Frank Kearton, Baron Kearton

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Kearton
Personal details
Born 17 February 1911
Died 2 July 1992
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Kathleen, Lady Kearton
Children 2 boys, 2 girls
Alma mater St John's College, Oxford
Occupation Peer, Scientist and Industrialist

(Christopher) Frank Kearton, Baron Kearton OBE FRS[1] FRSA (17 February 1911–2 July 1992) was a British life peer in the House of Lords. He was also a scientist and industrialist[2] and former Chancellor of the University of Bath. He usually known by his middle name of Frank, and was Frank Kearton OBE between 1945 and 1966, and Sir Frank Kearton OBE between 1966 and his elevation to the peerage in 1970.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Kearton was born to Christopher John Kearton, a bricklayer, and Lilian (née Hancock) in Congleton, Cheshire; although the family moved to Tunstall in the Potteries not long after his birth. He completed his secondary education at Hanley High School before going up to St John's College, Oxford in 1929 as an open exhibitioner to read Chemistry. He graduated with a First in 1933 although he did not apply for the transferral of his BA to an Oxbridge MA until 1959.[2]


Three years after leaving Oxford, on 16 April 1936, he married Kathleen Agnes (née Kay) whom he had met when at school through playing tennis. She had completed a French degree at Bedford College, London and was a teacher at Morecambe Grammar School. The couple later had two sons and two daughters who were styled 'The Honourable First name Surname' when their father was awarded a life peerage in 1970.[2]

His wife, Kathleen, became styled Lady Kearton when he was knighted in 1966 and Baroness Kearton when he was elevated to the peerage in 1970. She would, however, have been known socially as Lady Kearton following her husband's elevation to the peerage as is convention for wives of Barons.

Lord Kearton died from cancer on 2 July 1992 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire and was buried at Whitchurch. He left an estate, according to probate of 14 August 1992, of £337,670.

Other appointments[edit]

Kearton was made an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) by the University of Bath in 1966 when Lord Hinton was appointed the university's first Chancellor. Kearton himself was appointed Chancellor of the university in 1980 and, according to Sir Norman Wooding, was a "notably active member of the University." He was still in office as Chancellor upon his death in 1991.[2]

  • President, Society of Chemical Industry (1972–1974)
  • Chairman, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (1973–1980)
  • Chairman, British Association for the Advancement of Science (1978–1979)
  • Chairman, Association of Special Libraries (1980–1982)[1]


Styles and honours[edit]

  • Mr Frank Kearton (1911–1945)
  • Mr Frank Kearton OBE (1945–1961)
  • Mr Frank Kearton OBE FRS (1961–1966)
  • Sir Frank Kearton LLD DSc OBE FRS (1966–1970)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Kearton LLD DSc OBE FRS FRSA (1970–1978)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Kearton DCL LLD DSc OBE FRS FRSA (1978–1979)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Kearton DCL LLD DSc DUniv OBE FRS FRSA (1979–1991)


Further reading Bramwell G Rudd COURTAULDS and the HOSIERY & KNITWEAR INDUSTRY (Carnegie Publishing Ltd) (2014, ISBN softback 978-1-905472-06-2, hardback 978-1-905472-18-5)

  1. ^ a b Wooding, N. (1995). "Christopher Frank Kearton Baron Kearton, of Whitchurch, Bucks, Kt, O. B. E. 17 February 1911-2 July 1992". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 41: 220–226. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1995.0014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Kearton, (Christopher) Frank, Baron Kearton (1911-1992)". Norman Wooding. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, University of Oxford. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  3. ^ "Person Page - 19148". Darryl Lundy. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37412. p. 280. 9 January 1946.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 43910. p. 2147. 25 February 1966.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 45036. p. 1553. 6 February 1970.