Merlin Hanbury-Tracy, 7th Baron Sudeley
Merlin Charles Sainthill Hanbury-Tracy, 7th Baron Sudeley, FSA (born 17 June 1939) is a British peer, author and veteran right-wing activist. In 1941, at the age of three, he succeeded his first cousin once removed, Richard Hanbury-Tracy, 6th Barony Sudeley, to the Barony of Sudeley and until the House of Lords Act 1999 sat in that body as a hereditary peer.
A member of the Conservative Party all his adult life, he was sometime President and also Chairman of the Conservative Monday Club for seventeen years. He is Vice-Chancellor of the International Monarchist League, and President of the Traditional Britain Group.
Sudeley's father, Captain Michael Hanbury-Tracy, a Scots Guards officer, died from wounds received at Dunkirk. His paternal grandfather, Lieutenant Felix Hanbury-Tracy, also an officer in the Scots Guards, was killed attacking German positions near Fromelles on 19 December 1914. His maternal grandfather, Lieutenant-Colonel Collis George Herbert St. Hill, the Royal North Devon Hussars, then commanding the 2/5 Sherwood Foresters, was killed by a sniper at Villers-Plouich, France, on 8 July 1917.
Sudeley served as an active member of the House of Lords for 39 years (from the age of 21, the minimum age one can take one's seat), introducing several measures, most notably the debate to prevent the unlicensed export of historical manuscripts and, in 1981, a Bill to uphold the Book of Common Prayer, which was cleared on Second Reading. He was one of the hereditary peers expelled from the Upper House by the House of Lords Act 1999. He spoke out against the reform of the Lords, asking, "If it isn't broken why mend it?" He also said that since he believed inherited titles were "inextricably" tied to the monarchy that it was "odd that they just want to touch one institution and not the other". He also cited the wealth of experience that the Lords had built up. In 1985 he was elected a Vice-Chancellor of the International Monarchist League.
Since the early 1970s, Sudeley has been active in, and sometime President of, the Conservative Monday Club. He wrote for them a leading essay on "The Role of Heredity in Politics", produced a Club Policy Paper against Lords Reform in December 1979, and in 1991 they published his booklet entitled, and arguing for, The Preservation of the House of Lords, with a Foreword by parliamentarian John Stokes.
In 2001, the then Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith publicly distanced the party from the Monday Club until it ceased to "promulgate or discuss policies relating to race"; he also indicated that no Conservative MPs should contribute to Right Now!, a quarterly magazine of which Sudeley was a Patron, after an article in it described Nelson Mandela a "terrorist". On 2 June 2006 The Times quoted Sudeley as stating, in a report of the Monday Club's Annual General Meeting, that "Hitler did well to get everyone back to work". It also reported him saying that "True though the fact may be that some races are superior to others", going on to suggest that such rhetoric might interfere with the Monday Club's hopes of being accepted again in Conservative Party circles.
Sudeley was also a former Vice-president of the now-defunct Western Goals Institute, and on 25 September 1989, chaired a WGI dinner at Simpson's-in-the-Strand for El Salvador's President, Alfredo Cristiani, and his inner cabinet.
He is Patron of the Bankruptcy Association (Lloyds Bank foreclosed upon Charles Hanbury-Tracy, 4th Baron Sudeley in 1893, when his debt was covered twice over by large assets) and Convenor of the Forum for Stable Currencies. Lord Sudeley is also Lay Patron of the Prayer Book Society and a past President of the Montgomeryshire Society.
Sudeley once described in Who's Who one of his hobbies as "Ancestor Worship", with "Conversation" being listed in Debrett's. His enduring love throughout his life, and in which he continues to take an active interest, has been for the former family seat of Toddington Manor in Gloucestershire, personally designed by the 1st Lord Sudeley to replace the mediaeval moated manor house built on land which had been in the family for 1,000 years. In its successful blend of the Perpendicular Gothic and Picturesque styles, Toddington is the fore-runner of the Houses of Parliament.
At Easter 1985, in conjunction with the century-old Manorial Society of Great Britain (of which he sits on the Governing Council), Sudeley held a conference at his old home entitled "The Sudeleys - Lords of Toddington", taking the history of his family back to Charlemagne and Becket's murder. On 21 November 2006 he arranged a further conference at the Society of Antiquaries of London in Visual Aspects of Toddington in the 19th century.
Sudeley, as a historian, has written many published essays, including a history of the English gentleman for a German pharmaceutical magazine Die Waage, read by 30,000 German doctors; and is completing a history of the House of Lords to give ascendancy to its Tory as opposed to Whig history interpretation. He is also author of a satire on Greek mythology (published in John Pudney's Pick of Today's Short Stories) and a quantity of politically incorrect short stories mostly published in the London Miscellany magazine. In recent years Sudeley style-edited a definitive monograph on Azerbaijan's architecture, translated from the Russian.
|Chairman of the Monday Club
May 1993 - December 2007
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
1941 – present
- "The Guardian". The Guardian. 1999-10-27. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- "About | Traditional Britain Group". Traditionalbritain.org. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- Great War Forum post re Lieutenant-Colonel Collis George Herbert St. Hill
- "A lord and his new bride". Evening Standard. 30 September 2010. Archived from the original on 5 October 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- Debrett's entry]
- The Monarchist, no.66, p.5, 1985 Norwich, UK
- Monday World magazine, Winter, 1971/72.
- Morris, Nigel (2001-10-19). "Tories axe right-wing group over race issue". The Independent. ISSN 0951-9467. Retrieved 2013-12-07. "Just six weeks ago, before his election, Mr Duncan Smith described the Monday Club as a "viable organisation with the party and they are, in a sense what the party is about". However, in a swift about-turn, three Conservative MPs, Andrew Hunter, Andrew Rosindell and Angela Watkins, were earlier this month instructed by the new leadership to sever their links with the Monday Club. Mr Hunter had been its deputy chairman and associate editor of its Right Now! magazine, which described Nelson Mandela as a "terrorist"."
- Daily Telegraph
- The Times
- Court & Social Columns, 26 September 1989
- Copping, Robert, The Monday Club - Crisis and After May 1975, page 25, published by the Current Affairs Information Service, Ilford, Essex, (P/B).
- Sudeley, The Rt. Hon.The Lord, Lords Reform - Why Tamper with the House of Lords, Monday Club publication, December 1979, (P/B).
- Sudeley, The Rt. Hon.The Lord, A Guide to Hailes Church, nr. Winchcombe, Gloucester, 1980, (P/B), ISBN 0-7140-2058-3
- Sudeley, The Rt. Hon.The Lord, The Role of Hereditary in Politics, in The Monarchist, January 1982, no.60, Norwich, England.
- Sudeley, The Rt. Hon.The Lord, Becket's Murderer - William de Tracy, in Family History magazine, Canterbury, August 1983, vol.13, no.97, pps: 3 - 36.
- Sudeley, the Rt. Hon.The Lord, essays in The Sudeleys - Lords of Toddington, published by the Manorial Society of Great Britain, London, 1987,(P/B)
- Sudeley, The Rt. Hon.The Lord, The Preservation of The House of Lords Monday Club, London, 1991, (P/B).
- London Evening Standard newspaper, 27 March 1991 - article: An heir of neglect - A Life in the Home of Lord Sudeley (pps:32-33).
- Births, Deaths & Marriages, Family Record Centre, Islington, London.
- Mosley, Charles, (editor) Burke's Peerage, Baronetage, & Knightage 106th edition, Switzerland, (1999), ISBN 2-940085-02-1
- Sudeley, The Rt. Hon.The Lord, The Sudeley Bankruptcy in London Miscellany June 1999 edition.
- OK! magazine, London, issue 175, 20 August 1999, (7-page report on his wedding).
- Mitchell, Austin, M.P., Farewell My Lords, London, 1999, (P/B), ISBN 1-902301-43-9
- Gliddon, Gerald, The Aristocracy and The Great War, Norwich, 2002, ISBN 0-947893-35-0
- Sudeley, The Rt. Hon.The Lord, Usery or Taking Interest for Lending Money, published by the Forum for Stable Currencies, 2004, (P/B).
- Perry, Maria, The House in Berkeley Square, London,2003.