Arthur Baldwin, 3rd Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Arthur Windham Baldwin, 3rd Earl Baldwin of Bewdley (22 March 1904 – 5 July 1976) was a British businessman, RAF officer, and author. His books included a combative defence of the posthumous reputation of his father, Stanley Baldwin, the former prime minister of the UK, in which he severely criticised several leading historians of the time.

Life and career[edit]

Baldwin was the son of Stanley Baldwin, later 1st Earl of Baldwin of Bewdley, and his wife Lucy, née Ridsdale. He was known to his family and friends by the nickname "Bloggs".[1] He was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2]

In 1936 Baldwin married Joan Elspeth Tomes (d. 1980), the daughter of Charles Alexander Tomes of New York. They had one child, Edward Alfred Alexander, later the fourth earl.[2] In the inter-war years Baldwin was a director of several companies, including the Round Oak Steel Works, Redpath, Brown, and the Great Western Railway,[3] and between 1938 and 1974 he was a director of the Equitable Life Assurance Society. He served in the RAF during the Second World War.[4] Despising patronage, he successfully set out to gain a commission through the ranks.[5]

Baldwin published three books in the 1950s and 60s. The first was a biography of his father, written as a result of his strong feeling that the official biography by G. M. Young did not do Stanley Baldwin justice.[n 1] Baldwin strongly criticised not only Young, but other historians, including John Wheeler-Bennett, D. C. Somervell and Sir Lewis Namier for, in his view, misjudging the former prime minister.[7] His second book, The Macdonald Sisters was a study of the four daughters of the Rev G. B. Macdonald: Alice married Rudyard Kipling's father; Georgiana married Edward Burne-Jones; Agnes married Edward Poynter; and Louisa married Alfred Baldwin, Windham's paternal grandfather.[4] In 1967 he published a memoir of his wartime experiences. The reviewer in The Times, commented, "He tells it all with amusement and skill … the atmosphere of the RAF seeps unmistakably through."[5]

On 10 August 1958, on the death of the second earl, his elder brother, Oliver, Baldwin succeeded to the United Kingdom titles of Earl Baldwin of Bewdley and Viscount Corvedale.[4] He spoke in the House of Lords from time to time, mostly on the subjects of transport and industry.[8]

Baldwin died on 5 July 1976 aged 72.[2]

Books by Baldwin[edit]

  • My Father: The True Story. London: G Allen and Unwin. 1955. OCLC 458593350. 
  • The Macdonald Sisters. London: P Davies. 1960. OCLC 1667706. 
  • A Flying Start. London: P Davies. 1967. OCLC 5058823. 

Notes, references and sources[edit]


  1. ^ Young's publisher, Rupert Hart-Davis, admitted privately that Young had not been diligent in his research and had to be bullied into completing the manuscript.[6]


  1. ^ Neville, p. 33
  2. ^ a b c "Baldwin of Bewdley", Who Was Who, Oxford University Press, April 2014, retrieved 5 August 2015 (subscription required)
  3. ^ "New G.W.R. Director", The Times, 13 February 1937, p. 19,
  4. ^ a b c Obituary, Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, The Times, 8 July 1976, p. 18
  5. ^ a b Buckley, L. R. "Reaching for the skies", The Times, 7 September 1967, p. 7
  6. ^ Lyttelton and Hart-Davis, letter of 15 May 1956
  7. ^ "Mr. Baldwin Cross-Examines His Guilty Men", The Times, 19 January 1956, p. 11
  8. ^ Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl Baldwin of Bewdley


Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Oliver Baldwin
Earl Baldwin of Bewdley
1958 – 1976
Succeeded by
Edward Baldwin