Maurice Petherick

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Maurice Petherick (5 October 1894 – 4 August 1985) [1] was a British Conservative Party politician who served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Penryn & Falmouth from 1931 to 1945, and as Financial Secretary to the War Office, briefly, in 1945.

Early life[edit]

He was born on 5 October 1894, the son of George Tallack Petherick (b. 1860) and Edith Petherick, his wife.[2] He was educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College, Cambridge.

Military service[edit]

During the Great War, he was a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Devon Yeomanry[citation needed][clarification needed] 1914 but was invalided out in 1915. He served in Foreign Office, 1916–17; he was recommissioned Royal Scots Greys, 1917 and served in France, 1918. In October 1939, he was recommissioned to the General List Army, as a Captain and promoted to Temporary Major.

Parliamentary service[edit]

Having contested the parliamentary seat of Penryn & Falmouth in 1929, as a Conservative,[3][4] he was elected as MP in that division in the General Elections of 1931 [5][6] and 1935 [7]

He was one of the MPs, who, in 1945, opposed the Yalta agreement, because of the treatment of Poland.[8] He was Financial Secretary to the War Office from 26 May 1945 to 4 August 1945, in the "Caretaker Government".

In the 1945 General Election, he was defeated by the Labour candidate, Evelyn King.

Other activities[edit]

Between 1953 and 1971, he was a Director of the Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd.. He was High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1957. He wrote two novels and a collective biography of "rogues".

He died on 4 August 1985. At his death, his residence was Porthpean House,[9] Lower Porthpean, St Austell, Cornwall. The garden that he developed there is still famous.



  1. ^ Who was Who; Vol.4, 1941-1950: a companion to "Who's who" containing the biographies of those who died during the decade 1941-1950. London: A. & C. Black, 1980
  2. ^ In the 1861 census, Maurice Petherick's paternal grand parents family were described as of 49, High Cross Street, St. Austell - "George Petherick, Head, M, 30, Bank Manager, St Austell Cornwall, Emily Petherick, Wife, 32, St Blazey Cornwall, Margaret Petherick, Dau, U, 3, St Austell Cornwall, George T. Petherick, Son, U, 1. In the 1871 census, the children are shown was "George T Petherick, Son, U, 10,Scholar, St Austell Cornwall, Alice Petherick, Dau, U, 6, Scholar, St Austell Cornwall, Florence Petherick, Dau, U, 2, St Austell Cornwall. Source: Cornwall Online Census project. George T Petherick was Maurice Petherick's father.
  3. ^ The Times, Tuesday, 16 April 1929; pg. 11; Issue 45178; col D:"Election candidates": he is described as of Gledhow gardens, SW, a director of George Neame & Co, standing in the place of Mr George Pilcher, who is not seeking re-election.
  4. ^ On 29 May 1929, Sir Tudor Walters won the election for Penryn & Falmouth. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
  5. ^ In 1931, he stood against E. D. Simon (Liberal) and A. L. Rowse (Labour)- The Times, Wednesday, 28 October 1931; pg. 8; Issue 45965; col A: "Declarations To-Day Candidates And Parties".
  6. ^ The Times, Thursday, 15 October 1931; p.8; Issue 45954; col A: The West Country Situation At Penryn And Falmouth, Mr. E. D. Simon's Offer FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.
  7. ^ In 1935, he stood against Sir Ronald Wilberforce Allen (Liberal) and A. L. Rowse (Labour)- The Times, Monday, 28 October 1935; pg. 8; Issue 47206; col A: "The General Election: "The Times" List Of Candidates."
  8. ^ Obituary in The Times, 9 August 1985, Page 12, column g,Letter 7 September 1968, page 9 Column c.
  9. ^ "A special collection of camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons, but also a magnificent view of St Austell Bay and access to the beach. This three-acre garden was first developed by Maurice Petherick some 40 years ago. It contains a special collection of camellias, also many azaleas and rhododendrons. The grounds have access to the beach and from the main lawn there is a magnificent view of St Austell Bay. On spring days cherry blossoms stand out sharply against the blue of the sea. There is also a nursery garden with Victorian greenhouses." Garden Arena website.
  10. ^ Edward Fitzharris (1648?-1681): an Irish Catholic, who advocated the deposition of Charles II in favour of James, Duke of York in 1681 (DNB)

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Tudor Walters
Member of Parliament for Penryn and Falmouth
Succeeded by
Evelyn King