John Morrison, 1st Baron Margadale

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John Morrison, 1st Baron Margadale

Major John Granville Morrison, 1st Baron Margadale, TD, DL (16 December 1906 – 25 May 1996) was a British landowner and Conservative Party politician. An MP from 1942 to 1965, he notably served as Chairman of the 1922 Committee between 1955 and 1964. He was the last non-royal person to receive a hereditary baronage.


Morrison was the son of Hugh Morrison and Lady Mary Leveson-Gower, daughter of the Liberal statesman Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville. James Morrison was his great-grandfather.[1] The family seat is the Fonthill estate in southern Wiltshire. Morrison was educated at Eton College and Magdalene College, Cambridge and served in the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry in the Second World War, until recalled in order to stand for election to Parliament.[2]

Political career[edit]

Morrison was appointed High Sheriff of Wiltshire for 1938.[3] In 1942 he was elected Member of Parliament for Salisbury,[4] a seat he held until 1965,[5] and served as Chairman of the 1922 Committee between 1955 and 1964.[6] On 1 January 1965 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Margadale, of Islay in the County of Argyll,[7] in recognition of his "political and public services".[6] He was also Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire between 1969[8] and 1981. In January 1983, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Wiltshire, together with Mary Salisbury.[9]

He was the last commoner to be raised to the hereditary peerage until Margaret Thatcher's brief revival of the practice in 1983, and the last ever under a Labour government.

Other interests[edit]

Jockey colours for Lord Margadale

Morrison began owning and breeding horses in 1952, and established the Fonthill Stud in 19th-century stables on his estate,[10] which has produced winners of several classic races.[11] He also led a reorganisation of the Jockey Club.[2]

From 1967 to 1975, he was President of the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust.[12]


Lord Margadale married the Honourable Margaret Smith, daughter of William Smith, 2nd Viscount Hambleden and Lady Esther Gore, on 16 October 1928. They had one daughter and three sons, the two younger of whom became Conservative politicians:

Lady Margadale died in 1980. Lord Margadale was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son, James.[1]


  1. ^ a b Major John Granville Morrison, 1st Baron Margadale
  2. ^ a b Cosgrave, Patrick (29 May 1996). "Obituary: Lord Margadale". The Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  3. ^ "No. 34494". The London Gazette. 18 March 1938. p. 1838.
  4. ^ "No. 35632". The London Gazette. 14 July 1942. p. 3101.
  5. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 1)
  6. ^ a b "No. 43502". The London Gazette. 27 November 1964. p. 10227.
  7. ^ "No. 43538". The London Gazette. 1 January 1965. p. 83.
  8. ^ "No. 44928". The London Gazette. 2 September 1969. p. 9016.
  9. ^ "No. 49236". The London Gazette. 17 January 1983. p. 693.
  10. ^ Freeman, Jane; Stevenson, Janet H (1987). Crowley, D.A. (ed.). "Victoria County History: Wiltshire: Vol 13 pp155-169 – Fonthill Gifford". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  11. ^ "Stud". The Fonthill Estate. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  12. ^ Colin Johns, Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust 1967-2007 (2007), Appendix 1
  13. ^ "The Hon. Mary Morrison, GCVO,", accessed 17 January 2014.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Despencer-Robertson
Member of Parliament for Salisbury
Succeeded by
Michael Hamilton
Party political offices
Preceded by
Derek Walker-Smith
Chairman of the 1922 Committee
Succeeded by
Sir William Anstruther-Gray, Bt
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire
Succeeded by
Hugh Trefusis Brassey
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Margadale
Succeeded by
James Morrison