Harold Tennant

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The Right Honourable
Harold Tennant
Harold J. Tennant o.jpg
Harold Tennant, from photo in Scotland Office
Secretary for Scotland
In office
9 July 1916 – 5 December 1916
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Thomas McKinnon Wood
Succeeded by Robert Munro
Personal details
Born 18 November 1865 (1865-11-18)
The Glen, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, Scotland
Died 9 December 1935(1935-12-09) (aged 69)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Harold John "Jack" Tennant PC (18 November 1865 – 9 November 1935) was a Scottish Liberal politician. He served as Secretary for Scotland under his brother-in-law H. H. Asquith between July and December 1916.

Background and education[edit]

Born at The Glen, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire,[citation needed] Tennant was a younger son of Sir Charles Tennant, 1st Baronet, by his first wife Emma, daughter of Richard Winsloe. He was the brother of Edward Tennant, 1st Baron Glenconner and Margot Asquith (and hence the brother-in-law of H. H. Asquith) and the half-brother of Baroness Elliot of Harwood.[1] He was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge.[2]

Political career[edit]

Tennant was Assistant Private Secretary to his brother-in-law H. H. Asquith while the latter was Home Secretary between 1892 and 1895.[citation needed] In 1894 he was elected Member of Parliament for Berwickshire.[3] Asquith became Prime Minister in 1908 and in January 1909 he appointed Tennant Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. Tennant remained in this office until 1911, and then served under Asquith as Financial Secretary to the War Office from 1911 to 1912 and as Under-Secretary of State for War from 1912 to 1916. In 1914 he was sworn of the Privy Council.[4] He entered the cabinet as Secretary for Scotland under Asquith in July 1916,[5] a post he held until Asquith was ousted as Prime Minister in December 1916. Tennant did not serve under David Lloyd George.

At the 1918 general election, the Berwickshire constituency was abolished, and Tennant contested the new Berwickshire and Haddingtonshire constituency. He faced two opponents: R. W. Foulis of the Labour Party, and the 1911–1918 Haddingtonshire MP John Deans Hope. With two incumbent Liberal MPs contesting one seat, Hope's receipt of the coalition coupon secured his victory, with 3.0% of the votes. Tennant came a poor third, with only 16% of the votes.[6]

He also unsuccessfully contested Glasgow Central in 1923[7] but never returned to the House of Commons.

Personal life[edit]

Tennant caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1909

He married factory inspector May Abraham in 1896. Tennant bought Great Maytham Hall, Rolvenden, Kent in 1910. He commissioned Edward Lutyens to rebuild the hall at a cost of £24,000.[8] Tennant died in November 1935, aged 70.

References[edit]

  1. ^ thepeerage.com Rt. Hon. Harold John Tennant
  2. ^ "Tennant, Harold John (TNNT885HJ)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ leighrayment.com Bedford to Berwick upon Tweed
  4. ^ leighrayment.com Privy Counsellors 1836-1914
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 29667. p. 6975. 14 July 1916.
  6. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 629. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 
  7. ^ The Times, 8 December 1923
  8. ^ Tyzack, Anna (1 July 2009). "The Secret Garden for sale". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  • Torrance, David, The Scottish Secretaries (Birlinn 2006)
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hon. Edward Marjoribanks
Member of Parliament for Berwickshire
1894–1918
Constituency renamed
Berwick and Haddington
Political offices
Preceded by
Hudson Kearley
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade
1909–1911
Succeeded by
J. M. Robertson
Preceded by
Francis Dyke Acland
Financial Secretary to the War Office
1911–1912
Succeeded by
Harold Baker
Preceded by
J. E. B. Seely
Under-Secretary of State for War
1912–1916
Succeeded by
The Earl of Derby
Preceded by
Thomas McKinnon Wood
Secretary for Scotland
July - December 1916
Succeeded by
Robert Munro