Patricia Hornsby-Smith, Baroness Hornsby-Smith

Margaret Patricia Hornsby-Smith, Baroness Hornsby-Smith, DBE, PC (17 March 1914 – 3 July 1985) was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom.

The Baroness Hornsby-Smith
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health
In office
3 November 1951 – 18 January 1957
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Anthony Eden
Preceded byArthur Blenkinsop
Succeeded byJohn Vaughan-Morgan
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
13 May 1974 – 3 July 1985
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Chislehurst
In office
18 June 1970 – 27 February 1974
Preceded byAlistair Macdonald
Succeeded byRoger Sims
In office
23 February 1950 – 30 March 1966
Preceded byGeorge Wallace
Succeeded byAlistair Macdonald
Personal details
Margaret Patricia Hornsby-Smith

(1914-03-17)17 March 1914
East Sheen, Surrey, UK
Died3 July 1985(1985-07-03) (aged 71)
Westminster, London, UK
Political partyConservative
Coat of arms[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Margaret Patricia Hornsby-Smith was born 17 March 1914 in East Sheen, the second child and only daughter of shopkeeper Frederick Charles Hornsby-Smith, a saddle dealer and master umbrella maker, and his wife, Ellen (née Minter).[2] She was educated at the local elementary school, and at Richmond County School for Girls. After leaving school she worked as a private secretary for several firms and for an employers' federation. Her interest in politics was established early and she joined the Junior Imperial League at the age of sixteen. The following year she was invited to join the Conservative Party's supporting team of speakers for the 1931 election campaign.

During the war she undertook voluntary work. In 1941 she took a job in the civil service as Principal Private Secretary to Lord Selborne, the minister of economic warfare, a post she held until the end of the war.[3]

Political careerEdit

Her political career took off after the war. She was elected for a term on Barnes council where she served from 1945 – 1949.[3] At the 1950 general election, she was elected as Member of Parliament for Chislehurst, winning a majority of only 167 votes over the sitting Labour MP, George Wallace.[3]

She was re-elected at the next four general elections (1951, 1955, 1959, 1964), served as Parliamentary Secretary 1951 – 1957[4] and was made a Privy Counsellor in 1959.[3]

In 1964 she presented the Nurses Act to Parliament.[5] She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in September 1961.[6]

At the 1966 election, she lost her seat to Labour's Alistair Macdonald, by a majority of only 810. Four years later, at the 1970 election, she regained the seat with a majority of 3363.[7]

Constituency boundary changes implemented in the February 1974 general election encouraged Hornsby-Smith to allow Roger Sims to stand for Chislehurst, and to compete instead for the new constituency of Sidcup. However, Edward Heath also selected to run for Sidcup so Hornsby-Smith stood in another new seat; Aldridge-Brownhills.[3] She lost to the Labour candidate Geoff Edge by just 366 votes.[8]

Hornsby-Smith was subsequently elevated to a life peerage on 13 May 1974 as Baroness Hornsby-Smith, of Chislehurst in the County of Kent.[9][10]

Death and memorialEdit

Patricia Hornsby-Smith died 3 July 1985 in Westminster.[11]

Her funeral was held at Mortlake five days later. A memorial service was held on 29 October 1985 at St Margaret's, Westminster. Margaret Thatcher read one of the lessons.[3]

Other activitiesEdit

Lady Hornsby Smith was portrayed in the 2008 drama The Long Walk to Finchley (by actress Sylvestra Le Touzel).[12]


  1. ^ College of Arms. Grants Volume 147. p. 177.
  2. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Barnes, John (30 March 2010). "John Barnes, Historian - Vade mecum - Hornsby-Smith". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith". Hansard. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Women in the House of Commons House of Commons Information Office Factsheet M4 Appendix D" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 April 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  6. ^ "No. 42457". The London Gazette. 8 September 1961. p. 6547.
  7. ^ "UK General Election results 1970 [Archive]". Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  8. ^ "UK General Election results February 1974 [Archive]". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  9. ^ "No. 46254". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 April 1974. pp. 4395–4395.
  10. ^ "No. 46290". The London Gazette. 16 May 1974. pp. 5935–5935.
  11. ^ "Margaret Patricia Hornsby-smith". England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley". BBC. Retrieved 8 June 2011.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Chislehurst
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Chislehurst
1970February 1974
Succeeded by