Open main menu

Frederick Elwyn Jones, Baron Elwyn-Jones, CH, PC (24 October 1909 – 4 December 1989), known as Elwyn Jones, was a Welsh barrister and Labour politician.

The Lord Elwyn-Jones

Elwyn Jones in Romania (cropped).jpg
Shadow Lord Chancellor
In office
2 October 1983 – 9 January 1989
LeaderNeil Kinnock
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byThe Lord Mishcon
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
In office
5 March 1974 – 4 May 1979
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
James Callaghan
Preceded byThe Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone
Succeeded byThe Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone
Attorney General for England and Wales
In office
16 October 1964 – 19 June 1970
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Preceded byJohn Hobson
Succeeded byPeter Rawlinson
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
11 March 1974 – 4 December 1989
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Newham South
In office
28 February 1974 – 11 March 1974
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byNigel Spearing
Member of Parliament
for West Ham South
In office
23 February 1950 – 28 February 1974
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of Parliament
for Plaistow
In office
5 July 1945 – 23 February 1950
Preceded byWill Thorne
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born(1909-10-24)24 October 1909
Llanelli, Wales, UK
Died4 December 1989(1989-12-04) (aged 80)
Brighton, England, UK
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Pearl Binder (1937–1989)
Alma materAberystwyth University
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
City Law School


Background and educationEdit

Elwyn Jones was born in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, and read History for a year at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and then at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He spent time in Germany in the 1930s during his youth.

Legal careerEdit

He became a barrister and Recorder of Merthyr Tydfil. He was also a broadcaster and journalist. He served as junior British Counsel during the Nuremberg Trials,[1] and led for the prosecution (Leading Prosecutor) at the Hamburg trial of Marshal Erich von Manstein in 1948.

In 1966, he led the prosecution of the Moors murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

Political careerEdit

At the 1945 general election, he was elected as Labour Member of Parliament for Plaistow, east London. In 1950, he became MP for West Ham South, serving until 1974. In 1964, Elwyn Jones was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Attorney General (receiving the customary knighthood[2]) by Harold Wilson, a post he held until 1970.

In February 1974, he was once again elected to Parliament, now for Newham South, but left the House of Commons soon afterwards when he was made a life peer, as Baron Elwyn-Jones, of Llanelli in the County of Carmarthen and of Newham in Greater London.[3] He then served as Lord Chancellor from 1974 to 1979, under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. In 1976 he was made a Companion of Honour.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1937, Elwyn Jones married Pearl "Polly" Binder, an artist from Manchester. They had three children: Josephine, Lou and Dan. Josephine became a researcher on Jacob Bronowski's TV series The Ascent of Man and married Francis Gladstone (a relative of Prime Minister William Gladstone).

Elwyn Jones's brother, Idris (1900–1971), was captain of the Wales rugby union team in 1925, and was an industrial chemist who became Director General of Research Development for the National Coal Board.[5][6]

Lord Elwyn-Jones died in December 1989, aged 80.[citation needed]

Styles of addressEdit

  • 1909-1945: Mr Elwyn Jones
  • 1945-1964: Mr Elwyn Jones MP
  • 1963-1974: The Rt Hon. Sir Elwyn Jones MP
  • 1974-1976: The Rt Hon. The Lord Elwyn-Jones PC
  • 1976-1989: The Rt Hon. The Lord Elwyn-Jones CH PC


  1. ^ The Trial of German War Criminals, Part I. His Majesty's Stationery Office. 1946. p. vii.
  2. ^ "No. 43498". The London Gazette. 24 November 1964. p. 10025.
  3. ^ "No. 46236". The London Gazette. 14 March 1974. p. 3303.
  4. ^ "No. 46916". The London Gazette. 1 June 1976. p. 7823.
  5. ^ James, Mary Auronwy. "JONES, WALTER IDRIS (1900-1971)". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Wales' rugby captains". BBC. Retrieved 20 November 2014.

Further readingEdit

  • The Times House of Commons 1945. 1945.
  • The Times House of Commons 1950. 1950.
  • The Times House of Commons 1955. 1955.

External linksEdit