Arthur Griffith-Boscawen

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Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen
Sir Arthur Boscawen.jpg
Minister of Agriculture
In office
Preceded by The Lord Lee of Fareham
Succeeded by Sir Robert Sanders
Minister of Health
In office
19 October 1922 7 March 1923
Preceded by Alfred Mond
Succeeded by Neville Chamberlain
Personal details
Born18 October 1865
Died1 June 1946

Sir Arthur Sackville Trevor Griffith-Boscawen PC (18 October 1865 – 1 June 1946) was a Wales-born British Conservative Party politician whose career was cut short by losing a string of Parliamentary elections.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

Wales Country in northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.


Griffith-Boscawen was born in Trefalyn, Denbighshire, son of Captain Boscawen Trevor Griffith who assumed the additional surname of Boscawen in 1875. He was educated at Rugby School and Queen's College, Oxford.

Trevalyn Hall Grade II* listed building in Rossett. Elizabethan manor house near Wrexham, Wales

Trevalyn Hall in Rossett, a Grade II* listed building, is an Elizabethan manor houses near Wrexham in Wales. It was built by John Trevor in 1576.

Captain (Royal Navy) senior officer rank of the Royal Navy

Captain (Capt) is a senior officer rank of the Royal Navy. It ranks above commander and below commodore and has a NATO ranking code of OF-5. The rank is equivalent to a colonel in the British Army and Royal Marines, and to a group captain in the Royal Air Force. There are similarly named equivalent ranks in the navies of many other countries.

Rugby School independent school in the United Kingdom

Rugby School is a day and mostly boarding co-educational independent school in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. Founded in 1567 as a free grammar school for local boys, it is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain. Up to 1667, the school remained in comparative obscurity. Its re-establishment by Thomas Arnold during his time as Headmaster, from 1828 to 1841, was seen as the forerunner of the Victorian public school. It is one of the original seven Great Nine Public Schools defined by the Clarendon Commission of 1864. Rugby School was also the birthplace of Rugby football. In 1845, a committee of Rugby schoolboys wrote the "Laws of Football as Played At Rugby School", the first published set of laws for any code of football.

In 1892 he was elected Member of Parliament for Tonbridge in Kent, a county for which he became JP in 1896. [1] Salisbury, whom he accused of ignoring 90% of MPs, appointed him private secretary to Chancellor of the Exchequer Michael Hicks-Beach in 1895, a job he held before becoming Parliamentary Charity Commissioner in 1900, serving until 1905. Griffith-Boscawen may have been influential in helping to choose Alfred Milner as the new Governor-General for the Cape. The aged Lord Rosmead was retiring, leaving the government, and Chamberlain in particular desperate to find a replacement. The choice of Milner, a brilliant Oxford scholar, was universally acclaimed in parliament as a shrewd option; the candidate was warmly praised for his courage in coming forward during the Jameson Raid crisis.

Tunbridge was a parliamentary constituency in Kent, centred on the town of Tonbridge. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Kent County of England

Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Senior official in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom responsible for economic and financial matters

The Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of Her Majesty's Exchequer, commonly known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or simply the Chancellor, is a senior official within the Government of the United Kingdom and head of Her Majesty's Treasury. The office is a British Cabinet-level position.

Griffith-Boscawen lost his Tunbridge seat in the 1906 general election. He unsuccessfully contested East Denbighshire at a by-election in August that year, and Dudley, Worcestershire at the first general election held in 1910, before being returned for the latter seat later that year. He also sat as a member of the London County Council from 1910 to 1913; he was knighted in 1911.

1906 United Kingdom general election

The 1906 United Kingdom general election was held from 12 January to 8 February 1906.

East Denbighshire, formally called the Eastern Division of Denbighshire, was a county constituency in Denbighshire, in Wales. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post voting system.

Dudley was a parliamentary constituency centred on the town of Dudley in Worcestershire.

Griffith-Boscawen had a special interest in working class housing throughout his career. He was a Tariff Reformer who admired Joseph Chamberlain because he became a very influential Conservative even though he was not from an aristocratic background. He carved out a niche for himself as a parliamentary Churchman and strongly opposed moves to disestablish the Welsh Church; following its disestablishment and the end of his parliamentary career, he chaired the Welsh Church Commissioners from 1923 to 1945.

Joseph Chamberlain British businessman, politician, and statesman

Joseph Chamberlain was a British statesman who was first a radical Liberal, then, after opposing home rule for Ireland, a Liberal Unionist, and eventually served as a leading imperialist in coalition with the Conservatives. He split both major British parties in the course of his career.

Conservative Party (UK) Political party in the United Kingdom

The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, sometimes informally called the Tories, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 312 Members of Parliament, and also has 249 members of the House of Lords, 4 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 11 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors.

Church in Wales Anglican church in Wales

The Church in Wales is the Anglican church in Wales, composed of six dioceses. It defines itself as "the ancient Church of this land, catholic and reformed. It proclaims and holds fast the doctrine and ministry of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church". In 2017, the Church in Wales reported 210,000 attendees in its membership statistics. The Anglican church is the largest denomination in Wales.

Griffith-Boscawen was commissioned into the West Kent Militia, later to become the 3rd Special Reserve Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment, with whom he was embodied in Malta during the time of the Second Boer War in 1899-1900, [2] and which he later commanded as Lieutenant-Colonel in 1910. In the First World War he commanded a garrison battalion of the Hampshire Regiment at Saint-Omer in France from 1914 to 1916 and was mentioned in dispatches.

Second Boer War war between two Boer Republics (South African Republic and Orange Free State) and the United Kingdom

The Second Boer War was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa. It is also known variously as the Boer War, Anglo-Boer War, or South African War. Initial Boer attacks were successful, and although British reinforcements later reversed these, the war continued for years with Boer guerrilla warfare, until harsh British counter-measures brought the Boers to terms.

Royal Hampshire Regiment

The Hampshire Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, created as part of the Childers Reforms in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 37th Regiment of Foot and the 67th Regiment of Foot. The regiment existed continuously for 111 years and served in the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II. In 1946, due to distinguished service in World War II, the regiment was retitled as the Royal Hampshire Regiment.

Saint-Omer Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Saint-Omer is a commune in France.

He was recalled to become Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Pensions in December 1916, then served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of the Board of Agriculture from 1918 to 1921. He was appointed to the Privy Council in the 1920 New Year Honours, [3] entitling him to the style "The Right Honourable".

In 1921 he was appointed to the Lloyd George Coalition Government as Minister of Agriculture but under the law at the time he was required to automatically stand for re-election to the House of Commons. Griffith-Boscawen lost the ensuing by-election, in part because of Lord Beaverbrook's Canadian Cattle campaign, but another seat was found for him at a by-election in Taunton and he continued his career in government. Five years later the law on ministerial appointments would be amended to end the requirement for such by-elections.

When Lloyd George's government fell in October 1922, Griffith-Boscawen was one of only a few members of the outgoing Cabinet who agreed to serve under the new Prime Minister, Bonar Law, who promoted him to Minister of Health. The following month a general election was held and Griffith-Boscawen once more lost his Taunton seat. He remained in government and set about producing a bill on local government rating which provoked fierce controversy in the country at large. In March 1923 he sought to re-enter the House of Commons in a by-election at Mitcham, but was defeated by the future Labour Cabinet Minister, James Chuter Ede. Griffith-Boscawen was forced to retire from politics as a result. The resulting vacancy in the Cabinet was filled by Neville Chamberlain.

Memorial in St James the Less, Pangbourne Memorial on the wall - - 1477856.jpg
Memorial in St James the Less, Pangbourne

Griffith-Boscawen wrote Fourteen Years in Parliament in 1907 and his Memoirs in 1925. In later life he resided at Pangbourne, Berkshire, [2] and died in London in June 1946 aged 80.

Titles and styles

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  1. Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1920. Kelly's. p. 730.
  2. 1 2 Who's Who, 1945. A and C Black. p. 1126.
  3. "No. 31712". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1919. p. 1.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Norton
Member of Parliament for Tunbridge
Succeeded by
Alfred Paget Hedges
Preceded by
Arthur George Hooper
Member of Parliament for Dudley
Dec. 19101921
Succeeded by
James Wilson
Preceded by
Dennis Boles
Member of Parliament for Taunton
Succeeded by
John Hope Simpson
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Lee of Fareham
Minister of Agriculture
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Sanders
Preceded by
Alfred Mond
Minister of Health
Succeeded by
Neville Chamberlain