William Bridgeman, 1st Viscount Bridgeman

The Right Honourable
The Viscount Bridgeman
Home Secretary
In office
25 October 1922  22 January 1924
Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by Edward Shortt
Succeeded by Arthur Henderson
Personal details
Born 31 December 1864 (1864-12-31)
Died 14 August 1935(1935-08-14) (aged 70)
Leigh Manor, Shropshire
Nationality British
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.

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]

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.

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.

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 Andrew 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.

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.


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.


  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
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