Douglas Clifton Brown, 1st Viscount Ruffside

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The Viscount Ruffside

Douglas Clifton Brown, Commons Speaker.png
Speaker of the House of Commons
In office
3 March 1943 – 31 October 1951
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Clement Attlee
Preceded byEdward FitzRoy
Succeeded byWilliam Morrison
Personal details
Born16 August 1879
Died5 May 1958 (1958-05-06) (aged 78)
Spouse(s)Violet Arbuthnot Wollaston(b. 4 Jul 1882\ d. 17 Nov 1969)
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge

Colonel Douglas Clifton Brown, 1st Viscount Ruffside, PC, JP, DL (16 August 1879 – 5 May 1958) was a British politician. He served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1943 to 1951.

Background and education[edit]

Clifton Brown was the son of Colonel James Clifton Brown, grandson of Sir William Brown, 1st Baronet. His mother was Amelia (née Rowe) while Howard Clifton Brown was his elder brother.[1] He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2]

Military career[edit]

Clifton Brown was a lieutenant in the Lancashire Artillery when on 26 March 1902 he was commissioned a second-lieutenant in the 1st Dragoon Guards,[3] serving in South Africa during the end of the Second Boer War. He advanced to major in the regiment, and later became a lieutenant-colonel in the Volunteer force.

Political career[edit]

Clifton Brown was Member of Parliament (MP) for Hexham from 1918 to 1923 and from 1924 to 1951.[1][4] He was a Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons from 1938 to 1943 and Speaker of the House of Commons from 1943 to 1951.[1] He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1941[1][5] and raised to the peerage as Viscount Ruffside, of Hexham in the County of Northumberland, in 1951.[6]


Ruffside married Violet Cicely Kathleen Wollaston, daughter of Frederick Eustace Arbuthnot Wollaston,[7] in 1907. There were no surviving male issue from the marriage. However, their daughter Audrey Clifton Brown married Harry Hylton-Foster, Speaker of the House of Commons, and was created a life peeress as Baroness Hylton-Foster in honour of her husband in 1965. Ruffside died in May 1958, aged 78, when the viscountcy became extinct. The Viscountess Ruffside died in November 1969, aged 87.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Lundy, Darryl. "Colonel Douglas Clifton Brown, 1st and last Viscount Ruffside". Retrieved 15 July 2010.[unreliable source]
  2. ^ "Brown, Douglas Clifton (BRWN898DC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ "No. 27419". The London Gazette. 25 March 1902. p. 2076.
  4. ^ House of Commons: Hertford to Honiton
  5. ^ Privy Counsellors 1915–1968
  6. ^ "No. 39408". The London Gazette. 14 December 1951. p. 6523.
  7. ^ "d". Retrieved 15 July 2010.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Durning Holt
Member of Parliament for Hexham
Succeeded by
Victor Finney
Preceded by
Victor Finney
Member of Parliament for Hexham
Succeeded by
Rupert Speir
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Croft Bourne
Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means
Succeeded by
James Milner
Preceded by
Sir Dennis Herbert
Chairman of Ways and Means
Succeeded by
James Milner
Preceded by
Hon. Edward FitzRoy
Speaker of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
William Morrison
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Ruffside