Ronald McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun

Ronald John McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun, PC (30 April 1861 – 12 October 1934), was a British Conservative politician.

The Lord Cushendun

Ronald McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun.jpg
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
19 October 1927 – 4 June 1929
Prime MinisterStanley Baldwin
Preceded byThe Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Succeeded bySir Oswald Mosley
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
5 November 1925 – 1 November 1927
Preceded byWalter Guinness
Succeeded byArthur Samuel
Parliamentary Representation
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
November 1927 – his death in October 1934
Hereditary peerage
Member of Parliament
for Canterbury
In office
14 December 1918 – 4 November 1927
Preceded byGeorge Knox Anderson
Succeeded byWilliam Wayland
Member of Parliament
for St Augustine's
In office
7 July 1911 – 14 December 1918
Preceded byAretas Akers-Douglas
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born(1861-04-30)30 April 1861
Ulster, Ireland
Died12 October 1934(1934-10-12) (aged 73)
Cushendun, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Political partyUnionist

Background and educationEdit

McNeill was born in Ulster. He was the son of Edmund McNeill, DL, JP, and Sheriff of County Antrim, and his wife Mary (née Miller). He was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1886. He was called to the bar in 1888, and started to work as editor of The St James's Gazette (1900–04) as well as assistant editor of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1906–10).[1]

Political careerEdit

Having unsuccessfully contested the seats of West Aberdeenshire (1906), Aberdeen South (1907 and Jan 1910), and Kirkcudbrightshire (Dec 1910), McNeill was elected as Unionist Member of Parliament for the St Augustine's division of Kent in 1911. Seven years later he became representative for Canterbury, and in 1922 was appointed Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, a post he held, with a short interval for the first Labour Government of 1924, until 1925.

After serving as Financial Secretary to the Treasury for two years, McNeill was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster with a seat in the cabinet in 1927. The same year he was also sworn of the Privy Council and, in November 1927, raised to the peerage as The Baron Cushendun, of Cushendun in the County of Antrim.[2] Acting Foreign Secretary in 1928 and twice chief British representative to the League of Nations, Lord Cushendun signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact in August that year. He retired from office in 1929.

Cushendun and Glenmona HouseEdit

Glenmona House today

From 1910, McNeill resided, when not in London, at Glenmona House in Cushendun, the coastal village in the Glens of Antrim in County Antrim from which he later took his title. He was burnt out of the house in 1922, having a replacement built that was designed by Clough Williams-Ellis.[3] The village also contains buildings designed by Williams-Ellis, built in memory of Lord Cushendun's Cornish wife, Maud, who died in 1925.


In 1884, the future Lord Cushendun married Elizabeth Maud Bolitho (brother of William Bolitho), a Cornishwoman and Christian Scientist.[4] They had three daughters: Esther Rose, Loveday Violet, and Mary Morvenna Bolitho (who married Major Philip Le Grand Gribble, military correspondent and memoirist). After Elizabeth's death in 1925 he married Catherine Sydney Louisa Margesson in 1930. She survived him, dying in 1939.[5] Lord Cushendun died in Cushendun in October 1934, aged 73, when the barony became extinct.


  1. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Table of contributors. Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. xii.
  2. ^ "No. 33327". The London Gazette. 8 November 1927. p. 7113.
  3. ^ "Glenmona House, National Trust". National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  4. ^ Gribble, Phillip (1964). Off the Cuff. London: Phoenix House. p. 35.
  5. ^ Cokayne, George (1982). The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, or Dormant. XIII. Gloucester, England: A. Sutton. p. 433. ISBN 0-904387-82-8.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Aretas Akers-Douglas
Member of Parliament for St Augustine's
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
George Knox Anderson
Member of Parliament for Canterbury
Succeeded by
William Wayland
Political offices
Preceded by
Cecil Harmsworth
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Arthur Ponsonby
Preceded by
Arthur Ponsonby
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Godfrey Locker-Lampson
Preceded by
Hon. Walter Guinness
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Arthur Samuel
Preceded by
The Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Succeeded by
Sir Oswald Mosley, Bt
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Cushendun