Francis Pearson

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Sir Francis Fenwick Pearson, 1st Baronet MBE JP DL (13 June 1911 – 17 February 1991) was a British colonial administrator, farmer and politician.

Colonial service[edit]

Pearson attended Uppingham School in Rutland, and then Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant onto the Unattached List for the Indian Army from being a Second Lieutenant, T.A.(University Candidate) in September 1932, with seniority from 29 January 1931. After a year attached to a British regiment in India, he was appointed to the Indian Army and posted to the 1st King George’s Own Gurkha Rifles as of 3 November 1933. He served as Aide-de-camp to the Viceroy of India from June 1935 to April 1936.[1]

He transferred to the Indian Political Service in October 1935. In June 1945 he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire as Captain, Indian Political Service.[2] He finished as Chief Minister of Manipur State from 1945 to 1947, and the village of Pearson in the Churachandpur district was named in his honour.

With the independence of India imminent, Pearson returned to Britain and settled in Lancashire where he became a farmer, and also involved himself in local government. He was a Justice of the Peace for Lancashire from 1952.

Parliamentary career[edit]

At the 1959 general election, Pearson replaced Richard Fort (who had died earlier in the year) as Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Clitheroe, a rural constituency in the Lancashire foothills of the Pennines. He was swiftly named as an Assistant Government Whip (1960) and became a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury (Government Whip) in March 1962.

Parliamentary Private Secretary[edit]

Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who became Prime Minister in October 1963, choose Pearson to be his Parliamentary Private Secretary, an unpaid but pivotal role where Pearson had to maintain relations between the Prime Minister and his own backbenchers. When Douglas-Home lost the 1964 general election and resigned as Prime Minister, he gave Pearson a Baronetcy in his resignation honours list.

Lancashire contribution[edit]

Pearson retired from Parliament at the 1970 general election, but not from politics. He was Chairman of the Central Lancashire New Town Development Corporation from 1971 (the new town covered Preston, Chorley, Leyland and several other areas).

References[edit]

  1. ^ War services of British and Indian Officers of the Indian Army 1941
  2. ^ London Gazette 14 June 1945, p2957

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Fort
Member of Parliament for Clitheroe
19591970
Succeeded by
David Walder