Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, 1st Baronet

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The Right Honourable
Sir Laming Worthington-Evans
GBE Bt
Laming Worthington Evans.jpg
Worthington-Evans in 1921
Secretary of State for War
In office
13 February 1921 – 19 October 1922
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Winston Churchill
Succeeded by The Earl of Derby
In office
6 November 1924 – 4 June 1929
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by Stephen Walsh
Succeeded by Tom Shaw
Personal details
Born 23 August 1868 (1868-08-23)
Died 14 February 1931 (1931-02-15)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Gertrude Hale
Alma mater None

Sir Worthington Laming Worthington-Evans, 1st Baronet GBE, PC (23 August 1868 – 14 February 1931) was a British Conservative politician.

Background and education[edit]

Born Laming Evans, he was the son of Worthington Evans and Susanah Laming. He assumed the prefix surname of Worthington by Royal Licence in 1916, although he had been calling himself Worthington Evans (without a hyphen) for many years. He trained as a solicitor.

Military career[edit]

Worthington-Evans was commissioned into the 2nd Middlesex Artillery Volunteers in 1891 and was promoted Lieutenant in 1893 and Captain in 1897. He served as temporary Major in the First World War.

Political career[edit]

Worthington-Evans unsuccessfully contested the Colchester constituency in 1906. He won the seat in January 1910, holding it until 1929, when he transferred to the London seat of Westminster St George's. He served in David Lloyd George's coalition government as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions from 1916 to 1918, as Minister of Blockade in 1918, as Minister of Pensions from 1919 to 1920, as Minister without Portfolio from 1920 to 1921 and as Secretary of State for War from 1921 to 1922. In 1919 he was sworn of the Privy Council.

As with many Cabinet Ministers in the Lloyd George Coalition, Worthington-Evans declined office in Andrew Bonar Law's new government when Lloyd George fell in October 1922. However alone amongst the "Coalition Conservatives" he accepted an invitation the following May when Law retired and was succeeded by Stanley Baldwin. He served under Baldwin as Postmaster General between 1923 and 1924 and as Secretary of State for War between 1924 and 1929.

Whilst Worthington-Evans was Secretary of State for War he famously said "If the Arab population realised that the peaceful control of Mesopotamia (Iraq) ultimately depends on our intention of bombing women and children, I’m very doubtful if we shall gain that acquiescence of the fathers and husbands of Mesopotamia to which the Secretary of State for the Colonies (Winston Churchill) looks forward." He was one of the British delegates to the International Economic Conference at Genoa in 1922. He was a member of several Conservative and Unionist Party committees including the Policy committee which he chaired in 1927. He also served on various Cabinet Committees, including those relating to Northern Ireland, and Unemployment. He became chairman of the latter in August 1923. He was a member of the British delegation that negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

Worthington-Evans was made a Baronet, of Colchester in the County of Essex, in 1916 and appointed a GBE in 1922.

Family[edit]

He married Gertrude Hale in 1898 and had one son and one daughter. He died in February 1931, aged 62, and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son, William. The papers of Worthington-Evans (from 1895-1931) are held at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Sources[edit]

  • Who Was Who
  • Dictionary of National Biography

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Weetman Pearson
Member of Parliament for Colchester
January 1910–1929
Succeeded by
Oswald Lewis
Preceded by
James Malcolm Monteith Erskine
Member of Parliament for
Westminster St George's

1929–1931
Succeeded by
Duff Cooper
Political offices
Preceded by
New office
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions
1916–1918
Succeeded by
F. G. Kellaway
Preceded by
Lord Robert Cecil
Minister of Blockade
1918
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
John Hodge
Minister of Pensions
1919–1920
Succeeded by
Ian Macpherson
Preceded by
Winston Churchill
Secretary of State for War
1921–1922
Succeeded by
The Earl of Derby
Preceded by
Sir William Joynson-Hicks, Bt
Postmaster-General
1923–1924
Succeeded by
Vernon Hartshorn
Preceded by
Stephen Walsh
Secretary of State for War
1924–1929
Succeeded by
Tom Shaw
Media offices
Preceded by
W. A. Doman and William Lang
Editor of the Financial News
1924–1925
Succeeded by
Hilton Young
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Colchester)
1916–1931
Succeeded by
William Worthington-Evans