Tim Renton

Last updated

The Lord Renton of Mount Harry
Lord Renton of Mount Harry 2013.jpg
Renton in Parliament, 2013
Alice Fergusson
(m. 1960)
Ministerial offices 1984–1992
Minister of State for the Arts
In office
28 November 1990 11 April 1992
In office
24 July 1989 28 November 1990
Children5, including Alex and Polly
Education Eton College
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford

Ronald Timothy Renton, Baron Renton of Mount Harry, PC , DL (28 May 1932 25 August 2020) was a British Conservative Party politician.


Early life

Tim Renton, who rarely used his first name of Ronald, was born in London. [1] He won scholarships to Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford, and graduated with a first-class degree in History.

Parliamentary career

After unsuccessfully contesting Sheffield Park in 1970, he was Conservative Member of Parliament for Mid-Sussex from 1974 to 1997.

He served as a Minister of State in both the Foreign Office and the Home Office, and served as Margaret Thatcher's Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury) between 1989 and 1990. Following Thatcher's resignation in 1990 he served in John Major's government as Minister for the Arts between 1990 and 1992. During this time, he came up with the idea of a National Lottery. [2] [3] This was later adopted as a government policy. [4] He launched National Music Day (UK) with Mick Jagger which ran from 1992 until around 1997. [5] [6] He served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Geoffrey Howe and to John Biffen, the Trade Secretary but resigned from that position in 1981 after he refused to support the government on a vote about a retrospective windfall tax on bank profits.

After standing down from the Commons at the 1997 General Election, he was created a life peer in the 1997 Dissolution Honours; [7] on 9 June 1997 as Baron Renton of Mount Harry, of Offham in the County of East Sussex, [8] [9] and took his seat in the House of Lords. He retired from the House on 14 April 2016. [10]

Personal life

In 1960, he married Alice Blanche Helen Fergusson, daughter of Sir James Fergusson, 8th Baronet of Kilkerran. The couple lived in Offham near Lewes in East Sussex and had a holiday home on the Hebridean island of Tiree.[ citation needed ]

Their four surviving children are Alex Renton, a journalist and author, [11] Christian Louise, Daniel Charles Antony, an environmentalist, and (Katherine) Chelsea, who is an artist and author. The couple's youngest daughter, Polly Renton (Penelope Sally Rosita), a documentary film maker, died in a car accident in 2010. [11]

Renton died from cancer at his home in Offham on 25 August 2020, aged 88. [12] [13]


  • The Dangerous Edge, Hutchinson, 1994, ISBN   0-09-179151-0
  • Hostage to Fortune, Arrow, 1998, ISBN   0-09-946831-X
  • Chief Whip, Politico's, 2005, ISBN   1-84275-129-8

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  1. "Lord Renton of Mount Harry obituary". The Times . 28 August 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  2. "Calls for inquiry into Telemillion" . The Independent. 13 February 1994. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. As Arts Minister Mr Renton strove for 18 months to persuade the Treasury that a national lottery would be a good thing.
  3. Obituaries, Telegraph (27 August 2020). "Lord Renton of Mount Harry, Conservative foreign office minister and Chief Whip – obituary". www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 30 August 2020. As the 1992 election neared, Renton secured a manifesto commitment to set up a National Lottery
  4. "John Major". www.number10.gov.uk. HM Government. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2013. John Major also established the National Lottery as a personal initiative which has provided billions of pounds for good causes.
  5. "The List: 19 Jun 1992". The List Archive. 19 June 1992. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  6. "Joining in: Investigation into Participatory Music in the UK - PDF Free Download". epdf.pub. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  7. "No. 54743". The London Gazette (Supplement). 18 April 1997. p. 4708.
  8. "No. 54791". The London Gazette . 12 June 1997. p. 6845.
  9. "No. 24212". The Edinburgh Gazette . 17 June 1997. p. 1485.
  10. "Parliamentary career for Lord Renton of Mount Harry - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament". members.parliament.uk.
  11. 1 2 Obituary: Polly Renton, The Times, 10 June 2010
  12. Bates, Stephen (31 August 2020). "Lord Renton of Mount Harry obituary". The Guardian . Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  13. Brooke, Samuel (31 August 2021). "Obituary: Veteran Mid Sussex MP Lord Tim Renton". The Argus . Retrieved 1 August 2021.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Chief Whip of the Conservative Party
Succeeded by
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
Preceded by Minister of State for the Arts
Succeeded by