John Hunt, Baron Hunt of Tanworth

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For other people with similar names, see Lord Hunt and John Hunt.
The Right Honourable
The Lord Hunt of Tanworth
Born (1919-10-23)23 October 1919
Minehead, Somerset, UK
Died 17 July 2008(2008-07-17) (aged 88)
Nationality British
Occupation Civil servant
Known for Cabinet Secretary, Life Peer and member of HoL

John Joseph Benedict Hunt, Baron Hunt of Tanworth, GCB, KCPO (23 October 1919 – 17 July 2008) was a British civil servant.[1]

Born in Minehead, Somerset to Major A. L. Hunt MC by his wife Daphne née Ashton Case, he was educated at Downside School and Magdalene College, Cambridge before joining the Civil Service in 1946.

Hunt became Cabinet Secretary from 1973 to 1979, being the first Roman Catholic to hold this post since its creation in 1916.

Lord Hunt of Tanworth married firstly in 1941 The Hon. Mary Robinson (died 1971) and, by his second wife Madeleine, Lady Charles (née Hume), was a brother-in-law of the late Basil Hume, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster.[2]

Honours and awards[edit]

Hunt was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1968 and promoted Knight Commander (KCB) in 1973.

Created a Life Peer with the title Baron Hunt of Tanworth, of Stratford-on-Avon in the County of Warwickshire on 8 February 1980, he was also advanced as Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the same year.

Lord Hunt was also appointed Officier de la Légion d'honneur by President François Mitterrand and Knight Commander of the Order of Pius IX by Pope John Paul II.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

Hunt was one of the more powerful cabinet secretaries, and was seen by many political figures (especially in the Second Wilson Ministry) as an "imperialist" who relished expanding the power of his remit. His uncanny mastery of procedure and ability to steer meetings to the conclusion he wished made him a considerable source of inspiration for the character of Sir Humphrey Appleby on the television series Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister.[4]


  1. ^ Lord Hunt of Tanworth: Secretary of the Cabinet
  2. ^ Mosley, Charles (ed.) (2003). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 107th edn. London: Burke's Peerage & Gentry Ltd. p. 1998 (HUNT OF TANWORTH, LP). ISBN 0-9711966-2-1. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Seldon, A. (2016) The Cabinet Office, 1916-2016, London: Biteback Publishing, pp.179-192

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Burke Trend
Cabinet Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Armstrong