George Mathers, 1st Baron Mathers

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The Lord Mathers

Comptroller of the Household
In office
2 October 1944 – 23 May 1945
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byWilliam John
Succeeded byLeslie Pym
Treasurer of the Household
In office
4 August 1945 – 30 March 1946
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterClement Attlee
Preceded bySir James Edmondson
Succeeded byArthur Pearson
Personal details
Born28 February 1886
Newtown St Boswells, Roxburghshire
Died26 September 1965(1965-09-26) (aged 79)
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)(1) Edith Robinson (d. 1938)
(2) Jessie Graham

George Mathers, 1st Baron Mathers KT, PC, DL (28 February 1886 – 26 September 1965) was a Scottish trade unionist and Labour Party politician. He served as Comptroller of the Household from 1944 to 1945 in Winston Churchill's war-time coalition government and as Treasurer of the Household (Deputy Chief Whip) from 1945 to 1946 in Clement Attlee's post-war Labour administration.

Background and education[edit]

Mathers was born in Newtown St Boswells, Roxburghshire, the son of George Mathers, JP, and Annie, daughter of James Barclay. He was educated at the Newtown St Boswells School.[1]

Early working life and trade unionism[edit]

From 1899 Mathers served as a clerk with the North British Railway. He was active in the trade union and labour movement from 1908, becoming President of the Carlisle Trades Council and Labour Party from 1917 to 1920. He was elected a member of Carlisle City Council in 1919, before transferring to Edinburgh in 1921.

Political career[edit]

Mathers was Chairman of Edinburgh Central Independent Labour Party and President of the Edinburgh Branch of the Scottish Home Rule Association. He unsuccessfully contested Edinburgh West in 1923 and 1924 before being elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for the seat in 1929.[2] He lost his seat in 1931 but was returned for Linlithgowshire in 1935.[3] He continued to hold the seat (renamed West Lothian in 1950) until he stood down at the 1951 general election.

Mathers was Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Under-Secretary of State for India from July 1929, and transferred to same position with the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies in November of that year (Drummond Shiels held both positions). From 1935 to 1945 he was a Scottish Labour Whip. He entered the government under Winston Churchill as Comptroller of the Household in October 1944, a post he held until the coalition government was disbanded in May 1945. When Labour came to power under Clement Attlee in July 1945, he was appointed Treasurer of the Household (Deputy Chief Whip),[4] which he remained until April the following year.[5] He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1947[6] and raised to the peerage as Baron Mathers, of Newtown St Boswells in the County of Roxburgh, in 1952,[7] in recognition of his "political and public services".[8]

Mathers was also Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1946, 1947, 1948 and 1951, and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Edinburgh in 1946. In 1956 he was appointed a Knight of the Thistle.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Lord Mathers married firstly Edith Mary, daughter of William Robinson, in 1916. After her death in June 1938 he married secondly Jessie, daughter of George Graham, in 1940. He died in September 1965, aged 79, when the barony became extinct.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b thepeerage.com George Mathers, 1st and last Baron Mathers
  2. ^ "No. 33508". The London Gazette. 21 June 1929. p. 4117.
  3. ^ "No. 34223". The London Gazette. 26 November 1935. p. 7507.
  4. ^ "No. 37212". The London Gazette. 7 August 1945. p. 4025.
  5. ^ "No. 37520". The London Gazette. 2 April 1946. p. 1633.
  6. ^ "No. 37977". The London Gazette. 6 June 1947. p. 2571.
  7. ^ "No. 39470". The London Gazette. 15 February 1952. p. 919.
  8. ^ "No. 39396". The London Gazette. 27 November 1951. p. 6235.
  9. ^ "No. 40776". The London Gazette. 11 May 1956. p. 2771.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ian MacIntyre
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West
19291931
Succeeded by
Wilfrid Normand
Preceded by
Sir Adrian Baillie, Bt
Member of Parliament for Linlithgowshire
19351945
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for West Lothian
19451951
Succeeded by
John Taylor
Political offices
Preceded by
William John
Comptroller of the Household
1944–1945
Succeeded by
Leslie Pym
Preceded by
Sir James Edmondson
Treasurer of the Household
1945–1946
Succeeded by
Arthur Pearson
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Mathers
1951–1965
Extinct