Edward Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges

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The Lord Bridges

Sir Edward Bridges in 1945.jpg
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
4 February 1957 – 27 August 1969
Hereditary Peerage
Preceded bypeerage created
Succeeded byThe 2nd Baron Bridges
Cabinet Secretary
In office
Preceded bySir Maurice Hankey
Succeeded bySir Norman Brook
Head of the Home Civil Service
In office
Preceded bySir Horace Wilson
Succeeded bySir William Armstrong
Personal details
Edward Ettingdene Bridges

4 August 1892
Died27 August 1969 (1969-08-28) (aged 77)
Spouse(s)Katharine, Lady Bridges (died in 1986)
Alma materMagdalen College, Oxford
Garter-encircled arms of Edward Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges, KG, as displayed on his Order of the Garter stall plate in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle – viz. Argent, a cross sable charged with a wreath of laurel fructed argent, a chief chequy sable and argent.

Edward Ettingdene Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges, KG, GCB, GCVO, MC, PC, FRS[1] (4 August 1892 – 27 August 1969) was a British civil servant.

Early life[edit]

Bridges was born on 4 August 1892 in Yattendon in Berkshire. He was the son of Robert Bridges, later Poet Laureate, and Mary Monica Waterhouse, daughter of the architect Alfred Waterhouse. He was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford.


Military service[edit]

Bridges then fought in the First World War with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He achieved the rank of captain and was awarded the Military Cross.

Public service[edit]

He later joined the Civil Service and in 1938 he was appointed Cabinet Secretary, succeeding Sir Maurice Hankey. Bridges remained in this post until 1946, when he was made Permanent Secretary to the Treasury and Head of the Home Civil Service, a position he held until 1956.

After his retirement Lord Bridges notably served as Chancellor of the University of Reading. Moreover, he was given honorary degrees from several universities and appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society.[1] He also published The State and the Arts, Romanes Lecture for 1958, Oxford, and The Treasury (Oxford University Press, 1964).

Personal life[edit]

Bridges married Katharine Dianthe Farrer, daughter of Thomas Cecil Farrer, 2nd Baron Farrer, on 6 June 1922. They had four children:

Lord Bridges died at Winterfold Heath, Surrey, on 27 August 1969, aged 77. He was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son Thomas, a prominent diplomat who notably served as British Ambassador to Italy from 1983 to 1987.

Memorial to Robert Bridges and Edward Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges, in St Nicholas-at-Wade, Kent


In the 1939 New Year Honours, Bridges was appointed to the Order of the Bath as a Knight Commander (KCB)[3] and in the 1944 New Year Honours was promoted within the same Order as a Knight Grand Cross (GCB).[4] In the 1946 Birthday Honours, Sir Edward was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order as a Knight Grand Cross (GCVO).[5] Sir Edward was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1952 (FRS).[6] He was then sworn of the Privy Council in the 1953 Coronation Honours.[7] In 1957, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Bridges, of Headley in the County of Surrey, and of St Nicholas at Wade in the County of Kent.[8] Lord Bridges was appointed to the Order of the Garter as a Knight Companion (KG) in 1965.[9]

Styles of address[edit]

  • 1892–1939: Mr Edward Bridges
  • 1939–1944: Sir Edward Bridges KCB
  • 1944–1946: Sir Edward Bridges GCB
  • 1946–1952: Sir Edward Bridges GCB GCVO
  • 1952–1953: Sir Edward Bridges GCB GCVO FRS
  • 1953–1957: The Rt Hon. Sir Edward Bridges GCB GCVO FRS
  • 1957–1965: The Rt Hon. The Lord Bridges GCB GCVO PC FRS
  • 1965–1969: The Rt Hon. The Lord Bridges KG GCB GCVO PC FRS


  1. ^ a b Winnifrith, J. (1970). "Edward Ettingdean Bridges--Baron Bridges. 1892-1969". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 16: 36–56. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1970.0003.
  2. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11283174/Margaret-Aston-obituary.html
  3. ^ "No. 34585". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1938. p. 4.
  4. ^ "No. 36309". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1943. p. 4.
  5. ^ "No. 37598". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 July 1946. p. 2764.
  6. ^ "Fellows 1660–2007" (PDF). Royal Society. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  7. ^ "No. 39863". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 May 1953. p. 2940.
  8. ^ "No. 40996". The London Gazette. 8 February 1957. p. 873.
  9. ^ "No. 43633". The London Gazette. 23 April 1965. p. 4005.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Maurice Hankey
Cabinet Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir Norman Brook
Preceded by
Sir Horace Wilson
Head of the Home Civil Service
Succeeded by
Sir William Armstrong
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Bridges
Succeeded by
Thomas Bridges
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Samuel Hoare
Chancellor of the University of Reading
Succeeded by
Lord Sherfield