Ronald Nall-Cain, 2nd Baron Brocket

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Arthur Ronald Nall Nall-Cain, 2nd Baron Brocket (4 August 1904 – 24 March 1967) was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom.

Born into a millionaire brewing family, Nall-Cain was educated at Eton College and Oxford University, where he captained the golf team. He became a barrister and a Hertfordshire County Councillor. He was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Liverpool Wavertree at a by-election in 1931,[1] and was a close associate of Neville Chamberlain. The title of Baron Brocket had been created for his father Charles Nall-Cain, a baronet and Justice of the Peace in 1933. Arthur Nall-Cain succeeded a year later and was elevated to the House of Lords.

Brocket inherited two grand houses: Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire and Bramshill Park, in Hampshire. In the 1930s, he bought the Knoydart estate and became an infamous[2] absentee landlord, opposing the rights of crofters and dismissing and evicting workers, preferring the estate for shooting and fishing. He eventually owned 13,000 acres (53 km²) in England and 62,000 in Scotland. His homes were used for entertaining supporters of Germany and Brocket became a committed member of the Anglo-German Fellowship, and known in society as a Nazi sympathiser.[3]

So identified was Brocket with the cause of Germany that he attended Hitler's 50th birthday celebration[4] and was a close friend of Joachim von Ribbentrop. According to Neville Chamberlain, Foreign Secretary the Earl of Halifax used him as a conduit to convey to the leading Nazis the views of the British government.

After the outbreak of World War II, Brocket continued to work for an understanding between Britain and Germany. He urged a negotiated peace settlement and tried to arrange talks with Hitler. He had a contact with Hermann Göring through a Swedish intermediary called Bengt Berg. Brocket worked closely with the historian Arthur Bryant, who shared his views and helped bring the negotiations to the attention of the Foreign Office. However, he was informed that the proposal to grant Germany control over Poland and Czechoslovakia was not acceptable to the British government.

After the war, in 1948, some returning soldiers (the so-called Seven Men of Knoydart) who had fought the Nazis decided to seize a portion of Knoydart - but the land raid failed.[5] Brocket sold the Knoydart estate shortly afterwards. In 1949, he bought the Carton House estate in Ireland.

Brocket was married to Angela Pennyman in 1927. Their daughter, Elizabeth, married Thomas Taylour, 6th Marquess of Headfort. Their son, Ronald, pre-deceased him in 1961, so the titles passed to his grandson, Charles.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 
  2. ^ Knoydart Foundation. "Past Times". Knoydart Foundation. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Stewart, David. "Parliamentary Debates". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 
  4. ^ Callan, Paul. "Hitler's Aristocratic Admirers". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Goodwin, Stephan (23 January 1999). "Knoydart bereft by exit of saviour". London: The Independent. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Abraham Tinne
Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree
19311934
Succeeded by
Joseph Jackson Cleary
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Nall-Cain
Baron Brocket
1934–1967
Succeeded by
Charles Nall-Cain