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John Boyd-Carpenter, Baron Boyd-Carpenter

John Archibald Boyd-Carpenter, Baron Boyd-Carpenter, PC, DL (2 June 1908 – 11 July 1998) was a British Conservative politician.

The Lord Boyd-Carpenter

John Boyd-Carpenter 1949.jpg
Photograph from 1949
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
16 July 1962 – 15 October 1964
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterHarold Macmillan
Alec Douglas-Home
ChancellorReginald Maudling
Preceded byHenry Brooke
Succeeded byJohn Diamond
Paymaster General
In office
16 July 1962 – 15 October 1964
Prime MinisterHarold Macmillan
Alec Douglas-Home
Preceded byHenry Brooke
Succeeded byGeorge Wigg
Minister of Pensions and National Insurance
In office
20 December 1955 – 16 July 1962
Prime MinisterAnthony Eden
Harold Macmillan
Preceded byOsbert Peake
Succeeded byNiall Macpherson
Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation
In office
28 July 1954 – 20 December 1955
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Anthony Eden
Preceded byAlan Lennox-Boyd
Succeeded byHarold Watkinson
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
30 October 1951 – 28 July 1954
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byDouglas Jay
Succeeded byHenry Brooke
Member of Parliament
for Kingston-upon-Thames
In office
30 October 1945 – 4 May 1972
Preceded byPercy Royds
Succeeded byNorman Lamont
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
1 May 1972 – 11 July 1998
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born2 June 1908 (1908-06-02)
Died11 July 1998 (1998-07-12) (aged 90)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Peggy, m.1937
Alma materStowe School
Balliol College, Oxford
Middle Temple


Early lifeEdit

He was the only son of Conservative politician Sir Archibald Boyd-Carpenter MP and his wife Annie Dugdale. He was educated at Stowe School, Buckinghamshire, and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Union in 1930. He graduated with a BA in History, and a Diploma in Economics in 1931. He was Harmsworth Law Scholar at the Middle Temple in 1933 and called to Bar the next year, and practised in the London and South-East Circuit.[1]

War serviceEdit

Boyd-Carpenter joined the Scots Guards in 1940 and held various staff appointments, including with the Allied Military Government in Italy, retiring with the rank of Major.

Political careerEdit

Boyd-Carpenter contested the Limehouse district for the London County Council in 1934. He was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for Kingston-upon-Thames in 1945,[2] holding the seat until 1972, when he was raised to the peerage.

He held ministerial office as Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1951–54. In 1954 he was promoted to Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation and appointed a Privy Counsellor.[3] In December 1955 he was moved to the position of Minister of Pensions and National Insurance, which he held until July 1962 (the young Margaret Thatcher served under him as Parliamentary Under-Secretary, her first ministerial job, from October 1961).[2] He was then Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster-General from 1962-64.

When Alec Douglas-Home became Prime Minister in October 1963, he initially promised Boyd-Carpenter the job of Leader of the House of Commons, but in the end the job went to Selwyn Lloyd who was returning to government from the backbenches.[4]

Following the Conservative defeat in 1964,[2] he served as Opposition Front Bench Spokesman on Housing, Local Government and Land, 1964–66, and as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee from 1964-70. He later held a number of Party and business appointments.

He was appointed a life peer on 1 May 1972, as Baron Boyd-Carpenter, of Crux Easton in the County of Southampton.[5][6] His successor at the ensuing byelection was Norman Lamont, the future Chancellor under Major.[7]

As the first Chairman of the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Boyd-Carpenter was in charge at the time of the collapse of the UK airline Court Line and their subsidiary Clarksons Travel Group in August 1974.


Boyd-Carpenter was married to Peggy in 1937.[2] Boyd-Carpenter's son, Thomas Boyd-Carpenter, was himself knighted following his military and public service careers. One of his two daughters, Sarah Hogg, Baroness Hogg, married Douglas Hogg, 3rd Viscount Hailsham, and is a life peer in her own right.

Styles of addressEdit

  • 1908–1945: Mr John Boyd-Carpenter
  • 1945–1954: Mr John Boyd-Carpenter MP
  • 1954–1972: The Rt Hon. John Boyd-Carpenter MP
  • 1972–1998: The Rt Hon. The Lord Boyd-Carpenter PC

Coat of armsEdit

Baron Boyd-Carpenter's Arms appear to be of French or Norman heritage, "Paly of six, argent and gules, on a chevron azure, 3 cross crosslets or." Crest, on a wreath a globe in a frame all or. Supporters, two horses, party-perfess, embattled argent and gules. Motto: "Per Acuta Belli" (Through the Asperities of War). These arms descend from John Carpenter, the younger (c. 1372 – 1442) who was the noted Town Clerk of London during the reigns of King Henry V & King Henry VI.[8]

These arms are often referred to as the Hereford Arms, named for the later ancestral home of the Carpenter family in Hereford, England. The crest, supporters & motto apparently has changed several times over the centuries.[9]

Sample of a medieval knight with an early Carpenter coat of arms on shield

Sir William Boyd Carpenter (1841–1918), an English clergyman of the Established church of England, Bishop of Ripon, afterwards a Canon of Westminster and Chaplain to the reigning sovereign of England, wrote in a letter dated 7 August 1907 that his family bore the Hereford Arms. Sir Noel Paton, upon painting the Family Arms, informed him that the supporters were originally a round-handled sword, which in drawing over time became shortened, until nothing but the cross and globe were left beneath it. Those Hereford Arms were used by "John Carpenter, town clerk of London, who died 1442 A. D."[9] His grandson, the subject of this article, John Boyd-Carpenter, Baron Boyd-Carpenter (1908–1998), continued the Arms into the new century by passing it down to his son, Thomas Boyd-Carpenter, who was himself knighted after a military career as a Lieutenant-General and for public service.[9]

There is no direct male to male Carpenter descent connecting Lord Carpenter & Sir William Boyd Carpenter. The family connection is by marriage through the females in the family.[10]

The Hereford Coat of Arms described above should not be confused with the Arms of Bishop Richard Carpenter (c1450s?–1503) presented in the "Visitations of the County of Oxford taken in 1566, 1574, and 1634, published in 1871, which describe the arms displayed in the buildings at the University in Oxford – "In the Lyberarye of Baliall College." – as recorded by the officials performing the visitations in those years. The Visitations describe the arms of Bishop Richard Carpenter (c1450s–1503) as: "Paly of nine Gu. and Az. on a chevron Arg. surmounted by a mitre Or, three cross crosslets of—nine pales alternating red and blue, with a silver chevron bearing three gold cross-crosslets.[11]


  1. ^ Green, E. H. H. "Carpenter, John Archibald Boyd-, Baron Boyd-Carpenter". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/70217.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b c d "Address by Lady Thatcher at the Memorial Service of Lord Boyd-Carpenter, 3 November 1998". Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  3. ^ "No. 40053". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1953. p. 1.
  4. ^ Thorpe 1989, p381-2
  5. ^ "No. 45663". The London Gazette. 4 May 1972. p. 5315.
  6. ^ "No. 19094". The Edinburgh Gazette. 5 May 1972. p. 399.
  7. ^ "No. 45668". The London Gazette. 11 May 1972. p. 5627.
  8. ^ Historical Manuscripts Commission, UK National Register of Archives, George Carpenter (1657–1732) 1st Baron Carpenter Lieutenant General,[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b c Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine; vol. 16, Number 2, April 1925, Page 60–70, article by J. Hatton Carpenter "The Carpenter Family of England and the United States."
  10. ^ "Carpenters Encyclopedia of Carpenters" published as a two data DVD set in 2009 by the Cousins Project.
  11. ^ Visitations of the County of Oxford taken in 1566, 1574, and 1634, published in 1871.

External linksEdit