, was made Baron Glenravel, but the title went extinct when Lord Glenravel died without sons the following June. The other was given to Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Hugh Trenchard, Bt., 1st Baron Trenchard, the first commander of the Royal Air Force and Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police from 1931 to 1935, who was made Viscount Trenchard. His grandson, the 3rd Viscount Trenchard, is currently one of the 90 hereditary peers elected to sit in the House of Lords.
Two days later Sir Gomer Berry, Bt., publisher of the Sunday Times, was made Baron Kemsley. He was later made Viscount Kemsley in 1945. The title is now held by his grandson, the 3rd Viscount.
On the 24th of February Thomas Catto, chairman of the Indian industrial conglomerate Andrew Yule & Co., Calcutta, was made Baron Catto. Lord Catto was later Governor of the Bank of England from 1944 to 1949; his grandson is now the 3rd Baron Catto.
On the 26th of May the King awarded the title of Marquess of Willingdon to Major Sir Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Earl of Willingdon, Viscount Willingdon and Baron Willingdon, Governor-General of Canada (1926-31) and Viceroy of India (1931-36). All his titles went extinct upon the death of his son Inigo in 1979. This was the last time (so far) that a marquessate was given out in Britain.
Between July 14 and 17 Edward VIII approved baronies to 4 people on consecutive days. On the 14th, Sir Henry Cautley, Bt., a Conservative MP for 22 years and a judge in Sunderland, Durham, was made Baron Cautley; on the 15th, Sir Malcolm Hailey, a governor of the Indian Empire, was made Baron Hailey; on the 16th, Sir Herbert Austin, founder of Austin Motors, became Baron Austin; and on the 17th, Beaumont Pease, a prominent banker, was made Baron Wardington. Of these four, the first three went extinct with their recipients’ deaths, in 1946, 1969 and 1941; the fourth is held by the 3rd Baron Wardington, younger son of the 1st Baron, and has no heirs.
The last peerage Edward VIII ever approved was on 30 October 1936, 41 days before his abdication. It went to Sir Bertrand Dawson, 1st Baron Dawson of Penn, who was made Viscount Dawson of Penn. Lord Dawson was President of the Royal College of Physicians from 1931 to 1937 and was personal physician to King George V, King Edward VIII and King George VI. His diaries later revealed that he had euthanized a dying George V with an overdose of cocaine and morphine. Lord Dawson died childless in 1945 and his titles died with him.
A lot of people might think of British lordships as being a thing of the 19th and pre-war 20th century, and big fat rich men fretting over the possibility of getting a peerage as belonging the casts of Sherlock Holmes stories and P.G. Wodehouse novels. But the fact is that the handing out of hereditary peerages was common practice until 1965. Life peerages (other than those awarded to the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary) were only invented in 1958, and when the Labour Party under Harold Wilson took power, it set the precedent of using them exclusively to stack the House of Lords in the party’s favour. Our present Queen is likely to be the last British monarch to create the traditional hereditary peerages in any quantity; in her reign, she has created two dukedoms, 12 earldoms, 41 viscounties and 92 baronies. In no particular order, let’s take a look at the people who got them.
Let’s start with the Royal Family. The Queen’s former brother-in-law, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, married Princess Margaret in 1961 and was declared Earl of Snowdon and Viscount Linley. The rest of the royal titles she has bestowed have been as wedding gifts upon her progeny: Prince Andrew as Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh in 1986; Prince Edward as Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn in 1999; and Prince William as Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Stratherarn and Baron Carrickfergus in 2011.
For a good long while it was customary to give a retiring Prime Minister an earldom. Three prime ministers got titles from Elizabeth II: Clement Attlee (1945-51) became Earl Attlee and Viscount Prestwood in 1955; Sir Anthony Eden (1955-57) became the Earl of Avon and Viscount Eden in 1961 (the titles went extinct when his son died in 1985) and Harold Macmillan (1957-63) became the Earl of Stockton and Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden in 1984.
There were a few late-coming World War generals getting peerages too. Field Marshal Sir Harold Alexander, 1st Viscount Alexander of Tunis, was made Earl Alexander of Tunis and Baron Rideau in March of 1952. Field Marshal Sir William Slim was made Viscount Slim in 1960. Gen. George Jeffreys, a World War I general and Conservative MP during WWII, was made Baron Jeffreys in July 1952. Lt.-Gen. Ronald Weeks, deputy chief of the Imperial General Staff, became Baron Weeks in 1956 (it went extinct when he died in 1960). Lt.-Gen. Willoughby Norrie, commander of the 1st Armoured Division in North Africa under Bernard Montgomery, became Baron Norrie in 1957. Field Marshal Sir John Harding became Baron Harding of Petherton in 1958. Gen. Sir Brian Robertson, Bt., military governor of British-occupied West Germany and later the chairman of the British Transport Commission from 1953 to 1961, became Baron Robertson of Oakridge in 1961. Brigadier Toby Low, later the MP for Blackpool North from 1945 to 1962, became Baron Aldington in 1962.
A sizable proportion of the War cabinet were given peerages by Elizabeth II.
- Frederick Marquis, 1st Baron Woolton, the Minister of Food (and the namesake of Woolton pie), was made Viscount Woolton in 1953, then the Earl of Woolton and Viscount Walberton in 1956.
- Philip Cunliffe-Lister, 1st Viscount Swinton, Minister of Civil Aviation during the war, President of the Board of Trade and Secretary for the Colonies before it and Secretary for Commonwealth Relations after it, became the Earl of Swinton and Baron Masham in 1955.
- Henry Moore, 10th Earl of Drogheda in the Peerage of Ireland, Minister of Economic Warfare from 1942 to 1945, and Chairman of the Cinematograph Films Council from 1944 to 1954, was made Baron Moore in 1954 to give him a permanent seat in the House of Lords.
- David Maxwell Fyfe, Solicitor-General from 1942 to 1945, Home Secretary from 1951 to 1954, and Lord Chancellor from 1954 to 1962, was made Viscount Kilmuir in 1954, then the Earl of Kilmuir and Baron Fyfe of Dornoch in 1962 (they went extinct upon his death in 1965).
- Richard Law, political philosopher, son of prime minister Andrew Bonar Law, Financial Secretary to the War Office from 1940 to 1941 and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs from 1943 to 1945, was made Baron Coleraine in 1954.
- A.V. Alexander, 1st Viscount Alexander of Hillsborough, Churchill’s successor as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1940 and later Secretary of Defence under Attlee, was made Earl Alexander of Hillsborough and Baron Weston-Super-Mare in 1963 (they died with him in 1965).
- Sir Archibald Sinclair, Bt., Secretary for Air from 1940 to 1945 and leader of the Liberal Party from 1935 to 1945, was named Viscount Thurso in April of 1952; his grandson, the 3rd Viscount, is currently a Lib Dem MP.
- Frederick Leathers, 1st Baron Leathers, Minister of War Transport, became Viscount Leathers in 1954.
- Herwald Ramsbotham, 1st Baron Soulbury, Minister of Pensions under Chamberlain, President of the Board of Education from 1940 to 1941, Chairman of the Assistance Board for the rest of the war, and Governor-General of Ceylon from 1949 to 1954, became Viscount Soulbury in 1954.
- Oliver Lyttelton, Minister of Production from 1942 to 1945 and Secretary for the Colonies from 1951 to 1954, became Viscount Chandos in 1954.
- Sir Ralph Assheton, Bt., Minister of Supply in 1942, Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1942 to 1944, and chairman of the Conservative Party from 1944 to 1946, was made Baron Clitheroe in 1955.
- William Morrison, Postmaster-General from 1940 to 1943 and Minister for Town and Country Planning from 1943 to 1945, Speaker of the House of Commons from 1951 to 1959 and Governor-General of Australia from 1960 to 1961, became Viscount Dunrossil in 1959.
- Robert Grimston, Treasurer of the Household from 1939 to 1942, became Baron Grimston of Westbury in 1964.
Winston Churchill’s cabinet from his second government (1951-55) had a fair share of newly minted peers, as did the governments of Sir Anthony Eden (1955-57), Harold Macmillan (1957-63) and Sir Alec Douglas-Home (1963-64):
- Arthur Salter, political sciences professor at Oxford University, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1945 and Minister of Materials in 1952, became Baron Salter in 1953 (dying with him in 1975)
- Mr. Justice Gavin Simonds, Lord Chancellor from 1951 to 1954, became Baron Simonds in June 1952 and Viscount Simonds in 1954 (dying with him in 1971)
- Henry Scrymgeour-Wedderburn, 11th Earl of Dundee in the Peerage of Scotland, a Renfrewshire MP from 1931 to 1945 and Minister Without Portfolio from 1958 to 1961, became Baron Glassary in the UK peerage in 1954
- William Sidney, 6th Baron de L’Isle and Dudley, who won the Victoria Cross in Italy, Secretary for Air from 1951 to 1955 and Governor-General of Australia from 1961 to 1965, made Viscount de L’Isle in 1956
- Harry Crookshank, Leader in the House of Commons from 1951 to 1955, made Viscount Crookshank in 1956 (dying with him in 1961)
- Osbert Peake, Minister of National Insurance from 1951 to 1955, made Viscount Ingleby in 1956 (the title died with his son in 2008)
- James Thomas, First Lord of the Admiralty from 1951 to 1956, made Viscount Cilcennin in 1956 (died with him in 1960)
- Henry Hopkinson, Secretary for Overseas Trade from 1951 to 1952 and Secretary for Colonial Affairs from 1952 to 1955, was made Baron Colyton in 1956
- Walter Monckton, Minister of Labour and National Service from 1951 to 1955, and later Minister of Defence and Paymaster-General under Sir Anthony Eden, became Viscount Monckton of Brenchley in 1957
- Gwilim Lloyd George, son of David, Home Secretary from 1954 to 1957, became Viscount Tenby in 1957
- Patrick Buchan-Hepburn, Government Chief Whip from 1951 to 1955 and Governor-General of the West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962, became Baron Hailes in 1957 (dying with him in 1974)
- David Lewis, Minister of State for Welsh Affairs from 1957 to 1964, became Baron Brecon in 1958 (dying with him in 1976)
- James Stuart, Secretary for Scotland from 1951 to 1957, became Viscount Stuart of Findhorn in 1959
- Sir Thomas Dugdale, Bt., Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries from 1951 to 1954, was made Baron Crathorne in 1959
- Antony Head, Secretary for War from 1951 to 1956, became Viscount Head in 1960
- Derick Heathcoat-Amory, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries from 1954 to 1958 and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1958 to 1960, was made Viscount Amory in 1960 (dying with him in 1981)
- Alan Lennox-Boyd, Minister of Transport from 1952 to 1954 and Secretary for the Colonies from 1954 to 1959, was made Viscount Boyd of Merton in 1960
- Percy Mills, industrialist, Controller-General of Machine Tools for the Ministry of Supply during WWII, Minister of Power under Sir Anthony Eden and Paymaster-General under Harold Macmillan, became Baron Mills in 1957 and Viscount Mills in 1962
- George Ward, Secretary for Air from 1957 to 1960, was made Viscount Ward of Witley in 1960 (dying with him in 1988)
- John Hare, Secretary for the Colonies, Secretary of War, Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Labour under Sir Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan, was made Viscount Blakenham in 1963
- Niall Macpherson, Minister of Pensions and National Insurance from 1962 to 1963, became Baron Drumalbyn in 1963 (dying with him in 1987)
- David Eccles, Minister of Works from 1951 to 1954, Minister of Education from 1954 to 1957 and from 1959 to 1962 and President of the Board of Trade from 1957 to 1959, was made Baron Eccles in 1962 and Viscount Eccles in 1964
- Harold Watkinson, Minister of Transport from 1957 to 1959 and Minister of Defence from 1959 to 1962, was made Viscount Watkinson in 1964 (dying with him in 1995)
- John Maclay, Secretary for Scotland from 1957 to 1962, was made Viscount Muirshiel in 1964 (which died with him in 1992)
- Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller, Bt., Solicitor-General from 1951 to 1954, Attorney-General for England and Wales from 1954 to 1962 and Lord Chancellor from 1962 to 1964, became Baron Dilhorne in 1962 and Viscount Dilhorne in 1964
- John Hope, Minister of Works from 1959 to 1962, became Baron Glendevon in 1964
- Frederick Erroll, President of the Board of Trade from 1961 to 1963 and Minister of Power from 1963 to 1964, became Baron Erroll of Hale in 1964 (dying with him in 2000)
- Michael Hughes-Young, Treasurer of the Household from 1962 to 1964, became Baron St. Helens in 1964
The easiest way to get a peerage was to sit as an MP for an appreciable length of time, serve as Under-Secretary or Parliamentary Secretary to a department or two, and retire as the government was casting around to prop up its majority in the House of Lords. For example:
- Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton in the Peerage of Ireland, the MP for Horsham for 47 years and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster under Neville Chamberlain, was made Baron Turnour in February 1952, entitling him to a seat in the House of Lords (the barony died with him in 1962, and his earldom passed to a cousin living in Canada)
- Sir Hugh O’Neill, Bt., MP for Antrim for 37 years and Speaker of the Parliament of Northern Ireland from 1921 to 1929, was made Baron Rathcavan in 1953
- Sir Ralph Glyn, Bt., a Conservative MP for 33 years, became Baron Glyn in 1953 (dying with him in 1960)
- Stanley Holmes, MP for Harwich from 1935 to 1954, became Baron Dovercourt in 1954 (dying with him in 1961)
- Arnold Gridley, MP for Stockport from 1935 to 1955, was made Baron Gridley in 1955
- Thomas Galbraith, MP for Glasgow Pollok from 1940 to 1955, became Baron Strathclyde in 1955
- Henry Strauss, an MP from 1935 to 1955, was made Baron Conesford in 1955 (dying with him in 1974)
- Malcolm McCorquodale, a director of the Bank of Scotland and an MP for 22 years, was made Baron McCorquodale of Newton in 1955 (it died with him in 1971)
- Charles MacAndrew, a Scottish Unionist MP for 33 years, was made Baron MacAndrew in 1959
- William Mabane, MP for Huddersfield West from 1931 to 1945 and head of the British Travel Association from 1960 to 1967, became Baron Mabane in 1962 (dying with him in 1969)
- Roland Robinson, an MP from 1931 to 1964, and later Governor of Bermuda from 1964 to 1972, was made Baron Martonmere in 1964
- William Fletcher-Vane, MP for Westmorland from 1945 to 1964, became Baron Inglewood in 1964
- John Morrison, MP for Salisbury from 1942 to 1965, became Baron Margadale in 1965
Or maybe you could have been the chairman of a major corporation? For example:
- Clive Baillieu, a raw materials purchasing agent for the UK in Washington in WWII and chairman of Dunlop Rubber from 1949 to 1957, became Baron Baillieu in 1953
- Peter Bennett, chairman of auto parts manufacturer Joseph Lucas Ltd. and a Birmingham MP for 13 years, became Baron Bennett of Edgbaston in 1953 (dying with him in 1957)
- William Fraser, chairman of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (now BP) from 1941 to 1956, became Baron Strathalmond in 1955
- Geoffrey Heyworth, chairman of Unilever Ltd. from 1942 to 1960, became Baron Heyworth in 1955 (dying with him in 1974)
- John Jacob Astor V, scion of the wealthy Astor family of Manhattan, owner of the Times from 1922 to 1959, chairman of Phoenix Insurance Co. from 1952 to 1958, a member of the board of directors for the Great Western Railway from 1929 to 1946 and of Barclays Bank from 1942 to 1952, winner of the 1908 Olympic gold medal in men’s doubles rackets (which is not the same as racquetball) and the MP for Dover from 1922 to 1945, was made Baron Astor of Hever in 1956
- Frederick Godber, chairman and managing director of Shell Oil, was made Baron Godber in 1956 (dying with him in 1976)
- Harold Mackintosh, 1st Baron Mackintosh of Halifax, president of the toffee company of the same name and chairman of the National Savings Committee from 1943 to 1958, became Viscount Mackintosh of Halifax in 1957
- Robert Sinclair, Director-General of Army Requirements for the War Office from 1939 to 1942, then Chief Executive of the Ministry of Production from 1943 to 1945, then chairman of Imperial Tobacco from 1947 to 1959, became Baron Sinclair of Cleeve in 1957
- J. Arthur Rank, owner of a number of film studios and cinema chains that he conglomerated as the Rank Organization, was made Baron Rank in 1957 (dying with him in 1972)
- Ellis Robins, the first person to receive a Rhodes Scholarship and a businessman who concentrated a great deal of investment in Rhodesia, was made Baron Robins in 1958 (dying with him in 1962)
- Col. Oliver Poole, an underwriting member of Lloyd’s of London and a big wheel in the upper levels of the Conservative Party, was made Baron Poole in 1958
- William Rootes, owner of the car manufacturer of the same name, was made Baron Rootes in 1959
- John Kemp, 2nd Baron Rochdale, a textile magnate, president of the National Union of Manufacturers from 1953 to 1956 and a member of the BBC’s board of governors from 1954 to 1959, was made Viscount Rochdale in 1960
- Sir George Nelson, Bt., chairman of English Electric from 1930 to 1962, became Baron Nelson of Stafford in 1960
- Basil Sanderson, shipping magnate and Head of Port Transit Control for the Ministry of War Transport from 1941 to 1945, was made Baron Sanderson of Ayot in 1960
- Alexander Fleck, an industrial chemist specializing in radioactive materials and the chairman of Imperial Chemical Industries from 1953 to 1960, was made Baron Fleck in 1961 (dying with him in 1968)
- Simon Marks, chairman of Marks and Spencer, was made Baron Marks of Broughton in 1961
- Sir George Leighton Seager, Bt., the shipping magnate, was made Baron Leighton of St. Mellons in 1962
- Leonard Lord, the last president of Austin Motors and president of the British Motor Corporation from 1952 to 1967, was made Baron Lambury in 1962 (dying with him in 1967)
- Sir Robert Renwick, Bt., head of the County of London Electric Company for the duration of World War II, was made Baron Renwick in 1964
- John Erskine, general manager of the Commercial Bank of Scotland from 1932 to 1953 and Governor of Northern Ireland from 1964 to 1968, was made Baron Erskine of Rerrick in 1964 (dying with his son in 1995)
- Sir Hugh Fraser, Bt., of the House of Fraser chain of department stores, became Baron Fraser of Allander in 1964 (dying with his son in 1987)
- Roy Thomson, a Canadian newspaper tycoon who owned the Scotsman, the Times, and the ITV franchise for central Scotland, was made Baron Thomson of Fleet in 1964 (the family later returned to Canada; the current Lord Thomson is the chairman of media giant Thomson Reuters, and the richest man in Canada)
Diplomats were well served at the peerage buffet:
- Duff Cooper, the first British ambassador to France after its liberation in 1944, made Viscount Norwich in July of 1952
- Sir William Strang, a top official in the Foreign Office between 1933 and 1953, became Baron Strang in 1954
- Sir Oliver Harvey, Bt., ambassador to France from 1948 to 1954, was made Baron Harvey of Tasburgh in 1954
- Gladwyn Jebb, a diplomat and Acting Secretary-General of the UN from 1945 to 1946, became Baron Gladwyn in 1960
- Sir Frederick Millar, the first British ambassador to West Germany (1955-56), was made Baron Inchyra in 1962
- Roger Makins, ambassador to the US from 1953 to 1956 and chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Commission from 1960 to 1964, became Baron Sherfield in 1964
As were judges:
- Thomas Cooper, Lord Advocate of Scotland from 1935 to 1941, Lord Justice Clerk of Scotland from 1941 to 1947 and Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session of Scotland from 1947 to 1954, was made Baron Cooper of Culross in 1954 (dying with him in 1955)
- Mr. Justice Raymond Evershed, Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England (the second most senior judge in England and Wales) from 1949 to 1962, became Baron Evershed in 1956 (dying with him in 1966)
- Mr. Justice Norman Birkett, a judge of the Court of Appeals for England and Wales from 1950 to 1956, became Baron Birkett in 1958
- Patrick Spens, Chief Justice of India from 1943 to 1947, became Baron Spens in 1959
And civil servants:
- Sir Edward Bridges, Cabinet Secretary from 1938 to 1946 and Head of the Home Civil Service and Permanent Secretary to the Treasury from 1946 to 1956, became Baron Bridges in 1957
- Sir John Forster, a public servant at the Ministry of Labour and President of the Industrial Court from 1946 to 1959, became Baron Forster of Harraby in 1959 (dying with him in 1972)
- Terence Nugent, Comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office from 1936 to 1960, was made Baron Nugent in 1960 (dying with him in 1973)
- Cameron Cobbold, Governor of the Bank of England from 1949 to 1960 and Lord Great Chamberlain from 1963 to 1971, was made Baron Cobbold in 1960
- Cyril Radcliffe, Baron Radcliffe, Director-General of the Ministry of Information in WWII and chairman of the Indian Boundary Committee in 1947, made Viscount Radcliffe in 1962 (dying with him in 1977)
- Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve, Bt., a leading member of the Church Estates Commission, became Baron Silsoe in 1963
- Sir Norman Brook, Cabinet Secretary from 1947 to 1962, became Baron Normanbrook in 1963 (dying with him in 1967)
And doctors, too:
- Edgar Adrian, a neurologist and co-winner of the 1932 Nobel Prize for Medicine, was made Baron Adrian in 1955 (the title died with his son in 1995)
- Dr. Henry Cohen, a lecturer in medicine and founding vice-chairman of the Central Health Services Council, became Baron Cohen of Birkenhead in 1956 (dying with him in 1977)
- Dr. Horace Evans, personal physician to George VI and Elizabeth II, became Baron Evans in 1957 (dying with him in 1963)
- Russell Brain, an expert neurologist, author of Brain’s Diseases of the Nervous System and president of the Royal College of Physicians from 1950 to 1956, was made Baron Brain in 1962
Other luminaries ennobled included:
- Sir Basil Brooke, Bt., Prime Minister of Northern Ireland from 1943 to 1963, made Viscount Brookeborough in July of 1952
- Eustace Percy, President of the Board of Education from 1924 to 1929, was made Baron Percy of Newcastle in 1953 (dying with him in 1958)
- Alfred Suenson-Taylor, a banker and Liberal Party organizer, became Baron Grantchester in 1953
- Leslie Hore-Belisha, Minister of Transport under Stanley Baldwin and Secretary of War under Neville Chamberlain, was made Baron Hore-Belisha in 1954 (extinct on his death in 1957)
- Sir Godfrey Huggins, Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia from 1933 to 1953, became Viscount Malvern in 1955
- Arnold McNair, a Cambridge professor of international law and president of the European Court of Human Rights from 1959 to 1965, was made Baron McNair in 1955
- Frederick Lindemann,1st Baron Cherwell, a top scientific advisor to Winston Churchill in WWII, became Viscount Cherwell in 1956 (the titles died with him the next year)
- James Turner, president of the National Farmers’ Union from 1945 to 1960, became Baron Netherthorpe in 1959
- Sir Evelyn Baring, governor of Southern Rhodesia from 1942 to 1944 and of Kenya from 1952 to 1959, was made Baron Howick of Glendale in 1960
- Sir Wavell Wakefield, a professional rugby player, president of Harlequins FC from 1950 to 1980, and an MP from 1935 to 1963, became Baron Wakefield of Kendal in 1963 (dying with him in 1983)
- John Wyndham, private secretary to prime minister Harold Macmillan (1957-63), was given the title Baron Egremont in 1963 (in 1967, he succeeded his father as the 6th Baron Leconfield)
A very peculiar peerage was awarded in 1961 to Urban Huttleston Broughton, 1st Baron Fairhaven, of Lode in the County of Cambridge, a millionaire and art collector. His father, Urban Hanlon Broughton, went to America and made a fortune in railway and mining interests, married into a rich family, then returned to England and served as the MP for Preston from 1915 to 1918, and became very close friends with prime minister Andrew Bonar Law. He was due to be given a peerage but died before it was finalized; the barony was instead given directly to Huttleston, his eldest son, in 1929. In 1961, Lord Fairhaven, by then old and childless, was given another peerage, that of the Baron Fairhaven, of Anglesey Abbey in the County of Cambridge; unlike the first title, this new title could be inherited by Huttleston’s brother, Henry, which he did when Huttleston died in 1966 and the Lode iteration of the Fairhaven title went extinct.
Around the time of Harold Macmillan’s long-overdue ennoblement in 1984, the government of Margaret Thatcher made a half-hearted attempt to revive the practice. It gave out two more peerages: William Whitelaw, who served as Thatcher’s Home Secretary from 1979 to 1983, Lord President of the Council from 1983 to 1988 and Deputy Prime Minister from 1979 to 1988, was made Viscount Whitelaw in 1983; and Thomas George Thomas, Speaker of the House of Commons from 1976 to 1983, was made Viscount Tonypandy in the year he stepped down. Neither man had a son and their titles died with them, Lord Tonypandy in 1997, Lord Whitelaw in 1999. No private British citizen since 1984 has been awarded a hereditary peerage.