Cecil Harmsworth, 1st Baron Harmsworth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Honourable
The Lord Harmsworth
Cecil Harmsworth, 1st Baron Harmsworth.jpg
Under-Secretary of State
for the Home Department
In office
4 February 1915 – 25 May 1915
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Ellis Ellis-Griffith
Succeeded by William Brace
Under-Secretary of State
for Foreign Affairs
In office
10 January 1919 – 19 October 1922
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Lord Robert Cecil
Succeeded by Ronald McNeill
Personal details
Born 23 September 1869 (1869-09-23)
St John's Wood, London
Died 13 August 1948 (1948-08-14) (aged 78)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Emilie Maffett
Parents Alfred Harmsworth & Geraldine Mary Maffett
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin

Cecil Bisshopp Harmsworth, 1st Baron Harmsworth (23 September 1869 – 13 August 1948), was a British businessman and Liberal politician. He served as Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department in 1915 and as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs between 1919 and 1922.


Harmsworth was born at Alexandra Terrace, St John's Wood, London, the third son of Alfred Harmsworth and Geraldine Mary, daughter of William Maffett. He was the younger brother of newspaper proprietors Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, and Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere, and the elder brother of Sir Leicester Harmsworth, 1st Baronet, and Sir Hildebrand Harmsworth, 1st Baronet. He also had four other younger brothers and four sisters. He was educated at St Marylebone Grammar School and Trinity College, Dublin.[1]

Political career[edit]

Harmsworth was the liberal candidate in the 1901 by-election for the North East Lanarkshire constituency, but lost to the liberal unionist candidate.[2] He was elected to the House of Commons for Droitwich in 1906, a seat he held until he was defeated at the January 1910 general election.[1][3] He re-entered the House of Commons as the representative for Luton in a 1911 by-election,[4] and continued to sit for the constituency until 1922.[1][5] He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Walter Runciman between 1911 and 1915 and then briefly held office under H. H. Asquith as Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department between February and May 1915.[1] However, he did not serve in the coalition government formed by Asquith in May 1916.

After David Lloyd George became Prime Minister in December 1916, Harmsworth was a member of the Prime Minister's Secretariat between 1917 and 1919 and Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs between 1919 and 1922 in Lloyd George's coalition government. He also served briefly as Acting Minister of Blockade in 1919.[1] In 1939 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Harmsworth, of Egham in the County of Surrey.[6] He became a regular contributor in the House of Lords, making his last speech in June 1945.[7]

Apart from his political career Harmsworth was a director of Amalgamated Press and chairman of Associated Newspapers, founded by his brother Lord Northcliffe. He published Pleasure and Problem in South Africa (1908), Immortals at First Hand (1933) and A Little Fishing Book (1942).[1]


Lord Harmsworth married his cousin Emilie Alberta, daughter of William Hamilton Maffett, in 1897. His wife was born in 1873 and died in 1942. Lord Harmsworth survived her by six years and died in August 1948, aged 78. He was succeeded in the barony by his second but eldest surviving son, Cecil.[1]


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Biddulph Martin
Member of Parliament for Droitwich
1906Jan. 1910
Succeeded by
John Lyttelton
Preceded by
Thomas Gair Ashton
Member of Parliament for Luton
Succeeded by
Sir John Prescott Hewett
Political offices
Preceded by
Ellis Ellis-Griffith
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
Succeeded by
William Brace
Preceded by
Lord Robert Cecil
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
1919 – 1922
Succeeded by
Ronald McNeill
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Harmsworth
1939 – 1948
Succeeded by
Cecil Desmond Bernard Harmsworth