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Major John Sewell Courtauld, MC (30 August 1880 – 20 April 1942) was an English Conservative Party politician.

John Courtauld

Member of Parliament
for Chichester
In office
29 October 1924 – 20 April 1942
Preceded byCharles Rudkin
Succeeded byLancelot Joynson-Hicks
Personal details
Born(1880-08-26)26 August 1880
Bocking, Braintree, Essex, UK
Died20 April 1942(1942-04-20) (aged 61)
Midhurst, Sussex, UK
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Henrietta Barbara Holland
(m. 1906–1942; his death)
ProfessionPolitician, soldier
AwardsMilitary cross w 2bars BAR.svg Military Cross
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service British Army
Battles/warsFirst World War


John Courtauld was a member of the well-known Courtauld family. The family came to England as Huguenot refugees and at one time engaged in the classical Huguenot occupation of being a silk-weaver in the Spitalfields district of London. However, they soon established the family company and moved out of London to Essex. For two centuries the family has been associated with the Braintree area of Essex, in Pebmarsh, Halstead, Gosfield and Bocking. The silk and crepe manufacture thrived and the development of rayon and other artificial fibres made the company one of the leading textile companies in Britain, if not the world. The wealth that came with this success enabled many family members to pursue successful careers in politics and in the arts.

John Courtauld was the third son of Sydney Courtauld (10 March 1840 – 20 October 1899) and Sarah Lucy Sharpe (1844–1906). His eldest brother was Sir William Courtauld Bt., the first - and last - baronet; the second brother was Samuel Courtauld, who established the Courtauld Institute of Art; his youngest brother was Sir Stephen Courtauld Kt., the patron of Art Deco works at Eltham Palace.


John Courtauld saw active service in the First World War and was awarded the Military Cross. He owned a company of architects, but at the 1924 general election he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Chichester, a safe Conservative seat. He was duly re-elected at the general elections of 1929, 1931 and 1935, until his death in 1942, aged 61.