Michael Hicks Beach, 2nd Earl St Aldwyn

Michael John Hicks Beach, 2nd Earl St Aldwyn GBE TD PC DL (9 October 1912 – 29 January 1992) was a British Conservative politician. He achieved the distinction of serving in the governments of five different Prime Ministers.

The Earl St Aldwyn
The Earl St Aldwyn in 1932.jpg
Lord St Aldwyn in 1932
Chief Whip of the House of Lords
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms
In office
24 June 1970 – 11 March 1974
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byThe Lord Beswick
Succeeded byThe Baroness Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe
In office
27 June 1957 – 21 October 1964
Prime MinisterHarold Macmillan
Alec Douglas-Home
Preceded byThe Earl Fortescue
Succeeded byThe Lord Shepherd
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
In office
18 October 1954 – 18 January 1957
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Anthony Eden
Harold Macmillan
Preceded byThe Lord Carrington
Succeeded byJoseph Godber
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
9 October 1933 – 29 January 1992
Hereditary peerage
Preceded byThe 1st Earl St Aldwyn
Succeeded byThe 3rd Earl St Aldwyn
Personal details
Born(1912-10-09)9 October 1912
Died29 January 1992(1992-01-29) (aged 79)
Political partyConservative

Background and educationEdit

St Aldwyn was the only son of Michael Hicks Beach, Viscount Quenington, who was killed in action in 1916, and the grandson of Michael Hicks Beach, 1st Earl St Aldwyn. His mother was Marjorie Brocklehurst, who also died in 1916, daughter of Henry Dent Brocklehurst. He succeeded his grandfather in the earldom in April 1916, aged only three. St Aldwyn was educated at Eton and later fought in the Second World War as a Major in the 1st Royal Gloucestershire Hussars.

Political careerEdit

In 1954 St Aldwyn was appointed Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in the Conservative administration of Winston Churchill, a post he also held under Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan (the ministry was renamed the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1955).

In 1958 Macmillan promoted him to Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (chief government whip in the House of Lords). He retained this post also under Sir Alec Douglas-Home from 1963 to 1964. After the Conservatives lost power in 1964 he served as Chief Opposition Whip in the House of Lords from 1964 to 1970. When the Conservatives returned to power in 1970 under Edward Heath, St Aldwyn was again appointed Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, which he remained until the government fell in 1974.

Between 1974 and 1978 he was again Chief Opposition Whip in the House of Lords. Apart from his political career he was also a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire and served as Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire from 1981 to 1987. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1959, appointed a KBE in 1964 and a GBE in 1980.

Marriage and childrenEdit

Lord St Aldwyn married Diana Mary Christian Mills, daughter of Henry Christian George Mills, on 26 June 1948. They had three sons:[1]

Lord St Aldwyn died in January 1992, aged 79, and was succeeded by his eldest son Michael.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms
1957–1964
Succeeded by
Preceded by Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms
1970–1974
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Conservative Chief Whip in the House of Lords
1957–1978
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Earl St Aldwyn
1916–1992
Succeeded by
Michael Hicks Beach