William Ormsby-Gore, 4th Baron Harlech

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Harlech
KG GCMG PC
William Ormsby-Gore 1936.jpg
Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
28 May 1936 – 16 May 1938
Monarch Edward VIII
George VI
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by James Henry Thomas
Succeeded by Malcolm MacDonald
Personal details
Born 11 April 1885 (1885-04-11)
Died 14 February 1964 (1964-02-15)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lady Beatrice Gascoyne-Cecil (1891-1980)

William George Arthur Ormsby-Gore, 4th Baron Harlech KG, GCMG, PC (11 April 1885 – 14 February 1964), known as William Ormsby-Gore until 1938, was a British Conservative politician and banker.

Background[edit]

Harlech was the son of George Ormsby-Gore, 3rd Baron Harlech, and Lady Margaret, daughter of Charles Gordon, 10th Marquess of Huntly.

Political career[edit]

Harlech sat as Member of Parliament (MP) for Denbigh Boroughs from 1910 to 1918 and for Stafford from 1918 until 1938 and served as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1922 to 1929 (with a brief interruption during the short-lived Labour government of 1924). He was British representative to the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations from 1921 to 1922. In 1927 he was admitted to the Privy Council. Harlech also held office in the National Government as Postmaster-General in 1931, as First Commissioner of Works from 1931 to 1936 and as Colonial Secretary between 1936 and 1938.

In 1938 he succeeded his father as fourth Baron Harlech and entered the House of Lords. During the Second World War he was High Commissioner to South Africa from 1941 to 1944. After retiring from politics he served on the board of Midland Bank, owner of a banking house founded by his family. He also held the honorary post of Lord Lieutenant of Merionethshire between 1938 and 1957. In 1948 he was made a Knight of the Garter.

According to Scott Anderson in Lawrence in Arabia (Doubleday, 2013, at p. 254), Ormsby-Gore by 1916 had become a convert to Judaism and was one of the primary figures in the British government who favoured the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Family[edit]

Lord Harlech married Lady Beatrice Edith Mildred, daughter of James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury, in 1913. His eldest son Owen Gerard Cecil Ormsby-Gore predeceased him. Harlech died in February 1964, aged 78, and was succeeded in the barony by his second son David, who followed him into politics and served as British Ambassador to the United States in the 1960s. Lady Harlech died in 1980.

Notes[edit]

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External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Allen Clement Edwards
Member of Parliament for Denbigh Boroughs
Jan. 19101918
Succeeded by
Sir David Sanders Davies
Preceded by
Sir Walter Essex
Member of Parliament for Stafford
19181938
Succeeded by
Peter Thorneycroft
Political offices
Preceded by
Hon. E. F. L. Wood
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
1922–1924
Succeeded by
The Lord Arnold
Preceded by
The Lord Arnold
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
1924–1929
Succeeded by
William Lunn
Preceded by
Clement Attlee
Postmaster General
1931
Succeeded by
Sir Kingsley Wood
Preceded by
The Marquess of Londonderry
First Commissioner of Works
1931–1936
Succeeded by
The Earl Stanhope
Preceded by
James Henry Thomas
Secretary of State for the Colonies
1936–1938
Succeeded by
Malcolm MacDonald
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Edward Harding
High Commissioner to South Africa
1941–1944
Succeeded by
Evelyn Baring
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Harlech
Lord Lieutenant of Merionethshire
1938–1957
Succeeded by
John Francis Williams-Wynne
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Ormsby-Gore
Baron Harlech
1938–1964
Succeeded by
David Ormsby-Gore