Francis Williams, Baron Francis-Williams

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Edward Francis Williams, Baron Francis-Williams CBE (10 March 1903 – 5 June 1970), known as Frank Williams,[citation needed] was a British newspaper editor.

Early life[edit]

Born in St Martin's, Shropshire,[1] Williams studied at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Middleton before entering journalism.[2] He worked on the Bootle Times and then the Liverpool Courier, and was convinced of socialism by the conditions he saw. He then moved to London to take up a post as a financial journalist on the Evening Standard, but soon moved to the Daily Herald, a paper with views closer to his own.[3]


Editor of the Daily Herald[edit]

In 1936, he accepted the editorship of the Daily Herald, serving until 1940.

Political involvement[edit]

In 1941, he became Controller of Press Censorship and News at the Ministry of Information, and for his work he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1945.[4] He then became the public relations advisor to Labour Party Prime Minister Clement Attlee for two years. From 1951 to 1952, he was a governor of the BBC. On 13 April 1962 he was created a life peer as Baron Francis-Williams, of Abinger in the County of Surrey.[2][5]



Williams served as Regents' Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1961, and Kemper Knapp Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin from 1967 until his death.[6]


He wrote several books, including a biography of Ernest Bevin, and he co-authored Clement Attlee's autobiography.[7] For the UNESCO, he wrote Transmitting World News (1953).

Styles of address[edit]

  • 1903–1945: Mr Francis Williams
  • 1945–1962: Mr Francis Williams CBE
  • 1962–1970: The Rt Hon. The Lord Francis-Williams CBE


  1. ^ "Current Reading", News and Courier, 20 December 1970
  2. ^ a b Dod's Parliamentary Companion, Vol.134, p.104
  3. ^ Max Laidlaw, "A Prairie Bookshelf", Leader-Post, 29 August 1970
  4. ^ "(Supplement) no. 36866". The London Gazette. 1 January 1945. p. 27. 
  5. ^ "no. 42651". The London Gazette. 17 April 1962. p. 3185. 
  6. ^ Chris Cook et al, The Longman guide to sources in contemporary British history: Volume 2, p.132
  7. ^ Dod's Parliamentary Companion, Vol.137, p.108
Media offices
Preceded by
W. H. Stevenson
Editor of the Daily Herald
Succeeded by
Percy Cudlipp