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Percy Angier Hurd

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Percy Angier Hurd

Sir Percy Angier Hurd (18 May 1864 – 5 June 1950)[1][2] was a British journalist and Conservative Party politician who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for nearly thirty years. He was the first of four generations of Hurds to serve as Conservative MPs.

Early life

Percy Hurd was the son of London-based solicitor William Hurd (1831–1913) and his wife Elizabeth (née Angier, died 1910).[2]

He was founder and editor of a The Outlook, a weekly magazine published in London from 1898 to 1928.[2] He later became editor of the Canadian Gazette and London editor of the Montreal Star and other journals in Canada. During the First World War, he made various visits to the battle-front in order to study and record the work of the Canadian contingent. He was also a member of the executive committee of the Agricultural Relief of Allies Fund, and twice reported on the needs of the farmers in the provinces of France from which the Germans had been pushed back.[3]

Hurd was a prolific advocate of the British Empire, and wrote several books on the subject, including one written jointly with his brother Archibald (later Sir Archibald), a naval critic who was editor of the Naval and Military Record from 1896–1899 and then a journalist with the Daily Telegraph until 1928.[4]

Political career

Hurd was first elected to the House of Commons at the 1918 general election as the Coalition Conservative MP for the Frome division of Somerset. The seat had been held by the Liberal Party for all but nine of the preceding fifty years, but Hurd's possession of the "coalition coupon" issued to supporters of David Lloyd George's Liberal-Conservative coalition government combined with a strong showing from a Labour Party candidate to allow him to win the seat, ousting Sir John Barlow who had been Frome's MP since 1896. At the 1922 general election Hurd faced only a Labour opponent, and was re-elected with a modest majority of only 2.4% of the votes. However, at the general election in December 1923, Frome was one of many seats won by Labour.[5]

Hurd did not stand again in Frome, and at the next general election in October 1924 he stood instead in the Devizes division of Wiltshire, a Conservative-leaning constituency which had been won by the Liberals in 1923. Hurd took the seat with a majority of over 20% of the votes, and remained MP for Devizes until he retired from Parliament at the 1945 general election.[5]

He was knighted in the 1932 King's Birthday Honours, "for political and public services".[6][7]

According to his grandson, Douglas Hurd, Percy "wasn't very political. He used to go round villages in Wiltshire telling funny stories."[8]

Family

In 1893 Percy married Hannah Cox (died 1949), the daughter of a Scottish clergyman, and they had three children:[2]

  • Robert Hurd (c.1901–1963), an architect who did not marry and had no children[2]
  • Anthony Richard Hurd (1901–1966), a farmer and agricultural journalist who followed his father into politics and served as MP for Newbury from 1945 to 1964. Anthony was knighted in 1959 and became a life peer in 1964.[2]
  • Douglas William Hurd (c.1895–1916), a Captain in the Middlesex Regiment who was killed in the First World War[3][9]

Anthony's eldest son Douglas (born 1930),[10] was an MP from 1974 to 1997 (for Mid Oxfordshire and then Witney), rising to become Home Secretary and then Foreign Secretary; he was made a life peer in 1997. Douglas's son, Nick (born 1962) has been the MP for Ruislip-Northwood since 2005.

Publications

References

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir John Barlow, Bt.
Member of Parliament for Frome
19181923
Succeeded by
Frederick Gould
Preceded by
Eric Macfadyen
Member of Parliament for Devizes
19241945
Succeeded by
Christopher Hollis

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