Francis Pym, Baron Pym
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Francis Pym, Baron Pym


The Lord Pym

photograph of a 60-year-old Pym
Pym in 1982
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

6 April 1982 - 11 June 1983
Margaret Thatcher
The Lord Carrington
Geoffrey Howe
Lord President of the Council

14 September 1981 - 5 April 1982
Margaret Thatcher
The Lord Soames
John Biffen
Leader of the House of Commons

5 January 1981 - 5 April 1982
Margaret Thatcher
Norman St John-Stevas
John Biffen
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

5 January 1981 - 14 September 1981
Margaret Thatcher
Norman St John-Stevas
The Baroness Young
Paymaster General

5 January 1981 - 14 September 1981
Margaret Thatcher
Angus Maude
Cecil Parkinson
Secretary of State for Defence

4 May 1979 - 5 January 1981
Margaret Thatcher
Fred Mulley
John Nott
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

2 December 1973 - 4 March 1974
Edward Heath
Willie Whitelaw
Merlyn Rees

19 June 1970 - 2 December 1973
Edward Heath
Bob Mellish
Humphrey Atkins
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal

9 October 1987 - 7 March 2008
Life peerage
Member of Parliament
for South East Cambridgeshire
(Cambridgeshire, 1961-1983)

17 March 1961 - 18 May 1987
Gerald Howard
Jim Paice
Personal details
Born
Francis Leslie Pym

(1922-02-13)13 February 1922
Abergavenny, Wales
Died7 March 2008(2008-03-07) (aged 86)
Sandy, Bedfordshire, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)
Valerie Daglish
(m. 1949)
Children4
ParentsLeslie Pym (father)
EducationEton College
Alma materMagdalene College, Cambridge

Francis Leslie Pym, Baron Pym, (13 February 1922 - 7 March 2008) was a British Conservative politician who served in various positions in the Cabinet in the 1970s and 1980s, including Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary, Northern Ireland Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Cambridgeshire from 1961 to 1983 and South East Cambridgeshire from 1983 to 1987, and was made a life peer in 1987.

Early life

Pym was born at Penpergwm Lodge, near Abergavenny in Monmouthshire.[1] His father, Leslie Pym, was also a Member of Parliament, while his grandfather, the Right Reverend Walter Ruthven Pym, was Bishop of Bombay. He was not a descendant of the 17th century Parliamentarian John Pym as has been commonly held (see Pym's own published family history).

He was educated at Eton, before going on to Magdalene College, Cambridge. For much of the Second World War, Pym served in North Africa and Italy as a captain and regimental adjutant in the 9th Lancers. He was mentioned in despatches twice, awarded the Military Cross,[2] and ended his military service as a major. Pym was a managing director and landowner before he went into politics.

Political career

Pym entered politics as a member of Herefordshire County Council in 1958.[3] He contested Rhondda West without success in 1959 and entered Parliament in 1961 at a by-election as Member of Parliament for Cambridgeshire. He held the seat until 1983, and was MP for Cambridgeshire South East 1983-87. He was an Opposition whip from 1964 and served under Edward Heath as Government Chief Whip (1970-73) and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1973-74), and Margaret Thatcher as Defence Secretary (1979-81), Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council (1981-82). He became foreign secretary during the Falklands War in 1982 following Lord Carrington's resignation, but was removed by Thatcher in 1983 after her second election victory.

Pym was a leading member of the Wets, Tories sceptical of Thatcherism. During the 1983 general election campaign he said on the BBC's Question Time that "Landslides don't on the whole produce successful governments".[4] This was publicly repudiated by Margaret Thatcher and he was sacked after the election. Shortly afterwards, he launched a pressure group called Conservative Centre Forward to argue for more centrist, One Nation policies. But with Thatcher at the height of her powers, it was unsuccessful. He stood down at the 1987 election and was created a life peer as Baron Pym, of Sandy in the County of Bedfordshire, on 9 October 1987.[5] He was the author of The Politics of Consent published in 1984 after he left office.[6] The book is a guide to the Wets' opposition to Thatcher, both to her leadership style and politics.[]

He was portrayed by Jeremy Child in the 2002 BBC production of Ian Curteis's The Falklands Play and by Julian Wadham in the 2011 film, The Iron Lady.

Personal life

Pym died in Sandy, Bedfordshire, on 7 March 2008 after a prolonged illness, aged 86.[7] He was survived by his wife, Valerie (1929-2017),[8] whom he married in 1949, and his four children, Charlotte, Jonathan, Andrew and Sarah.[9]

Arms

Crest
Upon a mount Vert a hind's head erased Or gorged with a collar nebuly Azure and holding in the mouth a trefoil slipped Vert.
Escutcheon
Quarterly, 1st and 4th Sable on a fesse engrailed between three owls Or a trefoil slipped Vert between two cross crosslets of the first all within a bordure of the second (Pym); 2nd Vert on a cross engrailed Ermine a lion rampant reguardant Sable in the dexter canton a mullet Or (Kingsley); 3rd Sable three salmon haurient per pale Argent and Or (Orde).
Supporters
Dexter, rampant upon a sandy mount with tussocks of grass Proper a warhorse in trian aspect Sable mane tail and hooves Or on its head a chanfron and on the neck a crinet both Argent gorged with a double chain pendent therefrom a portcullis Gold; sinister, rampant upon a like mount a bull in trian aspect Sable armed and unguled Or also gorged with a double chain and pendent therefrom a portcullis Gold.
Motto
Ubi Seritur Ibi Floreat (Burke's Peerage 2000)

References

  1. ^ Theakston 2004, p. 141.
  2. ^ "No. 37386". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 December 1945. p. 6074.
  3. ^ "Francis Pym". iAnnounce (Obituary). Northcliffe Media. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ "Thatcher's Class of '79". BBC News. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ "No. 51091". The London Gazette. 14 October 1987. p. 12695.
  6. ^ Pym 1984.
  7. ^ "Former foreign secretary Pym dies". BBC News. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "Valerie Fortune (Daglish) PYM". Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. ^ Roth, Andrew (7 March 2008). "Obituary: Francis Pym". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019.

Bibliography

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gerald Howard
Member of Parliament
for Cambridgeshire

1961-1983
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for South East Cambridgeshire

1983-1987
Succeeded by
Jim Paice
Political offices
Preceded by
Bob Mellish
Chief Whip of the House of Commons
1970-1973
Succeeded by
Humphrey Atkins
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
1970-1973
Preceded by
Willie Whitelaw
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1973-1974
Succeeded by
Merlyn Rees
Preceded by
Merlyn Rees
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1974
Succeeded by
Ian Gilmour
Preceded by
Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
1975-1976
Succeeded by
Michael Jopling
Preceded by
John Peyton
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
1976-1978
Succeeded by
Norman St John-Stevas
Preceded by
John Davies
Shadow Foreign Secretary
1978-1979
Succeeded by
Peter Shore
Preceded by
Fred Mulley
Secretary of State for Defence
1979-1981
Succeeded by
John Nott
Preceded by
Angus Maude
Paymaster General
1981
Succeeded by
Cecil Parkinson
Preceded by
Norman St John-Stevas
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1981
Succeeded by
The Baroness Young
Leader of the House of Commons
1981-1982
Succeeded by
John Biffen
Preceded by
The Lord Soames
Lord President of the Council
1981-1982
Preceded by
The Lord Carrington
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
1982-1983
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Howe
Party political offices
Preceded by
Willie Whitelaw
Conservative Chief Whip of the House of Commons
1970-1973
Succeeded by
Humphrey Atkins

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