William Mackenzie, 1st Baron Amulree

The Right Honourable
The Lord Amulree
Secretary of State for Air
In office
14 October 1930  5 November 1931
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Preceded by The Lord Thomson
Succeeded by The Marquess of Londonderry
Personal details
Born (1860-08-19)19 August 1860
Died 5 May 1942(1942-05-05) (aged 81)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
National Labour
Spouse(s) Lilian Bradbury (d. 1916)
Alma mater University of Edinburgh

William Warrender Mackenzie, 1st Baron Amulree GBE PC KC (19 August 1860 5 May 1942), known as Sir William Mackenzie between 1918 and 1929, was a British barrister, public servant and Labour, later National Labour, politician. He served as Secretary of State for Air under Ramsay MacDonald between 1930 and 1931.

Background and education

Amulree was the son of Robert Robyn, of Scone, Perthshire, and Jean, daughter of Basil Menzies. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh and was called to the Bar, Lincoln's Inn, in 1886.[1]

Public career

Mackenzie published The Overseer's Handbook in 1889 and became a King's Counsel in 1914.[2] He was appointed to the Order of the British Empire as a Commander (CBE) in 1917 and promoted in the same Order to a Knight Commander (KBE) in 1918.[3] The latter year he became Chairman of the Committee on Production, a position he held until 1919. He was then President of the Industrial Court between 1919 and 1926 and Chairman of the National Wages Board for Railways between 1920 and 1926, of the Industrial Delegation to Canada and the USA between 1926 and 1927 and of the Departmental Committee on the Shop Hours Act 1927. He was promoted within the Order of the British Empire to be a Knight Grand Cross (GBE).[4]

Political career

In 1929 Mackenzie was raised to the peerage as Baron Amulree, of Strathbraan in the County of Perth.[5] In October 1930 he was appointed Secretary of State for Air[6] in Ramsay MacDonald's second Labour government (succeeding the deceased Lord Thomson), with a seat in the cabinet, and was sworn of the Privy Council at the same time.[6] He was one of the few Labour politicians to follow MacDonald into the National Government, where he retained his post until the reconstruction of the government after the November 1931 general election, although not as a member of the Cabinet.

Lord Amulree also chaired the Newfoundland Royal Commission in 1933, which prepared a report on the future of Newfoundland as a dominion in the British Empire.[1]


Lord Amulree married Lilian, daughter of W. H. Bradbury, in 1897. She died at Cheam, Surrey, in June 1916. Amulree died in May 1942, aged 81, and was succeeded in the barony by his son, Basil, who became a distinguished physician.[1]

Styles of address

Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Thomson
Secretary of State for Air
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Londonderry
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Amulree
Succeeded by
Basil Mackenzie


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