Elwyn Jones, Baron Elwyn-Jones

For the British television scriptwriter, see Elwyn Jones (writer).
The Right Honourable
The Lord Elwyn-Jones
Shadow Lord Chancellor
In office
2 October 1983  9 January 1989
Leader Neil Kinnock
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by The Lord Mishcon
Lord Chancellor
In office
5 March 1974  4 May 1979
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
Preceded by The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone
Succeeded by The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone
Attorney General for England and Wales
In office
16 October 1964  19 June 1970
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by John Hobson
Succeeded by Peter Rawlinson
Member of Parliament
for Newham South
In office
28 February 1974  11 March 1974
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Nigel Spearing
Member of Parliament
for West Ham South
In office
23 February 1950  28 February 1974
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Member of Parliament
for Plaistow
In office
5 July 1945  23 February 1950
Preceded by Will Thorne
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1909-10-24)24 October 1909
Llanelli, Wales, UK
Died 4 December 1989(1989-12-04) (aged 80)
Brighton, England, UK
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Pearl Binder (1937–1989))
Alma mater Aberystwyth University
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
City Law School

Frederick Elwyn Jones, Baron Elwyn-Jones, CH, PC (24 October 1909 – 4 December 1989), known as Elwyn Jones, was a Welsh barrister and Labour politician.

Background and education

Elwyn Jones was born in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, read history for one year at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and then at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He spent time in Germany in the 1930s as a young man.

He became a barrister and Recorder of Merthyr Tydfil. He was also a broadcaster and journalist. He served as junior British Counsel during the Nuremberg Trials,[1] and led for the prosecution (Leading Prosecutor) at the Hamburg trial of Marshal Erich von Manstein in 1948.

In 1966, he led the prosecution of the Moors murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

Political career

At the 1945 general election, he was elected as Labour Member of Parliament for Plaistow, east London. In 1950, he became MP for West Ham South, serving until 1974. In 1964, Elwyn Jones was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Attorney General (receiving the customary knighthood[2]) by Harold Wilson, a post he held until 1970.

In February 1974, he was once again elected to Parliament, now for Newham South, but left the House of Commons soon afterwards when he was made a life peer, as Baron Elwyn-Jones, of Llanelli in the County of Carmarthen and of Newham in Greater London.[3] He then served as Lord Chancellor from 1974 to 1979, under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. In 1976 he was made a Companion of Honour.[4]

Personal life

In 1937, Elwyn Jones married Pearl "Polly" Binder, an artist from Manchester. They had three children: Josephine, Lou and Dan. Josephine became a researcher on Jacob Bronowski's TV series The Ascent of Man and married Francis Gladstone (a relative of Prime Minister William Gladstone).

Elwyn Jones's brother Idris Jones (1900–1971) was captain of the Wales rugby union team in 1925, and was an industrial chemist who became Director General of Research Development for the National Coal Board.[5][6]

Lord Elwyn-Jones died in December 1989, aged 80.

Styles of address


  1. The Trial of German War Criminals, Part I. His Majesty's Stationery Office. 1946. p. vii.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 43498. p. 10025. 24 November 1964.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 46236. p. 3303. 14 March 1974.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 46916. p. 7823. 1 June 1976.
  5. James, Mary Auronwy. "JONES, WALTER IDRIS (1900-1971)". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  6. "Wales' rugby captains". BBC. Retrieved 20 November 2014.

Further reading

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Will Thorne
Member of Parliament for Plaistow
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for West Ham South
Member of Parliament for Newham South
Succeeded by
Nigel Spearing
Political offices
Preceded by
John Hobson
Attorney General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Peter Rawlinson
Preceded by
The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone
Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone
New office Shadow Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
The Lord Mishcon
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