Christopher Chancellor

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Sir Christopher (John Howard) Chancellor (29 March 1904 – 9 September 1989), a British journalist and administrator, was general manager of the news agency Reuters from 1944 to 1959. The Daily Telegraph credited him for keeping the company running under extremely difficult wartime circumstances, noting that "It was largely thanks to Chancellor that Reuters had survived the war intact, despite the loss for several years of the greatest part of its world market."[1] By 1951, at the firm's 100th anniversary, Chancellor was credited with tripling the agency's correspondents and revenues.[2]


Chancellor was son of Lt. Col. Sir John Robert Chancellor, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO (1870–1952), a colonial administrator. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. Chancellor joined Reuters in 1930 and remained with the agency for 29 years.

Based in Shanghai from 1931 to 1939 with his young family, he kept the agency's China service operating after the Japanese invasion in 1932.[1] He returned to London during World War II, and worked with William Moloney and William Haley in reorganising Reuters' news and business operations, succeeding Sir Roderic Jones as the general manager of Reuters in 1944.

Chancellor was knighted in 1951. He died at Wincanton in southwest England, aged 85 years old, and was survived by his widow, his two sons and two daughters (the eldest having died young).


He was married in 1926 to Sylvia Mary Paget (1 July 1901 London – 26 October 1996 Shellingford, Oxfordshire), eldest daughter of Sir Richard Arthur Surtees Paget, 2nd Bt by his wife Lady Muriel Finch-Hatton, only surviving child of granddaughter maternally of the 12th Earl of Nottingham & Winchilsea, who was himself descended from a sibling of Jane Austen. His wife Lady Chancellor was made OBE 1976 for her philanthropic activities.


  1. John Paget Chancellor (1 July 1927 – 31 December 2014), author, publisher and editor of Knowledge encyclopædia,[4] md 1959 (div 1968) Hon (Mary) Alice Jolliffe (d. 2009), only daughter of William Jolliffe, 4th Baron Hylton and his wife Lady Perdita Asquith, herself daughter of Raymond Asquith, eldest son of H.H. Asquith), British Prime Minister in the early 20th century. They had issue, one son and three daughters. (Mary Jolliffe remarried Hon. Richard Windsor-Clive, by whom she had a daughter, but they divorced after 25 years of marriage).[5]
    1. Isabel Rose Chancellor (b. 1959) married 1982 (John) Joseph Boothby (b. 1947),[6] eldest and elder surviving son of Basil Boothby CMG, sometime Ambassador to Iceland, of the Boothby baronets, by his wife Susan Penelope Asquith, third daughter of Brigadier Arthur Melland Asquith, third son of H.H. Asquith. They have issue, two sons and a daughter.[7] Isabel's sister-in-law Emily Boothby is wife of author Piers Paul Read.
    2. Katherine Sylvia Anthony Chancellor (b. 1961) married 1stly 1989 (div 1997) Will Self (William Woodard Self) (b. 1961) the novelist, by whom she has issue, one son and one daughter. She married 2ndly 1992 the chef Rowley Leigh.[7]
    3. (John) Edward Chancellor, "Eddy" (b. 1962),[7] formerly a banker with Lazard Brothers in London, now an investment manager. He is the author of Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation (1999).[8] In February 2009 he married Antonia Phillips, former wife of Martin Amis.[9]
    4. Anna Chancellor (born 27 April 1965), actress, best known as the Sloaney "Duckface" in Four Weddings and a Funeral. She md 1993 (div 1998).[10] Nigel Willoughby, by whom she had no issue. Anna also has a daughter Poppy (b. 1988) by a prior relationship.[5]
  2. a daughter, died young of spinal meningitis in China.
  3. Teresa Chancellor (b. 1933) md 1stly 1953 (div 1977) Edward Victor Gatacre; they had issue two sons and three daughters.[11] She married 2ndly 1982 John Campbell Wells, artist (d. 1998), and had further issue one daughter.[11]
  4. Susanna Maria Chancellor (b. 1935) md 1958 Nicholas Johnston; they had issue, one son and three daughters, of whom the eldest daughter married Percy Weatherall and the youngest daughter married his younger brother.[12]
  5. Alexander Surtees Chancellor (b. 4 January 1940) md 2 June1964 Susanna Elisabeth Debenham;,[13] only daughter of Martin Ridley Debenham (younger brother of Sir Piers Debenham, 2nd Bt. (d.1964), who married Lady Chancellor's younger sister, and of Sir Gilbert Debenham, 3rd Bt.). They had issue, including
    1. Elizabeth Beatrice (Eliza) Chancellor (b. 22 December 1964);[13] married 3 November 1990[14] Alexander Waugh, elder son of Auberon Waugh (himself eldest son of the novelist Evelyn Waugh and his wife Lady Teresa Onslow, eldest daughter of Earl Onslow. They have issue.
    2. Cecilia Mary Chancellor (b. 1 September 1966),[15] model;[16] she has issue.[17] In late 2005, she was reported to be engaged to John Powlett "Jo" Colman (b 1962),[18] publisher and CEO of Psychology Today and other formerly defunct magazines. Colman is the younger son of Sir Michael Colman, 3rd Bt.[19][20]

Chancellor's sister Rosemary married Air Chief Marshal Sir William Elliot, and was the mother of Simon John Elliot[21] who is married to (Sonia) Annabel Shand, sister of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.


  1. ^ a b via Associated Press. "Christopher Chancellor, Who Led Reuters for 15 Years, Dies at 85", The New York Times, 12 September 1989. Accessed 12 January 2008.
  2. ^ "100 for Reuters", Time, 23 July 1951. Accessed 12 January 2008.
  3. ^ Burke's Peerage entry for Paget Bt of Cranmore Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine. as listed on a website. Some details are given here, and others come from Wikipedia articles and their references
  4. ^ Obituary of John Chancellor, The Daily Telegraph 8 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b pandp2 AT 2007 cites Ostler 2001
  6. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "(John) Joseph Boothby". The Peerage. [unreliable source]
  7. ^ a b c Burke's Peerage entry for Paget Bt of Cranmore Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.op.cit.. Also see Lundy, Darryl. "John Joseph Boothby". The Peerage. [unreliable source] in The Peerage database.
  8. ^ Profile of Edward Chancellor, Harriman House Ltd, retrieved August 2012  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ nndb staff 2012; and pandp2 AT 2007 cites: Ostler 2001 for Eddie's relationship.
  10. ^ pandp2 AT 2007 cites: Ostler 2001[verification needed] Other sources give 1999 for the year of divorce.
  11. ^ a b Burke's Peerage entry for Paget Bt of Cranmore Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.op.cit.
  12. ^ Burke's Peerage entry for Paget Bt of Cranmore Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.op.cit.. Percy Weatherall's marriage is also listed in his Wikipedia entry.
  13. ^ a b Graeme Wall (2001). Descendants of Archibald Kenrick (November 1760 – 26 October 1835). Retrieved 8 January 2008. . The Imdb entry states mistakenly that they had one child. They have two daughters.
  14. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Chancellor family update". The Peerage. [unreliable source]
  15. ^ Graeme Wall (2001). Op.cit.
  16. ^ Degen Pener. " EGOS & IDS; Celebrity in Their Blood, Stardom in Their Eyes", New York Times, 30 May 1993. In that year, her father was Talk of the Town editor at the New Yorker, and she was with Women Models.
  17. ^ Vogue April 2004 cover story and photos
  18. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "John Powlett "Jo" Colman". The Peerage. [unreliable source]
  19. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Sir Michael Colman, 3rd Bt.". The Peerage. [unreliable source]
  20. ^ Richard Kay. "She's hot stuff!" in his column titled "Winner singing the blues", Daily Mail, 18 November 2005. One of Cecilia's second cousins is the model Olivia Inge, granddaughter of Sir John Starr Paget, 3rd Bt.. The Colman baronetcy was created 1907 for the mustard king Sir Jeremiah Colman, 1st Bt. (1859–1942). The present baronet is his grandson, per The Peerage database. For more on the present baronet, see this 2007 article in The Observer.
  21. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Simon John Elliot". The Peerage. [unreliable source] The Peerage database


  • pandp2 AT (24 October 2007), Chancellor interviews  News clippings of
    • "Lady Chancellor: A philanthropist of wit and charm who remained unbowed by war in Shanghai or the Blitz in London", The Daily Telegraph, 30 October 1996 
    • Johnson, Syrie (8 July 1999), "The traders who turn to novels", Evening Standard 
    • Ostler, Catherine (10 December 2001), "After surviving 'five weddings' and a divorce, Duckface finds life hard as a single mother; Four Weddings star Anna Chancellor on the legacy of that ill-fated screen liaison", Daily Mail 
  • nndb staff (8 August 2012), Martin Amis profile,  External link in |publisher= (help)

Further reading[edit]