Lord Hailsham, 94; Conservative Served in 6 Governments

From Associated Press

Lord Hailsham, who served in the governments of six Conservative prime ministers in an illustrious political career, has died at age 94, his family said Sunday.

Hailsham died at his London home on Friday after a long illness, said his son Douglas Hogg, a member of Parliament.

One of the last survivors of Winston Churchill’s wartime government, Hailsham finished as lord chancellor, chief of the judiciary, for prime ministers Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher.


“He combined a brilliant intellect and acute political instinct with a profound patriotism and commitment to his country,” Prime Minister Tony Blair said.

One of Britain’s unforgettable political figures, Hailsham seemed to enjoy defying convention, dressing in old-fashioned buttoned boots and a bowler hat, and riding a bicycle around London.

Some within the Conservative Party regarded him as a publicity seeker. But he had a fine mind and brought his scholarship and wide experience to a long and varied career that began in 1938, when he was elected to represent Oxford in the House of Commons.

Hailsham was born Quintin McGarel Hogg on Oct. 9. 1907, elder son of Viscount Hailsham, who also served as lord chancellor and as Britain’s attorney general. His mother was a judge’s daughter from Nashville, Tenn.

Young Quintin was educated at Eton and achieved two first-class degrees from Oxford University. He fought in World War II until he was wounded in the leg and returned to Parliament.

When his father died in 1950, Hogg inherited the title, which consigned him to what he called the “political ghetto” of the House of Lords, the non-elected upper house. He renounced the title in 1963 when he had a chance of succeeding Harold Macmillan as prime minister, but lost out to Alec Douglas-Home. He served in both their governments.

In the interim, he served as First Lord of the Admiralty in Anthony Eden’s government during the Suez crisis.

In 1970, he was named Heath’s lord chancellor and became Lord Hailsham again, when he was made a life baron. When Thatcher took power, she kept him as lord chancellor and he served in the post for 12 years.

Hailsham retired from the Cabinet in 1987 with a kiss on the cheek from Thatcher at the door of 10 Downing Street. She told him, “You have graced every office that you have held with supreme distinction and style.”

But he remained a colorful member of the House of Lords, and was reprimanded for “intervening from a sedentary position in a loud and boisterous way” during a 1993 debate. Apparently unabashed by the rebuke, he was said to have gone about the chamber the next day singing “Land of Hope and Glory” in a loud and sarcastic manner.