Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton


Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton

Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton PC (4 April 1883 – 26 August 1962), known as Viscount Turnour until 1907, was an Irish peer and British politician in the first half of the twentieth century who achieved the rare distinction of serving as both Baby of the House and Father of the House at the opposite ends of his career in the House of Commons.

He was first elected for Horsham in a by-election in 1904 at the age of just 21, the youngest MP in the Commons, and remained an MP for the next 47 years. Sitting as a Conservative, Winterton would slowly rise through the ranks, later achieving ministerial office as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for India in 1922. In 1924 he was sworn of the Privy Council, but it was not until 1937 when he achieved Cabinet office, and even then as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In 1938 he was promoted to the Cabinet and given the job of speaking in the House of Commons of behalf of the Secretary of State for Air Viscount Swinton. However in this role he proved a noted failure, especially in a heated debate in May 1938 which led to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain concluding that the Secretary of State for Air must be an MP. In July 1938 he led the British delegation to the Evian Conference at which the problem of the Jewish refugees was debated. Thereafter, Winterton was increasingly sidelined and the following year he was dropped from the Cabinet and served in the marginal post of Paymaster-General before leaving the government altogether.

Winterton remained a Member of Parliament until 1951, by which time he was the MP with the longest continuous service. Since Winterton was an Irish peer, he was not entitled to an automatic seat in the House of Lords, however, in 1952 he was created Baron Turnour in the Peerage of the United Kingdom to allow him to sit in that body. This peerage became extinct upon his death, but his Irish peerage was able to pass to more distant relatives.

In September 1910 the mother of Ivy Gordon-Lennox acted to contradict a rumour that her daughter was engaged to marry Winterton, going so far as to place a notice in the "New York Times" to say that there was no engagement. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9901E2DD1F39E333A25756C2A96F9C946196D6CF&oref=slogin Ivy Gordon-Lennox Not Engaged] dated September 25, 1910, at nytimes.com, accessed 24 July 2008] Winterton died unmarried in 1962. [ [http://www.thepeerage.com/p2108.htm#i21075 Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton] at thepeerage.com, accessed 24 July 2008]

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