Cyril Black

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Sir Cyril Wilson Black (8 April 1902 – 29 October 1991) was a British Conservative politician. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Wimbledon from 1950 to his retirement at the 1970 general election.

Birth and education[edit]

He was born 8 April 1902, the son of Robert Wilson Black, JP, and Annie Louise Black (née North). He was educated at King's College School. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor.[1]

Religious activity[edit]

He was a prominent member of the Baptist denomination serving with distinction in the Baptist Churches of the South West London Group, London Baptist Association and Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland [as it then was]. He was one time President of the London Baptist Association; and an active participant and committee member in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's 1955 All-Scotland and London Crusades and the 1966 London Crusade. He was a member of the Free Church Federal Council and used his influence to try to counter the Macmillan government's attempts to liberalise Gambling Laws.

He was on the conservative evangelical wing of the denomination and used his influence to curb ecumenism. He spoke at many public meetings and was a prolific correspondent to the Baptist Times. He was involved in the New King James Version of the Bible and participated in the initial meeting in London in early 1976 and attended the final meetings at St. Andrews University in July 1981 and "contributed wisdom in written form at other times" [preface to the Bible]. In 1967, he privately prosecuted the novel Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby.[2]

Public service[edit]

Sir Cyril Black, served as a Justice of the Peace, Her Majesty's Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Greater London. He was Chairman of Surrey County Council from 1950 to 1964 and Mayor of Merton from 1966 to 1967. He was knighted in 1959. He was elected as a Conservative Party Member of the House of Commons at the 1950 General Election for the Wimbledon constituency. He held the seat until his retirement at the 1970 general election.

Business activities[edit]

He was Chairman of Beaumont Properties Ltd from 1933 to 1980; Chairman of the Temperance Permanent Building Society from 1939 to 1973; Chairman of M. F. North Ltd 1948 to 1981; Chairman of the London Shop Property Trust Ltd from 1951 to 1979; and the Director of a large number of other companies.

He was for a time President of Wimbledon F.C. which had been converted from a membership club into a limited company by Black's brother Sydney (its longtime chairman),but after his brother's death Sir Cyril agreed to sell the family holdings.

Marriage and family[edit]

In 1930, he and Dorothy Joyce, daughter of Thomas Birkett, Wigston Hall, Leicester were married. They had one son and two daughters.[1] Sir Cyril Black was also grandfather to Andrew Black.

Death and heritage[edit]

He died 29 October 1991. Sir Cyril Black Way in Wimbledon is named after him as a former Councillor, Alderman and Member of Parliament, as was a community centre in central Wimbledon until its closure in 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Obituary in The Guardian, 31 October 1991 p. 39 "No betting, no ginger beer" by Andrew Roth.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Who's who
  2. ^ "The last exit from humbug" by Nicholas de Jongh The Guardian; 4 January 1990; p.26
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Palmer
Member of Parliament for Wimbledon
Succeeded by
Michael Havers