Thomas Taylor, Baron Taylor of Gryfe

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Thomas Johnston Taylor, Baron Taylor of Gryfe (27 April 1912 – 13 July 2001) was a British politician.

Personal life[edit]

Taylor was born in Glasgow and attended Bellahouston Academy. In 1931 a scholarship led to him living in Germany, where he also returned later in his youth. At this time, he was a member of the German Young Socialists and opposed the rise of the Nazi Party. During the Second World War, however, he was a conscientious objector. Taylor later became a Quaker.

His father, John Sharp Taylor, died when he was three years old and was raised with his two siblings by his mother from that time. He was married in 1943 to Isobel Wands and had two daughters.

Political career[edit]

As a young man Taylor was a member of the Independent Labour Party and was elected to Glasgow City Council in 1934 as the city's youngest councillor. He later stood for the ILP as parliamentary candidate in the Edinburgh Central by-election, 1941. He later joined the Labour Party, then the Social Democratic Party, before returning to Labour in the 1990s.

Taylor opposed Scottish devolution. Although an opponent of the Government's Railways Bill in 1993, he noted that he had no objection of privatisation as a concept.

On 29 January 1968 he was created a life peer as Baron Taylor of Gryfe, of Bridge of Weir in the County of Renfrew.[1]

Outside politics[edit]

Taylor served as President of the Co-operative Wholesale Society in Scotland and chaired the UK Forestry Commission. From 1971-80, he was chairman of Scottish Railways and a number of other companies including Morgan Grenfell (Scotland) Ltd.

Member: British Railways Board, 1968–80 (Chairman Scottish Railways Board, 1971–80); Board of Scottish Television Ltd, 1968–82; Forestry Commission, 1963–76 (Chairman., 1970–76). President, Scottish CWS, 1965–70; Member, Scottish Economic Council, 1971–74. Director: Whiteaway Laidlaw & Co. Ltd, 1971–89; Friends’ Provident Life Office, 1972–82; Scottish Metropolitan Property Co. Ltd, 1972–88; BR Property Bd, 1972–82; Member International Advisory Council, Morgan Grenfell. Chairman, Economic Forestry Group, 1976–81. Chairman, All-Party Parliamentary Forestry Group, 1995–. Trustee, Dulverton Trust, 1980–; Chm., Scottish Action on Dementia.


  1. ^ "No. 44514". The London Gazette. 30 January 1968. p. 1191.