Boyden was educated at Tiffin Boys' School, Kingston upon Thames, and King's College London. He became a barrister, called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1947 and became Director of Extramural studies at Durham University from 1947 to 1959, serving as chair of the National Institute for Adult Education from 1957 to 1960. Boyden was a councillor on Durham County Council from 1952 to 1960 and a member of the executive of the Fabian Society.
Boyden was Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland from 1959 to 1979, preceding Derek Foster. Boyden was a junior minister for Education and Science from 1964 to 1965, Parliamentary Secretary for Public Building and Works from 1965 to 1967, and junior minister for Defence from 1967 to 1969.
- Times Guide to the House of Commons October 1974
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by James Boyden
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland
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