John Hunt, Baron Hunt of Tanworth

(Redirected from Baron Hunt of Tanworth)

John Joseph Benedict Hunt, Baron Hunt of Tanworth, GCB (23 October 1919 – 17 July 2008) was a British civil servant.

The Lord Hunt of Tanworth
John Hunt 1971.jpg
Portrait by Bassano, 1971
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
8 February 1980 – 17 July 2008
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born(1919-10-23)23 October 1919
Minehead, Somerset, UK
Died17 July 2008(2008-07-17) (aged 88)
OccupationCivil servant
Known forCabinet Secretary, Life Peer and member of HoL

Born in Minehead, Somerset to Major A. L. Hunt MC by his wife Daphne (née Ashton Case), he was educated at Downside School and Magdalene College, Cambridge before joining the Civil Service in 1946.[1]

Hunt became Cabinet Secretary from 1973 to 1979, being the first Roman Catholic to hold this post since its creation in 1916.[2]

Lord Hunt of Tanworth married firstly in 1941 The Hon. Mary Robinson (died 1971) and, by his second wife Madeleine, Lady Charles (née Hume), was a brother-in-law of the late Basil Hume, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster.[3]

Honours and awardsEdit

Hunt was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 1968 Birthday Honours, promoted Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 1973 Birthday Honours and was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in the 1977 Birthday Honours.[1]

Hunt was created a Life Peer with the title Baron Hunt of Tanworth, of Stratford-upon-Avon in the County of Warwickshire on 8 February 1980,[4]

Lord Hunt was also appointed Officier de la Légion d'honneur by President François Mitterrand and Knight Commander of the Order of Pius IX by Pope John Paul II.[1][5]

In popular cultureEdit

Hunt was one of the more powerful cabinet secretaries, and was seen by many political figures (especially in the Second Wilson Ministry) as an "imperialist" who relished expanding the power of his remit. His uncanny mastery of procedure and ability to steer meetings to the conclusion he wished made him a considerable source of inspiration for the character of Sir Humphrey Appleby on the television series Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Hunt of Tanworth, Baron, (John Joseph Benedict Hunt) (23 Oct. 1919–17 July 2008)". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u21198. ISBN 978-0-19-954089-1. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  2. ^ Lord Hunt of Tanworth: Secretary of the Cabinet
  3. ^ Mosley, Charles (ed.) (2003). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 107th edn. London: Burke's Peerage & Gentry Ltd. p. 1998 (HUNT OF TANWORTH, LP). ISBN 0-9711966-2-1. {{cite book}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  4. ^ "No. 48096". The London Gazette. 13 February 1980. p. 2329.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Seldon, A. (2016) The Cabinet Office, 1916–2016, London: Biteback Publishing, pp. 179–192

External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by First Civil Service Commissioner
Succeeded by
Preceded by Second Permanent Secretary at the
Cabinet Office

Succeeded by
Preceded by Cabinet Secretary
Succeeded by