Florence Horsbrugh, Baroness Horsbrugh

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The Right Honourable
The Baroness Horsburgh
GBE PC
Minister of Education
In office
1951–1954
Preceded by George Tomlinson
Succeeded by David Eccles
Member of Parliament for Manchester Moss Side
In office
1950 – 1959
Preceded by William Griffiths
Succeeded by James Watts
Member of Parliament for Dundee
In office
1931 – 1945
Serving with Dingle Foot
Preceded by Michael Marcus
Edwin Scrymgeour
Succeeded by Thomas Cook
John St Loe Strachey
Personal details
Born (1889-10-13)13 October 1889
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 6 December 1969(1969-12-06) (aged 80)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Political party Conservative
Occupation Politician

Florence Gertrude Horsburgh, Baroness Horsburgh, GBE, PC (13 October 1889 – 6 December 1969) was a Scottish Unionist Party and Conservative Party politician.

She was educated at Lansdowne House, Edinburgh, St Hilda’s, Folkestone, and Mills College, California.

During the First World War, Horsburgh pioneered a travelling kitchen scheme in Chelsea, London, which gained sufficient renown as to warrant an invitation to bring the kitchen to Buckingham Palace one lunch hour to entertain Queen Mary, who approved particularly of the sweets.[1]

Horsburgh was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Dundee from 1931 until her defeat in 1945. She was the first woman to move the Address in reply to the King's Speech. She unsuccessfully contested Midlothian and Peebles in 1950 and was elected in the delayed poll at Manchester Moss Side, sitting from 1950 until her retirement in 1959. On retirement she was elevated to the House of Lords, as a life peer with the title Baroness Horsburgh, of Horsburgh in the County of Peebles, where she sat until her death.

She held ministerial office in the wartime coalition governments as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (1939–45), and Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (1945). As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health,1939–45, she was responsible for arranging the evacuation of schoolchildren from major cities during the war. Following her return to the House of Commons she was the first woman to hold a Cabinet post in a Conservative government, and only the third woman, after Bondfield and Wilkinson to be appointed Cabinet minister in Britain's history (1953-1954), having been appointed Minister of Education in 1951. She also served as a delegate to the Council of Europe and Western European Union from 1955 until 1960.

As part of her lifelong championing of social welfare issues, Horsburgh took a marked interest in child welfare and introduced, as a private member, the bill which became the Adoption of Children (Regulation) Act 1939. Horsburgh also carried out a great deal of preparatory work on the scheme which eventually became the National Health Service.

She was appointed MBE in 1920, promoted to CBE in 1939, and to GBE in 1954. She was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1945.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Papers of Florence Horsburgh, Baroness Horsburgh. "Personal Scrapbook: Travelling Kitchens of WWI," HSBR 2/1. Held at the Churchill Archives Centre.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Marcus
Edwin Scrymgeour
Member of Parliament for Dundee
19311945
With: Dingle Foot
Succeeded by
Thomas Cook
John St Loe Strachey
Preceded by
William Griffiths
Member of Parliament for Manchester Moss Side
19501959
Succeeded by
James Watts
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Bernays
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health
1939–1945
Succeeded by
Hamilton Kerr
Preceded by
George Tomlinson
Minister of Education
1951–1954
Succeeded by
David Eccles