Stanley Buckmaster, 1st Viscount Buckmaster

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The Right Honourable
The Viscount Buckmaster
Lord Chancellor
In office
25 May 1915 – 5 December 1916
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by The Viscount Haldane
Succeeded by The Viscount Finlay
Personal details
Born 9 January 1861 (1861-01-09)
Died 5 December 1934 (1934-12-06)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Edith Lewin (d. 1935)
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

Stanley Owen Buckmaster, 1st Viscount Buckmaster, GCVO, PC, KC (9 January 1861 – 5 December 1934) was a British lawyer and Liberal politician. He was Lord Chancellor under H. H. Asquith between 1915 and 1916.

Background and education[edit]

Buckmaster was the third son of John Charles Buckmaster, of Ashleigh, Hampton Wick, by his wife Emily Anne (née Goodliffe), and was educated at Aldenham and Christ Church, Oxford. He was called to Bar, Inner Temple in 1884 and appointed King's Counsel in April 1902.[1]

Political career[edit]

Stanley Buckmaster in 1910

At the 1906 general election, Buckmaster was elected as Liberal Member of Parliament for Cambridge,

General Election 1906: Cambridge
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Stanley Owen Buckmaster 4,232 51.89
Conservative Almeric Paget 3,924 48.11
Majority 308 3.78
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing

losing the seat in at the January 1910 general election.

General Election, January 1910: Cambridge
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Almeric Paget 4,667 53.35
Liberal Stanley Owen Buckmaster 4,081 46.65
Majority 586 6.70
Turnout 8,748 93.14
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
General Election, December 1910: Cambridge
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Almeric Paget 4,427 52.02
Liberal Stanley Owen Buckmaster 4,084 47.98
Majority 343 4.03
Turnout 8,511 90.62
Conservative hold Swing

He then sat for Keighley, Yorkshire, from 1911 to 1915.

Keighley by-election, 1911


Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Stanley Owen Buckmaster 4,667 39.0
Conservative William Mitchell Acworth 3,842 32.1
Labour William Crawford Anderson 3,452 28.9
Liberal hold Swing

He was knighted in 1913.

Keighley by-election, 1913

Electorate 14,142

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir Stanley Owen Buckmaster 4,730 38.7
Unionist Viscount Lascelles 3,852 31.5
Labour William Bland 3,646 29.8
Majority 878 7.2
Turnout 86.5
Liberal hold Swing

He was a Member of the Council of the Duchy of Lancaster and served under H. H. Asquith as Solicitor-General from 1913 to 1915. In 1915 he was sworn of the Privy Council, raised to the peerage as Baron Buckmaster, of Cheddington in the County of Buckingham, and appointed Lord Chancellor, a post he held until December 1916, when Asquith was ousted as Prime Minister. During his time as Lord Chancellor, he gave the decision in Cook v. Deeks, a notable company law case.

Buckmaster was also Counsel to the University of Oxford from 1911 to 1913, Director of The Press Bureau, 1914 to 1915, and a member of The Interallied Conference on Finance and Supplies. He later served as Chairman of the Governing Body of Imperial College of Science and Technology and as Chairman of the Political Honours Review Committee between 1924 and 1929. He was appointed GCVO in 1930 and was made Viscount Buckmaster, of Cheddington in the County of Buckingham, in 1933.


Buckmaster married Edith Augusta, daughter of Spencer Robert Lewin, in 1889. Their eldest daughter the Hon. Barbara was the mother of the Conservative politician Hal Miller. Buckmaster died in London in December 1934, aged 73, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium.[2] He was succeeded in his titles by his only son, Owen. Lady Buckmaster died in October 1935. His niece, Hilda Buckmaster was also active in politics, twice standing as a parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Party.


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27424. p. 2416. 11 April 1902.
  2. ^ The Complete Peerage, Volume XIII - Peerage Creations 1901-1938. St Catherine's Press, London. 1949. p. 201. 

Further reading[edit]

For a fuller biography see William Goodhart, ‘Buckmaster, Stanley Owen, first Viscount Buckmaster (1861–1934)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Robert Uniacke-Penrose-Fitzgerald, Bt
Member of Parliament for Cambridge
1906January 1910
Succeeded by
Almeric Paget
Preceded by
Sir John Brigg
Member of Parliament for Keighley
Succeeded by
Sir Swire Smith
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir John Simon
Solicitor General
1913 – 1915
Succeeded by
Sir F. E. Smith
Political offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Haldane
Lord Chancellor
1915 – 1916
Succeeded by
The Viscount Finlay
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Buckmaster
1933 – 1934
Succeeded by
Owen Buckmaster
Baron Buckmaster
1915 – 1934