Through his father, Mayhew was descended from the Victorian social commentator Henry Mayhew. Mayhew's mother was a Roche and a relative of Lord Fermoy. He was educated at Tonbridge School, an all boys public school in Tonbridge, Kent.
He then served as an officer in the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, studied law at Balliol College, Oxford, and was president of the Oxford University Conservative Association and of the Oxford Union. He was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1955.
Mayhew contested Dulwich in 1970, but the incumbent Labour member, Sam Silkin, beat him by 895 votes. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for the Tunbridge Wells constituency from its creation at the February 1974 general election, standing down at the 1997 election.
He was Under Secretary of Employment from 1979 to 1981, then Minister of State at the Home Office from 1981 to 1983. After this, he served as Solicitor General for England and Wales from 1983 to 1987, and then Attorney General for England and Wales and simultaneously Attorney General for Northern Ireland from 1987 to 1992.
He was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1992 to 1997, the longest anyone has served in this office.
He was one of only five Ministers (Tony Newton, Kenneth Clarke, Malcolm Rifkind and Lynda Chalker are the others) to serve throughout the whole 18 years of the Governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major. This represents the longest uninterrupted Ministerial service in Britain since Lord Palmerston in the early 19th century.
Honours and awards
In 1963, he married Jean Gurney, and they had four sons. Mayhew's son, The Hon. Henry Mayhew, appeared in the fourth episode of the series The Secret History Of Our Streets, discussing life in the Portland Road, Notting Hill, London. Another son, Tristram, co-founded the outdoor adventure company Go Ape.
- 1993 Profile in The Independent. Retrieved 26 June 2016
- "No. 49397". The London Gazette. 24 June 1983. p. 8380.
- "No. 54809". The London Gazette. 17 June 1997. p. 7011.
- "Retired members of the House of Lords". UK Parliament. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- "Former NI Secretary Lord Mayhew dies, aged 86". BBC News. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Patrick Mayhew
- Belfast Telegraph obituary for Patrick Mayhew
- Daily Telegraph obituary for Patrick Mayhew
- The Guardian obituary for Patrick Mayhew
- Irish Times obituary for Patrick Mayhew
- The Times obituary for Patrick Mayhew
- Patrick Mayhew's funeral service
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament for Tunbridge Wells
| Solicitor General for England and Wales
Sir Nicholas Lyell
| Attorney General for England and Wales|
| Attorney General for Northern Ireland|
| Secretary of State for Northern Ireland