Record

CodeNA8591
Dates1867-1947
Person NameBaldwin; Sir; Stanley (1867-1947); statesman, prime minister;1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley
SurnameBaldwin
ForenamesStanley
PreTitleSir
Epithetstatesman, prime minister;1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley
ActivitySir Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley (1867-1947), statesman and three times prime minister, was the son of Alfred Baldwin and Louisa MacDonald. Baldwin was educated at Hawtrey's preparatory school, Harrow, 1881-1885 and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he gained a third class in the historical tripos, 1888. Baldwin entered the family business in Wilden, where his father had built a church, a school and a vicarage, in 1888. He became a parish and county councillor, a magistrate, a member of the Oddfellows' and Foresters' friendly societies, and, at the farm attached to the works, he learned animal husbandry. In 1892 he married Lucy Ridsdale (d 1945) and they had three sons and four daughters.

In 1906 Baldwin unsuccessfully contested Kidderminster but when his father died in 1908, he took over his seat at West Worcestershire and held it until he went to the Lords in 1937. In 1916 he became parliamentary private secretary, and in 1917 he became joint financial secretary to the Treasury. In 1920 Baldwin was made a privy counsellor and in 1921 was appointed the president of the Board of Trade. After the election in 1922, Baldwin became Chancellor of the Exchequer and, following the illness of Bonar Law, came to lead the House of Commons. On Bonar Law's resignation in May, Baldwin became prime minister. In 1924 he became prime minister for the second time, until the Conservative defeat in the election of 1929. From 1931 Baldwin served as Lord President of the 'national' coalition government Council, and in 1935 he exchanged places with Ramsay MacDonald and became prime minister for the third time. However, only six months after the election he was faced with a vote of 'no confidence' and his doctor ordered him to take 3 months complete rest over the summer. In 1937, a fortnight after the coronation of George VI, he resigned. In 1939 his health had recovered enough for a visit to Toronto and New York, but during the war he retired to his Worcestershire home and lived there quietly until his death in 1947.

Baldwin was knighted in 1937, and was elected rector of the universities of Edinburgh, 1923-1926 and Glasgow, 1928-1931, and became chancellor of the universities of St Andrews, 1929 and Cambridge, 1930. He was the first chairman of the Pilgrim Trust.
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