Peter Carington, 6th Baron Carrington

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Carrington
KG GCMG CH MC PC DL
Peter, 6th Baron Carrington cropped.JPG
6th Secretary General of NATO
In office
25 June 1984 – 1 July 1988
Preceded by Joseph Luns
Succeeded by Manfred Wörner
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
4 May 1979 – 5 April 1982
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by David Owen
Succeeded by Francis Pym
Secretary of State for Energy
In office
8 January 1974 – 4 March 1974
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Eric Varley
Secretary of State for Defence
In office
20 June 1970 – 8 January 1974
Prime Minister Edward Heath
Preceded by Denis Healey
Succeeded by Ian Gilmour
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
20 October 1963 – 16 October 1964
Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Preceded by The Viscount Hailsham
Succeeded by The Earl of Longford
Minister without Portfolio
In office
20 October 1963 – 16 October 1964
Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Preceded by Bill Deedes
Succeeded by George Thomson
First Lord of the Admiralty
In office
14 October 1959 – 20 October 1963
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Preceded by The Earl of Selkirk
Succeeded by The Earl Jellicoe
High Commissioner to Australia
In office
1956–1959
Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden
Harold Macmillan
Preceded by Sir Stephen Holmes
Succeeded by Sir William Oliver
Personal details
Born (1919-06-06) 6 June 1919 (age 95)
Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Iona Maclean
Children Alexandra
Virginia
Rupert
Alma mater Sandhurst
Military service
Allegiance British Empire
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1939–1949
(inactive from 1945)
Rank Major (Hon.)
Captain
Unit Grenadier Guards
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Military Cross ribbon.png Military Cross

Peter Alexander Rupert Carington, 6th Baron Carrington, KGGCMGCHMCPCDL (born 6 June 1919) is a British Conservative politician. He served as British Defence Secretary between 1970 and 1974, Foreign Secretary between 1979 and 1982 and as the sixth Secretary General of NATO from 1984 to 1988. He is the last surviving member of the government of Winston Churchill, and of the Cabinets of both Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home. Following the House of Lords Act 1999, which removed the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, Carington was created a life peer as Baron Carington of Upton, of Upton in the County of Nottinghamshire, to enable him to continue to sit there.


Background, education and military career[edit]

Chapel of Eton College

Carrington is the only son of Rupert Carington, 5th Baron Carrington, by his wife the Honourable Sybil Marion Colville, daughter of Charles Colville, 2nd Viscount Colville of Culross. He is a great-nephew of the Liberal statesman Robert Wynn-Carington, 1st Marquess of Lincolnshire and the politician and courtier Sir William Carington.[1] He was educated at two independent schools: at Sandroyd School[2] from 1928–1932, at the time based in the town of Cobham in Surrey (and now the home of Reed's School), and Eton College, followed by RMC Sandhurst (since renamed RMA Sandhurst).

Following Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards as a second lieutenant on 26 January 1939.[3] He served with the regiment during the Second World War, he was promoted lieutenant on 1 January 1941,[4] and later rose to the rank of temporary captain and acting major, and was awarded the Military Cross (MC) on 1 March 1945.[5] The MC was awarded for his part in the capture and holding of a vital bridge in Nijmegen. Although he had a chance to take tanks to Arnhem where they were badly needed by 1st Airborne, he failed to do so.[6] After the war Lord Carrington remained in the army until 1949.[7]

Political career 1946–1982[edit]

In 1938, Carrington succeeded his father as 6th Baron Carrington and took his seat in the House of Lords on his 21st birthday in 1940. He became involved in politics and served in the Conservative governments of Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food from November 1951 to October 1954 and to the Ministry of Defence from October 1954 to October 1956. The latter year Carrington was appointed High Commissioner to Australia, a post he held until October 1959. He was also appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire on 2 July 1951.[8]

A stone set by Lord Carrington while High Commissioner to Australia, at the All Saints Church, Canberra

After his return to Britain he served under Harold Macmillan as First Lord of the Admiralty until October 1963,[9] and was then Minister without Portfolio and Leader of the House of Lords under Sir Alec Douglas-Home until October 1964, when the Conservatives fell from power. From 1964 to 1970 he was Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. When the Conservatives returned to power in 1970 under Edward Heath, Carrington became Defence Secretary, where he remained until 1974 when the Conservatives were voted out in favour of Harold Wilson's Labour. In a 1977 letter discussing the policy of torture of Irish republican internees during Operation Demetrius in August 1971, the then Home Secretary Merlyn Rees attributed the origins of the policy in particular to Carrington: '"It is my view (confirmed by Brian Faulkner before his death [NI's prime minister at the time]) that the decision to use methods of torture in Northern Ireland in 1971/72 was taken by ministers - in particular Lord Carrington, then secretary of state for defence."[10][11]

Carrington had become Shadow Defence Secretary in 1968 following the dismissal of Enoch Powell from the position following his controversial Rivers of Blood speech on immigration.[12] He also served as Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1972 to 1974, and was briefly Secretary of State for Energy from January to March 1974.

Carrington was again Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords from 1974 to 1979. In 1979 he was made Foreign Secretary and Minister for Overseas Development as part of the first Cabinet of Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher spoke very highly of Carrington, stating "Peter had great panache and the ability to identify immediately the main points in any argument; and he could express himself in pungent terms. We had disagreements, but there were never any hard feelings."[13] He chaired the Lancaster House conference in 1979, attended by Ian Smith, Abel Muzorewa, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, and Josiah Tongogara, which brought to an end Southern Rhodesia's civil war, the Rhodesian Bush War. He would later express his support for Mugabe over Smith.[14] He was Foreign Secretary in 1982 when the Falkland Islands were invaded by Argentina. He took full responsibility for the complacency and failures in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to foresee this development and resigned. Ministerial resignations in such circumstances are rare, and Carrington's attracted animated press discussion of the principles involved; it may be no coincidence that he had in 1954 been junior minister to Sir Thomas Dugdale at the time of the latter's landmark resignation as Minister of Agriculture over the Crichel Down affair, and had then himself offered his resignation but been persuaded to withdraw it.

Later career[edit]

Lord Carrington then served as Secretary General of NATO from 1984 to 1988. He was also appointed Chancellor of the Order of St Michael and St George on 1 August 1984,[15] serving until June 1994.[16]

In 1991, he presided over diplomatic talks about the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and attempted to pass a plan that would end the wars and result in each republic becoming an independent nation.

Apart from his political posts, he was the Chancellor of the University of Reading and has served as chairman of several companies, including Christie's, and as a director of many others, including Barclays Bank, Schweppes and the Daily Telegraph. He also chaired the Bilderberg conferences for several years in the late 1990s, being succeeded in 1999 by Étienne Davignon.[17] In 1983 he became president of the Pilgrims Society.[18] He relinquished the Chancellorship of the Order of St Michael and St George on 7 June 1994,[19] and was appointed Chancellor of the Order of the Garter on 8 November 1994,[20] a role from which he retired in October 2012.[21]

After the House of Lords Act 1999 removed the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, Carrington (along with all former Leaders of the House of Lords) was given a life peerage on 17 November 1999 as Baron Carington of Upton, of Upton in the County of Nottinghamshire,[22] and therefore still sits in the House of Lords. He is currently the longest-serving member of the House of Lords and is the second longest-serving member of the Privy Council after HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

His surname (which the family assumed in 1839 in lieu of Smith) and life peerage are both spelt Carington (single "r"), and the hereditary peerage is spelt Baron Carrington (double "r").[22]

Honours[edit]

Honorary degrees[edit]


Styles[edit]

Lord Carrington, as Chancellor of the Order of the Garter, in procession to St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in 2006
  • Peter Carington (1919–1929)
  • The Hon. Peter Carington (1929–1938)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington (1938–1945)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington MC (1945–1951)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington MC DL (1951–1958)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington KCMG MC DL (1958–1959)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington KCMG MC PC DL (1959–1983)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington KCMG CH MC PC DL (1983–1985)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington KG KCMG CH MC PC DL (1985–1988)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Carrington KG GCMG CH MC PC DL (1988–)

Family[edit]

Lord Carrington married Iona McClean, daughter of Lt.-Colonel Sir Francis Kennedy McClean, on 25 April 1942. They have three children:

  • Alexandra Carington DL (Norfolk) (1943–); married Major Peter de Bunsen in 1965, becoming The Hon. Mrs de Bunsen. They have three children:
  • Victoria de Bunsen (1968–)
  • Charles Rupert de Bunsen (1970–)
  • James Peter de Bunsen (1973–)
  • Virginia Carington (born 1946); married Henry Cubitt, 4th Baron Ashcombe, in 1973, becoming Lady Ashcombe. The couple divorced in 1979
  • Rupert Francis John Carington DL (Buckinghamshire) (1948–) – heir apparent; married Daniela Diotallevi in 1989. They have three children:
  • Robert Carington (1990–)
  • Francesca Carington (1993–)
  • Isabella Iona Carington (1995–)
NATO Secretary General Lord Carrington with West German Foreign Minister Genscher in Bonn, 1984

Lord Carrington's wife, Lady Carrington, died on 7 June 2009.[34]

In popular culture[edit]

Carrington was portrayed by Rowan Atkinson on Not the Nine O'Clock News in a parody of Question Time, in which Lord Carrington was portrayed as pedantically discussing an imminent nuclear holocaust.

Carrington was portrayed by James Fox in the 2002 BBC production of Ian Curteis's The Falklands Play.

Carrington was referenced on the 6th series of Peep Show (2009) in a list of imagined dog names by Mark.

Carrington was briefly portrayed by James Smith in the 2011 film The Iron Lady.

Carrington was briefly portrayed by Jeff Rawle in the 2014 play Handbagged.

Arms[edit]

Arms of Peter Carington, 6th Baron Carrington
Coat of Arms of Peter, 6th Baron Carrington.svg
Notes
6th Baron Carrington since 1938
Coronet
A coronet of a Baron
Crest
An elephant's head, crased, Or, eared Gules, charged on the neck with three fleurs-de-lis, two and one, Azure.
Torse
Mantling Or and Sable.
Escutcheon
Or a chevron cotised, between three demi-griffins couped those in chief respectant Sable.[35]
Supporters
On either side a griffin Sable, winged, beaked, and membered Or, the dexter charged on the body with three Fleur-de-lis and the sinister with three trefoils Or.
Motto
TENAX ET FIDELIS
Latin: Tenacious and faithful
Orders
The Order of the Garter circlet.[36]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Peter Alexander Rupert Carington, 6th Baron Carrington of Upton". Thepeerage.com. Retrieved 4 November 2010. [unreliable source]
  2. ^ "Sandroyd School's list of Distinguished Alumni". Sandroyd.org. 27 February 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34593. p. 608. 27 January 1939. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35077. p. 954. 14 February 1941. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36961. pp. 1173–1175. 14 February 1941. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  6. ^ "Recommendations for Honours and Awards (Army)—Image details—Carrington, Lord, Peter Alexander Rupert" (fee may be required to view full pdf of original recommendation). DocumentsOnline. The National Archives. Retrieved 3 December 2008. 
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37815. p. 2877. 10 December 1946. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38636. p. 2877. 10 June 1949. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38654. p. 3231. 1 July 1949. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 39278. p. 3687. 6 July 1951. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 41860. p. 6942. 3 November 1959. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 41891. p. 7851. 11 December 1959. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 41966. p. 1451. 26 February 1960. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 42044. p. 3736. 27 May 1960. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 42249. p. 263. 13 January 1961. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 42321. p. 2546. 7 April 1961. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 42476. p. 7055. 29 September 1961. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 42504. p. 7931. 3 November 1961. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 42564. p. 145. 5 January 1962. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 42909. p. 980. 1 February 1963. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 42925. p. 1619. 19 February 1963. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 42995. p. 4217. 17 May 1963. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
    The London Gazette: no. 43077. p. 6683. 9 August 1963. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  10. ^ 'British ministers sanctioned torture of NI internees' (5 June 2014)
  11. ^ 'British government authorised use of torture methods in NI in early 1970s' (5 June 2014)
  12. ^ "Powell's 'rivers of blood' legacy". BBC News. 18 April 2008. 
  13. ^ Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (HarperCollins, 1993), p. 27.
  14. ^ Holland, Heidi (February 2009). Dinner with Mugabe: The Untold Story of a Freedom Fighter Who Became a Tyrant. London: Penguin Books. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-14-104079-0. 
  15. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 49826. p. 10601. 3 August 1984. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  16. ^ "Court Circular". Independent. 10 June 1994. 
  17. ^ Rockefeller, David (2002). Memoirs. Random House. p. 412. ISBN 0-679-40588-7. 
  18. ^ Who's Who. 1999. 
  19. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 53691. p. 8301. 7 June 1994. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  20. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 53843. p. 15625. 8 November 1994. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: no. 60301. p. 19937. 17 October 2012.
  22. ^ a b c The London Gazette: no. 55676. p. 12466. 23 November 1999. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41404. p. 3514. 3 June 1958. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  24. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49375. p. 19. 10 June 1983. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: no. 50104. p. 5844. 26 April 1985. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51365. p. 3. 10 June 1988. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  27. ^ "Calendar of the University of Essex – Former Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, Emeritus Professors, Emeritus Librarians, Honorary Fellows and Honorary Graduates of the University". Essex.ac.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  28. ^ "Lord Carrington – Chancellor of the University of Reading – University of Reading". Rdg.ac.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  29. ^ "honorary graduates of the university of reading – University of Reading". Rdg.ac.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  30. ^ "Harvard University Commencement | Some honorary degree recipients". Commencement.harvard.edu. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  31. ^ [1][dead link]
  32. ^ "Home Page – Alumni Association – Newcastle University". Ncl.ac.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  33. ^ [2][dead link]
  34. ^ "Lady Carrington". The Daily Telegraph (London). 24 June 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  35. ^ Chesshyre, Hubert (1996), The Friends of St. George's & Descendants of the Knights of the Garter Annual Review 1995/96 VII, p. 287 
  36. ^ Burke, John. A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage... London: H. Colburn and R. Bentley, 1832. Volumen 1, p.217. Retrieved 19 December 2013.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Reflect on Things Past – The Memoirs of Lord Carrington. Published by William Collins, 1988.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Listowel
Arthur Champion
Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
with George Nugent

1951–1954
Succeeded by
George Nugent
The Earl St Aldwyn
Preceded by
Nigel Birch
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence
1954–1956
Succeeded by
The Earl of Gosford
Preceded by
The Earl of Selkirk
First Lord of the Admiralty
1959–1963
Succeeded by
The Earl Jellicoe
Preceded by
Bill Deedes
Minister without Portfolio
1963–1964
Succeeded by
George Thomson
Preceded by
The Viscount Hailsham
Leader of the House of Lords
1963–1964
Succeeded by
The Earl of Longford
Preceded by
Denis Healey
Secretary of State for Defence
1970–1974
Succeeded by
Ian Gilmour
New office Secretary of State for Energy
1974
Succeeded by
Eric Varley
Preceded by
David Owen
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
1979–1982
Succeeded by
Francis Pym
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Stephen Holmes
UK High Commissioner to Australia
1956–1959
Succeeded by
Sir William Oliver
Party political offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Hailsham
Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords
1963–1970
Succeeded by
The Earl Jellicoe
Preceded by
Peter Thomas
Chairman of the Conservative Party
1972–1974
Succeeded by
William Whitelaw
Preceded by
The Lord Windlesham
Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords
1974–1979
Succeeded by
The Lord Soames
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Lord Sherfield
Chancellor of the University of Reading
1992–2007
Succeeded by
John Madejski
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Abergavenny
Chancellor of the Order of the Garter
1994–2012
Succeeded by
The Duke of Abercorn
Preceded by
The Earl Jellicoe
Father of the House of Lords
2007–present
Incumbent
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Rupert Carington
Baron Carrington
2nd creation
1938–present
Incumbent
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Rupert Carington
Baron Carrington
3rd creation
1938–present
Member of the House of Lords
(1940–present)
Incumbent