John Wilson, 2nd Baron Moran

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The Lord Moran

Lord Moran 2009.png
Moran in 2009
British Ambassador to Hungary
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
PresidentJános Kádár
Preceded byDerek Dodson
Succeeded bySir Richard Parsons
British Ambassador to Portugal
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
PresidentAntónio Ramalho Eanes
Preceded bySir Nigel Trench
Succeeded bySir Hugh Campbell Byatt
Personal details
Born(1924-09-22)22 September 1924
Died14 February 2014(2014-02-14) (aged 89)
Alma materKing's College, Cambridge

Richard John McMoran Wilson, 2nd Baron Moran, KCMG (22 September 1924 – 14 February 2014), known as John Wilson, was a British diplomat. He was one of the ninety hereditary peers elected to remain in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999.[1]

Background and early life[edit]

The son of the 1st Baron Moran and Dorothy (née Dufton), he was educated at Eton College in Berkshire and King's College, Cambridge, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in history. Wilson served in the Royal Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1945. He was first Ordinary Seaman on HMS Belfast, later Sub-Lieutenant on Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB 684) and Destroyer HMS Oribi.[2]

Diplomatic career[edit]

In 1945, Wilson entered the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and held various minor offices in Ankara, Tel Aviv, Rio de Janeiro, Washington, D.C. and South Africa. From 1968–73, he was Head of the West African Department of the Foreign Office, and from 1970–73 concurrently non-resident British Ambassador to Chad. Wilson was British Ambassador to Hungary between 1973 and 1976 and British Ambassador to Portugal from 1976–81.[3]

In 1981, he was appointed High Commissioner to Canada and held this post until 1984. On leaving his post of High Commissioner to Canada in 1984, Moran penned a frank final telegram to the British Foreign Secretary in which he was critical of Canadian politicians and public policies.[4] The telegram became public in October 2009 after a BBC columnist, Matthew Parris, made a freedom of information request for the foreign office's valedictory despatches.[3][5]

Other public appointments[edit]

From 1990–95, Wilson was chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link, from 1988 to 1995 vice-chairman of the Atlantic Salmon Trust, and from 1989–94 served as chairman of the National Rivers Authority Regional Fisheries Advisory Committee for the Welsh Region. For RSPB, he was council member from 1992–94, and vice-president from 1996–97. He was president of the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust (1994-death) and Chair of the Fisheries Policy and Legislation Working Group ("the Moran Committee"; from 1997 until his death). In 1997 he was appointed chair of the Salmon and Trout Association, remaining until 2000, when he became executive vice-president. Having been president of the Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association from 1988–95, he was renamed as president in 2000.[citation needed]


In 1973, Wilson wrote a biography about Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, for which he received the Whitbread Award for Biography. Having been made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1970, he was raised to a Knight Commander in 1981. In 1978, he received also the Grand Cross of the Portuguese Order of Infante D. Henrique.


In 1948 he married Shirley Rowntree Harris; the couple had two sons and a daughter. He died in February 2014 aged 89.


  • C.B. – A Life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1973)


  1. ^ Rhodes, Michael (21 February 2014). "Peerage News: The 2nd Baron Moran, KCMG 1924-2014".
  2. ^; accessed 23 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b "A little give and take in the new Parliament". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 17 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Bio" (PDF). Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  5. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Parting Shots, Series 1". BBC.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Derek Dodson
British Ambassador to Hungary
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Parsons
Preceded by
Sir Nigel Trench
British Ambassador to Portugal
Succeeded by
Sir Hugh Campbell Byatt
Preceded by
John Ford
High Commissioner to Canada
Succeeded by
Sir Derek Day
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Wilson
Baron Moran
Succeeded by
James Wilson