Thomas Taylor, Baron Taylor of Gryfe

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Thomas Johnston Taylor, Baron Taylor of Gryfe FRSE DL LLD (27 April 1912 13 July 2001) was a British politician and businessman. He was affectionately known as Tom Taylor.

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 UK's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.


Personal life

Taylor was born in Glasgow on 27 April 1912. His father, John Sharp Taylor, was an Independent Labour Party Member. He died when Tom was three years old and was raised with his two siblings by his mother from that time.

Glasgow City and council area in Scotland

Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, and the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as "Glaswegians" or "Weegies". It is the fourth most visited city in the UK. Glasgow is also known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language that is noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city.

He was educated at Bellahouston Academy. He left school in 1914 and his first job was as an office boy in the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society. He was later their Chairman. [1]

Bellahouston Academy is a non-denominational state-run secondary school in Bellahouston, south-west Glasgow, Scotland.

In 1931 a scholarship led to his living in Germany, where he also returned later in his youth. In 1931 he was a member of the German Young Socialists but was opposed the rise of the Nazi Party. During the Second World War he was a conscientious objector. Taylor later became a Quaker.

Young Socialists in the SPD youth organization of the Social Democratic Party of Germany

Working Group of Young Socialists in the SPD is a voluntary youth organisation of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

Nazi Party Fascist political party in Germany (1920-1945)

The National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of National Socialism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920.

A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion.

In 1977 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Alick Buchanan-Smith, Baron Balerno, Robert Allan Smith, Donald McCallum and Sir David Lowe. [2]

Royal Society of Edinburgh academy of sciences

The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's national academy of science and letters. It is a registered charity, operating on a wholly independent and non-party-political basis and providing public benefit throughout Scotland. It was established in 1783. As of 2017, it has more than 1,660 Fellows.

Alick Buchanan-Smith, Baron Balerno England politician

Brigadier Alick Drummond Buchanan-Smith, Baron Balerno, CBE, FRSE JP, DL was a British soldier and prominent geneticist.

Dr Robert Allan Smith CBE FRS PRSE was a Scottish mathematician and physicist.

He died on 13 July 2001.


He was married in 1943 to Isobel Wands and had two daughters: Jill and Joyce.

Political career

As a young man Taylor was a member of the Independent Labour Party and was elected to Glasgow City Council in 1934 as the city's youngest ever councillor. [3]

Independent Labour Party UK political party

The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was a British political party of the left, established in 1893, when the Liberals appeared reluctant to endorse working-class candidates, representing the interests of the majority. A sitting independent MP and prominent union organiser, Keir Hardie, became its first chairman.

Glasgow City Council local government body of the city of Glasgow in Scotland

Glasgow City Council, the local government body of the city of Glasgow, Scotland, became one of the newly created single tier local authorities in 1996, under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, with boundaries somewhat different from those of the former City of Glasgow district of the Strathclyde region: parts of the Cambuslang and Halfway and Rutherglen and Fernhill areas were transferred from the city area to the new South Lanarkshire council area.

He later stood for the ILP as parliamentary candidate in the 1941 Edinburgh Central by-election. He later joined the Labour Party, then the Social Democratic Party, before returning to Labour in the 1990s.

Taylor opposed Scottish devolution. Although an opponent of the Government's Railways Bill in 1993, he noted that he had no objection of privatisation as a concept.

On 29 January 1968 he was created a life peer as Baron Taylor of Gryfe, of Bridge of Weir in the County of Renfrew . [4] From then he had a seat in the House of Lords.

Outside politics

Taylor served as President of the Co-operative Wholesale Society in Scotland and chaired the UK Forestry Commission. From 1971-80, he was chairman of Scottish Railways and a number of other companies including Morgan Grenfell Scotland.

Member: British Railways Board, 1968–80 (Chairman Scottish Railways Board, 1971–80); Board of Scottish Television, 1968–82; Forestry Commission, 1963–76 (Chairman., 1970–76). President, Scottish CWS, 1965–70; Member, Scottish Economic Council, 1971–74. Director: Whiteaway Laidlaw & Co. Ltd, 1971–89; Friends’ Provident Life Office, 1972–82; Scottish Metropolitan Property Co. Ltd, 1972–88; BR Property Bd, 1972–82; Member International Advisory Council, Morgan Grenfell. Chairman, Economic Forestry Group, 1976–81. Chairman, All-Party Parliamentary Forestry Group, 1995–. Trustee, Dulverton Trust, 1980–; Chm., Scottish Action on Dementia.

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Events from the year 1973 in Scotland...


  1. Independent (newspaper) obituary 15 July 2001
  2. Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN   0 902 198 84 X.
  3. Guardian (newspaper) obituary 29 July 2001
  4. "No. 44514". The London Gazette . 30 January 1968. p. 1191.
Party political offices
Preceded by
John McGovern
Scottish Division representative on the Independent Labour Party National Administrative Council
Succeeded by
David Gibson