Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton

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The Earl Winterton

Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton.png
Father of the House of Commons
In office
13 February 1945 – 25 October 1951
Preceded byDavid Lloyd George
Succeeded byHugh O'Neill
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
28 May 1937 – 29 January 1939
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterNeville Chamberlain
Preceded bySir J. C. C. Davidson
Succeeded byWilliam Morrison
Member of the House of Lords
Lord temporal
In office
1952 – 26 August 1962
Member of Parliament for

Horsham & Worthing (1918–1945)
In office
11 November 1904 – 25 October 1951
Preceded byHeywood Johnstone
Succeeded byFrederick Gough
Personal details
Born4 April 1883
Died26 August 1962(1962-08-26) (aged 79)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Hon. Cecilia Monica Wilson
ParentsEdward Turnour, 5th Earl Winterton
Lady Georgiana Susan Hamilton

Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton, PC (4 April 1883 – 26 August 1962), styled Viscount Turnour until 1907, was an Irish peer and British politician in the first half of the twentieth century who achieved the rare distinction of serving as both Baby of the House and Father of the House at the opposite ends of his career in the House of Commons.


Turnour was the son of Edward Turnour, 5th Earl Winterton, and Lady Georgiana Susan Hamilton (1841–1913), daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn.

Turnour was educated at Eton College.[1]

Political career[edit]

Turnour was first elected for Horsham in a by-election in 1904 at the age of just 21, the youngest Member of Parliament (MP) in the Commons, and remained an MP for the next 47 years. In 1907 he succeeded his father, becoming 6th Earl Winterton. This was an Irish peerage and did not disqualify him from remaining a member of the House of Commons. Sitting as a Conservative, Winterton would slowly rise through the ranks, later achieving ministerial office as Under-Secretary of State for India in 1922, a post he held until 1924. In 1924 he was sworn of the Privy Council and once again served as Under-Secretary of State for India from 1924 to 1929.

Winterton did not hold office in the National Governments headed by firstly Ramsay MacDonald and then Stanley Baldwin. However, when Neville Chamberlain became Prime Minister in May 1937, Winterton was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In March 1938 he was promoted to the Cabinet and given the job of speaking in the House of Commons on behalf of the Secretary of State for Air Viscount Swinton, a member of the House of Lords. In this role he proved a noted failure, especially in a heated debate in May 1938 which led to Chamberlain concluding that the Secretary of State for Air must be an MP. In July 1938 he led the British delegation to the Evian Conference at which the problem of the Jewish refugees was debated. Thereafter, Winterton was increasingly sidelined. The following year he was dropped from the Cabinet and served in the marginal post of Paymaster-General before leaving the government altogether.

Winterton remained a Member of Parliament until 1951, by which time he was the MP with the longest continuous service. In 1952 he was created Baron Turnour, of Shillinglee in the County of Sussex, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which gave him a seat in the House of Lords.

Personal life[edit]

In September 1910 the mother of Ivy Gordon-Lennox acted to contradict a rumour that her daughter was engaged to marry Winterton, going so far as to place a notice in The New York Times to say that there was no engagement.[2] Winterton married the Honourable Cecilia Monica Wilson, daughter of Charles Wilson, 2nd Baron Nunburnholme, in 1924. The marriage was childless.[citation needed] Winterton died in August 1962, aged 79, when the barony of Turnour became extinct. He was succeeded in his Irish titles by his kinsman, Ronald Chard Turnour, 7th Earl Winterton.


  1. ^ Hansard, Fifth Series, Volume 175, Col., 930, 25 March 1952
  2. ^ Ivy Gordon-Lennox Not Engaged dated 25 September 1910, at nytimes.com, accessed 24 July 2008

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Heywood Johnstone
Member of Parliament for Horsham
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Horsham & Worthing
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Horsham
Succeeded by
Frederick Gough
Preceded by
David Lloyd George
Father of the House
Succeeded by
Hon. Sir Hugh O'Neill
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Lytton
Under-Secretary of State for India
Succeeded by
Robert Richards
Preceded by
Robert Richards
Under-Secretary of State for India
Succeeded by
Drummond Shiels
Preceded by
Sir J. C. C. Davidson
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Succeeded by
William Morrison
Preceded by
The Earl of Munster
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Edward Turnour
Earl Winterton
Succeeded by
Ronald Chard Turnour
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Turnour