London – October 2001. It is with much regret that the Chancery notes the passing of the Rt Hon Lord Hailsham of Saint Marylebone. Lord Hailsham was a gold medallist of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, and died on 12 October 2001 at the age of 94.
Lord Hailsham (left) was one of the greatest and most colourful figures of both British politics and English Law since the Second World War. His life spanned almost the whole of the last century and he played a leading role in many of the main events of it.
The eldest son of the 1st Viscount Hailsham, Lord High Chancellor of England, Quintin McGarel Hogg followed his father into politics and the law after a distinguished career at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he gained firsts in Mods and Greats and was elected a Fellow of All Souls at the age of 24. He was called to the Bar in 1932 and elected to Parliament in a controversial by-election in 1938.
When war broke out, he joined the Rifle Brigade and was wounded serving with the Middle Eastern Land Forces in the Western Desert in 1941. When he returned to politics, Prime Minister Winston Churchill appointed him Under-Secretary of State for Air.
He was elevated to the House of Lords in 1950 after his father’s death and took silk in 1953, becoming a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in 1956. That same year, Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden asked him to serve as First Lord of the Admiralty and he played a prominent part in the Suez crisis, defending the deployment of British troops in the Canal Zone. He served as Education Minister under Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and was appointed Lord President of the Council and Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1957. He became Lord Privy Seal after the Conservatives’ election victory in 1959 and was given various ad hoc tasks, including the negotiation of a nuclear test ban treaty in Moscow.
In 1963, he suffered the greatest disappointment of his career when he was defeated in his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Consolation came in 1970, however, when Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath gave him the chance to follow his father onto the Woolsack as Lord High Chancellor, a position he also occupied in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government from 1979-87.
He was appointed by Her Majesty The Queen a Companion of Honour in 1974 and created a Knight of the Garter in 1988. He is succeeded by his son the Hon Douglas Hogg, MP, and leaves one other son and three daughters.
Requiescat in pace.