Edward FitzRoy

Edward Algernon FitzRoy JP DL PC (24 July 1869 – 3 March 1943) was a British Conservative politician who served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1928 until his death.[2]

Edward FitzRoy

Edward FitzRoy, Commons Speaker.png
Speaker of the House of Commons
In office
20 June 1928 – 3 March 1943
MonarchGeorge V
Edward VIII
George VI
Prime MinisterStanley Baldwin
Ramsay MacDonald
Neville Chamberlain
Winston Churchill
Preceded byJohn Henry Whitley
Succeeded byDouglas Clifton Brown
Member of Parliament
for Daventry
In office
14 December 1918 – 3 March 1943
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byReginald Manningham-Buller
Member of Parliament
for South Northamptonshire
In office
15 January 1910 – 14 December 1918
In office
1 October 1900 – 12 January 1906
Preceded byEdward Douglas-Pennant
Succeeded byArchibald Grove
Personal details
Edward Algernon FitzRoy

(1869-07-24)24 July 1869
London, England[1]
Died3 March 1943(1943-03-03) (aged 73)
Westminster, London
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Viscountess Daventry

Early lifeEdit

FitzRoy was the second son of the 3rd Baron Southampton and his second wife, Ismania Catherine Nugent, a granddaughter of Sir Charles Jenkinson, 10th Baronet. He came from a family with a long line of public service and was a descendant of Charles II's illegitimate son Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton.[3] Through ancestor Anne Warren, the daughter of Admiral Peter Warren, he was a descendant of the Schuyler family, the Van Cortlandt family, and the Delancey family, all from British North America.[2][4]

His mother was Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria and young FitzRoy was a Page of Honour to the Queen.[2]

Political careerEdit

A member of Northamptonshire County Council from 1896 to 1921, FitzRoy first entered Parliament in 1900 General election as Member of Parliament (MP) for Northamptonshire South.[5] He was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Northamptonshire in 1901.[6] He was re-elected during the January 1910 General Election for Northamptonshire South.[7] He held the seat in the December 1910 General Election.[8]

During World War I, whilst still an MP, he served in the British Army as a captain of the 1st Regiment of Life Guards, was wounded at the First Battle of Ypres and commanded the mounted troops of the Guards Division from 1915–16.[2]

In the 1918 General Election, he was elected for the seat of Daventry.[9] He held the seat in the 1922,[10] 1923,[11] 1924,[12] 1929,[13] 1931 and 1935 General Elections.[14]

He served as deputy chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, briefly during 1923 and from 1924 to 1928. He was made a Privy Councillor in February 1924.[15] He was elected Speaker of the House of Commons on 20 June 1928.[16] In 1931, he was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Cambridge and an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree from the University of Oxford in 1934. In 1935, there was considerable controversy when the Labour Party decided to stand a candidate against him in the general election. According to The Times' obituary, "In addition to his former party Mr. Lloyd George and the Liberal leaders came out strongly in defence of his position. Even on the lowest ground of party interest Labour made a grave mistake, for Captain FitzRoy was returned by a resounding majority."[2]

Fitzroy died in office, aged 73 in Westminster in 1943.[2] He was succeeded by Douglas Clifton-Brown. In 1983, Labour MP and then Father of the House John Parker said of him: “I remember the first Speaker in my time, Captain Fitzroy. He was definitely a bit of a tartar. He disliked new young Members. When he was in the Chair, if someone spoke for too long he banged his hand on the side of his Chair. The longer the Member continued to speak, the more vigorously he hit the Chair. Everyone saw that except, unfortunately, the Member who was speaking, who was not deterred. Captain Fitzroy took a firm revenge and did not call that Member for a long time.” [17]

Personal lifeEdit

FitzRoy married Muriel Douglas-Pennant on 19 November 1891. She was appointed a CBE in 1918. Upon his death she was given a Viscountcy, the customary retirement honour for Speakers, as Viscountess Daventry.

Fitzroy and Lady Daventry had four children:[18]


Fitzroy's arms, as displayed in Speaker's House[19] were the same as those of the Dukes of Grafton.

Coat of arms of Edward FitzRoy
The Royal Arms of Charles II, viz. Quarterly: 1st and 4th, France and England quarterly; 2nd, Scotland; 3rd, Ireland; the whole debruised by a Baton sinister compony of six pieces Argent and Azure.


  1. ^ 1901 England Census
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Right Hon. Edward FitzRoy". The Times. The Times Digital Archive.
  3. ^ Rose, Kenneth (1894). King George V. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 369. ISBN 978-0333372241. while standing only a few feet from the place where his own ancestor, Charles I, had been tried for his life and found guilty.
  4. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 3687. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  5. ^ "No. 27244". The London Gazette. 6 November 1900. p. 6772.
  6. ^ "No. 27313". The London Gazette. 14 May 1901. p. 3292.
  7. ^ "No. 28338". The London Gazette. 11 February 1910. p. 1034.
  8. ^ "No. 28449". The London Gazette. 23 December 1910. p. 9554.
  9. ^ "No. 31147". The London Gazette. 28 January 1919. p. 1361.
  10. ^ "No. 32775". The London Gazette. 8 December 1922. p. 8708.
  11. ^ "No. 32897". The London Gazette. 11 January 1924. p. 364.
  12. ^ "No. 32996". The London Gazette. 25 November 1924. p. 8530.
  13. ^ "No. 33508". The London Gazette. 21 June 1929. p. 4112.
  14. ^ "No. 34223". The London Gazette. 26 November 1935. p. 7502.
  15. ^ "No. 32906". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 February 1924. p. 1261.
  16. ^ "Election of Speaker". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 20 June 1928. col. 1719–1728.
  17. ^ "Mr. Speaker (Retirement) (Hansard, 12 May 1983)". api.parliament.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  18. ^ Burke 2003, p. 1046
  19. ^ "The Speaker's Chamber in the Palace of Westminster in the Houses of Parliament, London, Britain. | Workers' Photos Archive". workersphotos.photoshelter.com. Retrieved 9 September 2019.

External linksEdit

Court offices
Preceded by
George Byng
Page of Honour
Succeeded by
Cyril Stopford
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hon. Edward Douglas-Pennant
Member of Parliament for Northamptonshire South
Succeeded by
Archibald Grove
Preceded by
Archibald Grove
Member of Parliament for Northamptonshire South
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Daventry
Succeeded by
Reginald Manningham-Buller
Political offices
Preceded by
Cyril Entwistle
Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means
Succeeded by
Dennis Herbert
Preceded by
John Henry Whitley
Speaker of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Douglas Clifton Brown