Derick Heathcoat-Amory, 1st Viscount Amory

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

The Viscount Amory
Derick Heathcoat-Amory cropped.png
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
6 January 1958 – 27 July 1960
Prime MinisterHarold Macmillan
Preceded byPeter Thorneycroft
Succeeded bySelwyn Lloyd
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
In office
28 July 1954 – 6 January 1958
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Anthony Eden
Harold Macmillan
Preceded byThomas Dugdale
Succeeded byJohn Hare
Minister of State for Trade
In office
3 September 1953 – 28 July 1954
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byOffice Created
Succeeded byDerek Walker-Smith
Minister of Pensions
In office
5 November 1951 – 3 September 1953
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byGeorge Isaacs
Succeeded byOsbert Peake
Member of Parliament
for Tiverton
In office
5 July 1945 – 1 September 1960
Preceded byGilbert Acland-Troyte
Succeeded byRobin Maxwell-Hyslop
Personal details
Born(1899-12-26)26 December 1899
London, England
Died20 January 1981(1981-01-20) (aged 81)
Devon, England
Political partyConservative
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1920–1948
Battles/warsSecond World War

Derick Heathcoat-Amory, 1st Viscount Amory, KG, GCMG, TD, PC, DL, OD (/ˈməri/ AY-mər-ee;[1] 26 December 1899 – 20 January 1981) was a British Conservative politician and member of the House of Lords.

He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1958 and 1960, and later as Chancellor of the University of Exeter from 1972 until his death in 1981.

Background and education[edit]

Born in London, the son of Sir Ian Heathcoat-Amory, 2nd Baronet (see Heathcoat-Amory baronets) and Alexandra Georgina (OBE; who d. 1942), eldest daughter of Vice-Admiral Henry Seymour CB (brother of Francis, 5th Marquess of Hertford GCB).

He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford, receiving an MA degree.[2]

His great-nephews include the Rt Hon David Heathcoat-Amory and Sir Ian Heathcoat-Amory, 6th and present baronet.[3] A great-aunt was the sculptress, Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Countess von Gleichen.


Heathcoat-Amory was elected a Devon County Councillor in 1932 and worked in textile manufacturing and banking. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 11th (Devonshire) Brigade of the Royal Artillery (Territorial Army) on 31 July 1920, promoted to lieutenant in the 96th (Royal Devonshire Yeomanry) Field Brigade on 31 July 1922 and promoted to captain on 1 September 1926.[4][5][6] He was promoted to major on 1 October 1935.[7] During the Second World War, he was wounded and captured during Operation Market-Garden. He retired on 1 September 1948 with the honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.[3][8]

He was elected Member of Parliament for Tiverton in 1945 (a constituency previously held by his grandfather Sir John Heathcoat-Amory, 1st Baronet).[9] When the Conservatives came to power under Winston Churchill in 1951 he was appointed Minister of Pensions. In September 1953 he was appointed Minister of State for Trade. He joined Churchill's Cabinet in July 1954 succeeding Sir Thomas Dugdale as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (continuing his responsibilities as Minister of State for Trade). In October 1954 these ministries merged under Heathcoat-Amory's leadership. The Hon. Gwilym Lloyd George later Viscount Tenby had previously been charged with Food ministerial affairs. He remained in this post until being appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1958, by Harold Macmillan, an office he held until 1960. A highlight of Amory's chancellorship was the raising of Bank Rate to 6% in June 1960, in an effort to cool the economy after the election the previous autumn.[10]

He stood down from the House of Commons in 1960 and was raised to the peerage as Viscount Amory, of Tiverton in the County of Devon, on 1 September of that year.[11] From 1965 to 1970, he was Governor (Company Chairman) of the Hudson's Bay Company, North America's oldest company (established by English royal charter in 1670). Viscount Amory was sworn of the Privy Council in 1953, appointed GCMG in 1961 and KG in 1968.[12] He also received the degree of Hon. LLD (Exon) in 1959, before serving as Chancellor of Exeter University from 1972 to 1981.

Personal life[edit]

Heathcoat-Amory was an accomplished sailor, who had his yacht brought up the Thames to take him away after making Budget speeches when Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Civil Service Sailing Association continues to award the annual Heathcoat Amory Trophy (donated by Viscount Amory) for outstanding sailing achievements by its members.[citation needed]

In 1972, Lord Amory succeeded his brother in the family baronetcy; he died unmarried in January 1981, aged 81. The viscountcy became extinct upon his death and his younger brother succeeded him as Sir William Heathcoat-Amory, 5th Baronet, DSO.

National honours[edit]

Shield of arms
  • Order of the Garter UK ribbon.pngKG
  • Baronet's Badge ribbon.pngBt
  • UK Order St-Michael St-George ribbon.svgGCMG
  • Territorial Decoration (UK) ribbon.PNGTD

See also[edit]


  1. ^ G.M. Miller, BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (Oxford UP, 1971), p. 5.
  2. ^ The Complete Peerage Volume XIV, page 830
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "No. 32023". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 August 1920. p. 8561.
  5. ^ "No. 32750". The London Gazette. 26 September 1922. p. 6843.
  6. ^ "No. 33228". The London Gazette. 10 December 1926. p. 8103.
  7. ^ "No. 34207". The London Gazette. 11 October 1935. p. 6378.
  8. ^ "No. 39151". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 February 1951. p. 910.
  9. ^ " House of Commons: Tipperary South to Tyrone West". Archived from the original on 15 July 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ Dell 1997, p256
  11. ^ "No. 42133". The London Gazette. 2 September 1960. p. 6019.
  12. ^ "No. 44571". The London Gazette. 23 April 1968. p. 4645.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dell, Edmund. The Chancellors: A History of the Chancellors of the Exchequer, 1945-90 (HarperCollins, 1997) pp 242–57, covers his term as Chancellor.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Tiverton
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Pensions
Succeeded by
New office Minister of State for Trade
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
Succeeded by
as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Preceded by
as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Succeeded by
Preceded byas Minister of Food
Preceded by Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by Chancellor of the University of Exeter
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Amory
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Baronet
(of Knightshayes Court) 
Succeeded by
William Heathcoat-Amory