Edward George, Baron George

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The Lord George
Lord George BBC.jpg
Governor of the Bank of England
In office
1 July 1993 – 30 June 2003
Preceded byRobin Leigh-Pemberton
Succeeded byMervyn King
Personal details
Born(1938-09-16)16 September 1938
Carshalton, England
Died18 April 2009(2009-04-18) (aged 70)
St Tudy, Cornwall, England
Vanessa Williams
(m. 1962)
Alma materEmmanuel College, Cambridge

Edward Alan John George, Baron George GBE PC DL (16 September 1938 – 18 April 2009),[1] known as Eddie George, or sometimes as "Steady Eddie", was Governor of the Bank of England from 1993 to 2003[1] and sat on the board of NM Rothschild and Sons.

Early life[edit]

George was born and grew up in Carshalton, the son of Alan, a Post Office clerk, and his wife Olive. He attended the independent school Dulwich College on a scholarship. Having learned to speak Russian at Dulwich, he carried out his National Service at the Joint Services School for Linguists. He attended and graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Financial career[edit]

George joined the Bank of England in 1962. Apart from secondments to Moscow State University, the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund, he remained there throughout his career.

After three years as Deputy Governor,[2] he was appointed Governor of the Bank of England to succeed Robin Leigh-Pemberton, who retired on the completion of his second five-year term of office on 30 June 1993. During the early part of George's governance, his successful relationship with then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth Clarke gained for them the nickname of 'the Ken and Eddie Show'.[3] Upon the Labour Party coming to power at the 1997 general election, the Bank was given independence in setting UK interest rates by Gordon Brown, the incoming Chancellor of the Exchequer.[1] George was succeeded as Governor of the Bank of England in July 2003 by Mervyn King.

George attracted controversy in 1998 when he was widely reported to have made a statement to London newspaper executives implying that unemployment in the north of England was a price worth paying to preserve affluence in the south of the country. He later claimed that his remarks had been misconstrued.[4]

Later life[edit]

George served as a Governor of his former school, Dulwich College, between 1998 and 2008, and served as the Chairman of the Governors between 2003 and 2008.[5][6]

On 18 April 2009, George, a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer.[1][7]

Personal life[edit]

George married Vanessa George, Lady George (née Williams) in Surrey in 1962. They had three children. Lady George died in March 2017.[8]


George was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in the 2000 Birthday Honours.[9] He was made a life peer in June 2004[1] as Baron George, of St Tudy in the County of Cornwall.[10][11] He was awarded an honorary D.Sc. by the University of Buckingham on 4 March 2000, and appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall in March 2006.


Coat of arms of Edward George, Baron George
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
George Escutcheon.png
Coronet of a Baron
A Dragon sejant erect Gules holding between the forefeet a Bezant
Paly of four Or and Argent a Barrulet dancetty of two points upwards and one point downwards each point terminating in a Cinquefoil pierced Sable interlaced with a Barrulet dancetty of two points downwards and one point upwards each point terminating in a Cinquefoil pierced Gules
On either side a Vanessid Butterfly Or the wings Argent the outer margins Or
The barrulets in the Arms suggest graphs of credit and debit, appropriate for the Governor of the Bank of England and set on the metallic tinctures of Gold and Argent for coinage. The dragon is not only appropriate for the guardianship of treasure but is also associated with the name George. The Vanessid butterflies are a punning allusion on Vanessa, the name of Lord George's wife. In the Badge the butterfly surmounts a red sword for the City of London.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Former bank governor George dies". BBC News. 18 April 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  2. ^ "Deputy Governors of the Bank of England" (PDF). Bank of England. Retrieved 3 January 2014.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Lord George, obituary, The Daily Telegraph, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/finance-obituaries/5183696/Lord-George.html
  4. ^ "Governor tries to douse north's fire". BBC News. 22 October 1998. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Dulwich College – Old Alleynians in Politics, Law and Business". Retrieved 18 April 2009.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Lord George Building Opened". Dulwich College News. Dulwich College. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2009.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Lord Eddie George". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  8. ^ Lady Vanessa George
  9. ^ "No. 55879". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 June 2000. p. 7.
  10. ^ "No. 57343". The London Gazette. 2 July 2004. p. 8267.
  11. ^ Minute Office, House of Lords. "Lords minutes, 14 September 2004". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
Government offices
Preceded by Governor of the Bank of England
Succeeded by