David Cunliffe-Lister, 2nd Earl of Swinton

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David Yarburgh Cunliffe-Lister, 2nd Earl of Swinton, JP, DL (21 March 1937 – 26 March 2006) was a British peer and politician.

David Cunliffe-Lister was born to the Hon. John Yarburgh Cunliffe-Lister and his wife Anne Irvine Medlicott. His father died in 1943 of wounds received in action in during the Second World War. David was educated at Winchester College and the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester.

In 1959, he married Susan Lilian Primrose Sinclair. He and his wife were one of the few couples who both hold noble titles in their own right. They have two adopted children, Claire and John.

His grandfather, Philip Cunliffe-Lister, the first Earl of Swinton, had been an MP and a veteran of 11 Conservative cabinets. His great-grandfather was Samuel Lister, the founder of Lister's Mill in Bradford. Before the nationalisation of the coal industry, the family had owned the colliery in Featherstone and David never forgot his links with the area, being a fervent supporter, as well as president of, Featherstone Rovers rugby league club.

Cunliffe-Lister was a member of the North Riding of Yorkshire County Council 1961–1974, and of its successor, North Yorkshire County Council, 1973–1977.

He inherited the title Earl of Swinton on the death of his grandfather in 1972 and served as Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Lords under Margaret Thatcher from 1982 to 1986. He was also government spokesman on agriculture and education from 1983 to 1986. He left the House of Lords following the House of Lords Act in 1999.

Lord Swinton was a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire. He was also formerly a member of the Countryside Commission and a director of the Leeds Permanent Building Society.

Dogged by illness for the latter 10 years of his life, he had suffered a stroke and was disabled by its effects and those of Parkinson's disease. He also suffered from diabetes and eventually cancer. He died 5 days after his 69th birthday.

His funeral took place at St Mary's Church, Masham on 6 April 2006.

Titles from birth to death[edit]

  • David Yarburgh Cunliffe-Lister, Esq (1937–1955)
  • Lord Masham (1955–1972)
  • The Right Honourable The Earl of Swinton (1972–2006)


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Sandys
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard
Succeeded by
The Viscount Davidson
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Philip Cunliffe-Lister
Earl of Swinton
Succeeded by
Nicholas Cunliffe-Lister