Thomas Teevan (Unionist politician)

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Thomas Leslie Teevan (July 1927 – 11 October 1954) was an Ulster Unionist Party politician and lawyer, notable for his extreme youth when first elected, brief career, and very early death.

Early life[edit]

Thomas Teevan was born in Limavady, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland in 1927. He was educated at Limavady Academy and Queen's University Belfast. He was a lecturer in law.

Brief political career[edit]

In 1950, a vacancy arose in the Belfast West constituency, owing to the disqualification of the Reverend James Godfrey MacManaway for being an Anglican priest despite the Church of Ireland being disestablished. Teevan was selected as Unionist candidate for the ensuing by-election.

He was elected on 29 November 1950 over the Northern Ireland Labour Party candidate, Jack Beattie, a former MP for the seat, by 913 votes. Teevan was aged only 23 and became Baby of the House upon taking the oath on 5 December 1950.[1]

His tenure lasted only 330 days, and he lost the seat to Beattie by just 25 votes in the 1951 General Election. Aged only 24, he thus became the youngest person to leave the House of Commons in modern times. Rev MacManaway himself died in November 1951 aged 53.

Early death[edit]

Teevan qualified as a barrister in Northern Ireland in 1952. He also served as Chairman of Limavady Urban District Council.

Thomas Teevan died suddenly in 1954, at his home in Portstewart, County Londonderry aged just 27.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Search: teevan (Hansard)". Retrieved 2012-05-23. 


  • 'Who's Who of British MPs: Volume IV, 1945-1979' by Michael Stenton and Stephen Lees (Harvester, Brighton, 1979) ISBN 0-85527-335-6

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Godfrey MacManaway
Member of Parliament for Belfast West
November 19501951
Succeeded by
Jack Beattie
Preceded by
Tony Benn
Baby of the House
Succeeded by
Tony Benn