Samuel Silkin, Baron Silkin of Dulwich

Samuel Silkin, Baron Silkin of Dulwich

Samuel Charles Silkin, Baron Silkin of Dulwich, PC, QC (6 March 1918 – 17 August 1988) was a British Labour Party politician and cricketer.

He was the second son of Lewis Silkin (afterwards Baron Silkin), a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) and a minister in Clement Attlee's Cabinet from 1945 to 1950. His brother, John, was also an MP and Cabinet minister.

Samuel Silkin was educated at Dulwich College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He played two games of first-class cricket in 1938, one each for Cambridge University Cricket Club and Glamorgan County Cricket Club. [cite web | url= | title=Sam Silkin | accessdate=2007-05-27 | publisher=CricketArchive]

He became a lawyer; he was called to the bar in 1941 and, in 1963, was raised to the rank of Queen's Counsel. He chaired the Society of Labour Lawyers. He served as a councillor on Camberwell Borough Council from 1953 until 1959.

At the 1964 general election, Silkin was elected Member of Parliament for the Dulwich constituency, adjoining his father's former constituency of Peckham. He was re-elected in Dulwich until his retirement at the 1983 general election.

From 1974 to 1979, he served as Attorney-General under Labour Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. In 1985, after his retirement from politics, he was created a life peer as Baron Silkin of Dulwich, of North Leigh in the County of Oxfordshire.

Silkin died in 1988, aged 70. He left, by his first wife Elaine Stamp (whom he married in 1941), two sons and two daughters. He did not have any children by his widow, Sheila Swanston, whom he married in 1985 after his first wife's death.


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