John Walton, Baron Walton of Detchant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Lord Walton of Detchant
The Lord Walton of Detchant.png
In a House of Lords debate in 2015.
President of the Royal Society of Medicine
In office
Preceded bySir James Watt
Succeeded bySir Gordon Robson
Warden of Green College, Oxford
In office
President of the General Medical Council
In office
President of the British Medical Association
In office
Personal details
John Nicholas Walton

(1922-09-16)16 September 1922
Died21 April 2016(2016-04-21) (aged 93)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Political partyNone (crossbencher)
Alma materUniversity of Durham
Newcastle University
AwardsKnight Bachelor (1979)
Life Peer (1989)
Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

John Nicholas Walton, Baron Walton of Detchant (16 September 1922 – 21 April 2016[1]) was a British neuroscientist, academic, and life peer who sat in the House of Lords as a crossbencher.


Lord Walton qualified from Durham University College of Medicine and completed his MD at Newcastle Medical School.[2] Walton was President of the British Medical Association (BMA) from 1980 to 1982, President of the General Medical Council (GMC) 1982-89 and President of the Royal Society of Medicine from 1984 to 1986. He was also appointed second Warden of Green College, Oxford in 1983, where he stayed until 1989. Green College merged with Templeton College, Oxford in 2008 to become Green Templeton College, located on the site that was previously Green College.

Having been knighted in 1979,[3] Walton was created a life peer on 24 July 1989 as Baron Walton of Detchant, of Detchant in the County of Northumberland[4] and sat as a crossbencher. In 1992 he became a member of the Science and Technology Committee, leaving in 1996, returning in 1997 and leaving again in 2001. From 1993 to 1994 he was Chair of the Medical Ethics committee. He was Secretary of the Rare Diseases Group from 2009 until his death.

He was a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.[5] He was Patron of The Little Foundation, Honorary Life President of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, Vice President of Parkinson's UK and Honorary Chairman of the United Kingdom Medical Students' Association (UKMSA).[citation needed]

He wrote an autobiography The Spice of Life: From Northumbria to World Neurology in 1993. It had 643 pages and, according to the review in the BMJ, “tells you absolutely everything [but] by the end of the book you really know nothing about him except that he has a colossal memory.” [6]


Lord Walton of Detchant died on 21 April 2016, aged 93.[7]


Coat of arms of John Walton, Baron Walton of Detchant
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
Walton of Detchant Escutcheon.png
A Coronet of a Baron
Issuant from Clouds proper a Sea-Horse Argent the Piscine Part proper crined and finned Or holding between the forelegs a Cross Formy quadrate fitchy at the foot Purpure
Paly wavy Argent and Gules a Castle triple towered Purpure on a Chief of the last three Crosses Formy quadrate Gold
Dexter: a Boar Gold suspended from the neck by a Riband Purpure a Clarion pipes downwards Gules; Sinister: a Greyling Goose proper


  1. ^ Notice of knighthood bestowed on John Nicholas Walton, the; accessed 27 April 2016.
  2. ^ "John Nicholas Walton, Baron Walton of Detchant". Royal College of Physicians. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  3. ^ "No. 47812". The London Gazette. 6 April 1979. p. 4623.
  4. ^ "No. 51823". The London Gazette. 27 July 1989. p. 8725.
  5. ^ "Gruppe 7: Medisinske fag" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  6. ^ Smith, Richard (17 May 2020). "The best (and funniest) piece the BMJ published while I was the editor". Richard Smith's non-medical blogs. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  7. ^ Notice of death of Lord Walton of Detchant,; accessed 27 April 2016.

External links[edit]