William Bridgeman, 1st Viscount Bridgeman

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The Viscount Bridgeman

Home Secretary
In office
25 October 1922 22 January 1924
Prime Minister Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by Edward Shortt
Succeeded by Arthur Henderson
Personal details
Born31 December 1864 (1864-12-31)
Died14 August 1935(1935-08-14) (aged 70)
Leigh Manor, Shropshire
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Caroline Parker (d. 1961)
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

William Clive Bridgeman, 1st Viscount Bridgeman, PC, JP, DL (31 December 1864 – 14 August 1935) was a British Conservative politician and peer. He notably served as Home Secretary between 1922 and 1924.

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.

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.

Home Secretary United Kingdom government cabinet minister

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, normally referred to as the Home Secretary, is a senior official as one of the Great Offices of State within Her Majesty's Government and head of the Home Office. It is a British Cabinet level position.


Background and education

Bridgeman was born in London, UK, the son of Reverend Hon. John Robert Orlando Bridgeman, third son of the 2nd Earl of Bradford, and Marianne Caroline Clive. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. [1] While at Cambridge, he played first-class cricket for the Cambridge University Cricket Club. [2] He was also secretary of the Pitt Club. [3]

George Bridgeman, 2nd Earl of Bradford British noble

George Augustus Frederick Henry Bridgeman, 2nd Earl of Bradford was a British peer.

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Eton College is a 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire, England. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as Kynge's College of Our Ladye of Eton besyde Windesore , as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.

Trinity College, Cambridge constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England

Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. With around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 fellows, it is the largest college in either of the Oxbridge universities by number of undergraduates. In terms of total student numbers, it is second only to Homerton College, Cambridge.

Political career

Bridgeman entered a career in politics early, becoming assistant private secretary to Lord Knutsford, the Colonial Secretary (1889–1892), and then to Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, the Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1895 to 1897. In 1897 he became a member of the London School Board, and in 1904 he was elected to the London County Council. In 1906 he was elected as a member of parliament (MP) for Oswestry, staying in this seat until his retirement in 1929.

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Secretary of State for the Colonies British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdoms various colonial dependencies

The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies.

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.

In 1911, Bridgeman became an opposition whip, and became a government whip in the Asquith coalition government in 1915. From 1915 to 1916, he was Lord of the Treasury and Assistant Director of the War Trade Department. With the creation of Lloyd George's coalition in 1916, Bridgeman became Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour until 1919, and then Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade in 1919 and 1920, and then served as Secretary for Mines from 1920 to 1922. In these roles, Bridgeman became a devoted opponent of strikes and socialism, although he came to admire more moderate trade unionists. He was appointed to the Privy Council on 13 October 1920.

David Lloyd George Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

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Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour was a junior position within the British government, subordinate to the Minister of Labour. It was established in December 1916, at the same time as the Ministry of Labour. When the Ministry of Labour was renamed the Ministry of Labour and National Service in 1939, the position was consequently renamed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and National Service. When the Ministry resumed its former name in 1959, the office once again became named Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour. The post was abolished in 1964.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade in the United Kingdom was a member of Parliament assigned to assist the Board of Trade and its President with administration and liaison with Parliament. It replaced the Vice-President of the Board of Trade.

In October 1922, Bridgeman was one of the leaders of the Conservative revolt against the coalition's leadership, and he became Home Secretary in the new Conservative governments of Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin from 1922 until January 1924. He developed here a reputation for harshness and resolve, which continued in his time as First Lord of the Admiralty from November 1924 to June 1929. Throughout, he was one of Conservative leader Stanley Baldwin's closest allies. Bridgeman retired from the Commons in 1929, and that same year was created Viscount Bridgeman, of Leigh in the County of Shropshire.

Bonar Law former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Andrew Bonar Law, commonly called Bonar Law, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1922 to 1923.

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Shropshire County of England

Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands of England, bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, and Worcestershire and Herefordshire to the south. Shropshire Council was created in 2009, a unitary authority taking over from the previous county council and five district councils. The borough of Telford and Wrekin has been a separate unitary authority since 1998 but continues to be included in the ceremonial county.

Later life

In his later years, he served as chairman of various commissions and committees, as well as, briefly, Chairman of the BBC. He became Justice of Peace and Deputy Lieutenant of Shropshire, and received an Honorary Doctor of Law from the University of Cambridge in 1930.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

Doctor of Law doctoral degree in law

Doctor of Law or Doctor of Laws is a degree in law. The application of the term varies from country to country, and includes degrees such as the Doctor of Juridical Science, Doctor juris, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Legum Doctor (LL.D.).

University of Cambridge University in Cambridge, United Kingdom

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two 'ancient universities' share many common features and are often referred to jointly as 'Oxbridge'. The history, influence and wealth of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.


Arms of Viscount Bridgeman Bridgeman arms.svg
Arms of Viscount Bridgeman

Lord Bridgeman married Caroline Beatrix Parker, daughter of Hon. Cecil Thomas Parker and Rosamond Esther Harriet Longley, daughter of the Most Rev. Charles Thomas Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury, in Eccleston, Chester, on 30 April 1895. They had four children:

Lord Bridgeman died in Leigh Manor, Shropshire, on 14 August 1935, aged 70, and was buried in the churchyard at Hope near Minsterley three days later. The Viscountess Bridgeman died in December 1961.

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  1. "Bridgeman, William Clive (BRGN884WC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. CricketArchive: William Bridgeman
  3. Fletcher, Walter Morley (2011) [1935]. The University Pitt Club: 1835–1935 (First Paperback ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 89. ISBN   978-1-107-60006-5.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Allan Heywood Bright
Member of Parliament for Oswestry
Succeeded by
Bertie Leighton
Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Shortt
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Arthur Henderson
Preceded by
The Viscount Chelmsford
First Lord of the Admiralty
Succeeded by
A. V. Alexander
Media offices
Preceded by
John Henry Whitley
Chairman of the BBC Board of Governors
Succeeded by
Ronald Collet Norman
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Bridgeman
Succeeded by
Robert Clive Bridgeman