Stanley Buckmaster, 1st Viscount Buckmaster

The Right Honourable
The Viscount Buckmaster
Lord Chancellor
In office
25 May 1915  5 December 1916
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by The Viscount Haldane
Succeeded by The Viscount Finlay
Personal details
Born 9 January 1861 (1861-01-09)
London, England
Died 5 December 1934 (1934-12-06) (aged 73)
London, England
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Edith Augusta Lewin
(m. 1889; his death 1934)
Education Christ Church, Oxford

Stanley Owen Buckmaster, 1st Viscount Buckmaster GCVO PC KC (9 January 1861 – 5 December 1934) was a British lawyer and Liberal Party politician. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) for most of the years from 1906 to 1915, when he was elevated to the peerage and served as Lord Chancellor under H. H. Asquith from 1915 to 1916.[1]

Background and education

Buckmaster was born on 9 January 1861 to John Charles Buckmaster, of Ashleigh, Hampton Wick, by his wife Emily Anne Goodliffe. He was educated at Aldenham and Christ Church, Oxford. He was called to the Bar in 1884 at the Inner Temple and appointed King's Counsel in April 1902.[2]

Political career

At the 1906 general election, Buckmaster was elected as MP for Cambridge, winning the seat from the Conservatives with a majority of less than 4%. At the January 1910 general election, he lost the seat to the Conservative Almeric Paget on a 5% swing. He contested Cambridge again at the December 1910 election, but made only a small dent in the Conservative majority.

Buckmaster returned to the Commons the following year, when he was elected at a by-election in October 1911 for the safe Liberal seat of Keighley in Yorkshire. He was knighted in 1913 on his appointment as Solicitor general, when he was comfortably re-elected in the ministerial by-election.

He was a Member of the Council of the Duchy of Lancaster and served under H. H. Asquith as Solicitor-General from 1913 to 1915. In 1915 he was sworn of the Privy Council, raised to the peerage as Baron Buckmaster, of Cheddington in the County of Buckingham, and appointed Lord Chancellor, a post he held until December 1916, when Asquith was ousted as Prime Minister. During his time as Lord Chancellor, he gave the decision in Cook v. Deeks, a notable company law case.

Buckmaster was also Counsel to the University of Oxford from 1911 to 1913, Director of The Press Bureau, 1914 to 1915, and a member of The Interallied Conference on Finance and Supplies. He later served as Chairman of the Governing Body of Imperial College of Science and Technology and as Chairman of the Political Honours Review Committee between 1924 and 1929. He was appointed GCVO in 1930 and was made Viscount Buckmaster, of Cheddington in the County of Buckingham, in 1933.

He died on 5 December 1934 in London, England.[1]


Buckmaster married Edith Augusta Lewin, daughter of Spencer Robert Lewin, in 1889. Their eldest daughter the Hon. Barbara was the mother of the Conservative politician Hal Miller. Buckmaster died in London in December 1934, aged 73, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium.[3] He was succeeded in his titles by his only son, Owen. Lady Buckmaster died in October 1935. His niece, Hilda Buckmaster was also active in politics, three times standing as a parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Party.


  1. 1 2 "Lord Buckmaster Dead In London At 83. Liberal Lord Chancellor in 1915 and 1916. Also Served as Chief Censor". New York Times. 5 December 1934.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 27424. p. 2416. 11 April 1902.
  3. The Complete Peerage, Volume XIII - Peerage Creations 1901-1938. St Catherine's Press, London. 1949. p. 201.

Further reading

For a fuller biography see William Goodhart, ‘Buckmaster, Stanley Owen, first Viscount Buckmaster (1861–1934), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stanley Buckmaster, 1st Viscount Buckmaster.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Robert Uniacke-Penrose-Fitzgerald, Bt
Member of Parliament for Cambridge
1906 January 1910
Succeeded by
Almeric Paget
Preceded by
Sir John Brigg
Member of Parliament for Keighley
1911 1915
Succeeded by
Sir Swire Smith
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir John Simon
Solicitor General
1913 1915
Succeeded by
Sir F. E. Smith
Political offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Haldane
Lord Chancellor
1915 1916
Succeeded by
The Viscount Finlay
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Buckmaster
1933 1934
Succeeded by
Owen Buckmaster
Baron Buckmaster
1915 1934
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