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Bolton Meredith Eyres-Monsell, 1st Viscount Monsell, GBE PC (22 February 1881 – 21 March 1969) was a British Conservative Party politician who served as Chief Whip until 1931 and then as First Lord of the Admiralty.


His parents were Lt. Col. Bolton James Alfred Monsell, a soldier and a Chief Constable in the Metropolitan Police, and Mary Beverley, daughter of Sir Edmund Ogle, 6th Baronet. Bolton Monsell took the name Eyres upon his marriage to Caroline Mary Sybil Eyres in 1904.

Eyres-Monsell served in the Royal Navy, where he was promoted sub-lieutenant on 15 July 1900,[1] and lieutenant on 15 July 1901.[2] In June 1902 he was posted to the newly completed torpedo boat destroyer HMS Success, serving in the Portsmouth instructional flotilla,[3] but only two months later, in August 1902, he was transferred to the battleship HMS Magnificent, flagship of the second in command, Channel Squadron.[4]

He was elected as Member of Parliament for the Evesham Division of Worcestershire in January 1910 general election, and served until 1935. During the First World War, he again served as a Royal Navy officer, achieving the rank of Commander and was awarded the Order of the Nile by the Sultan of Egypt.[5] He was Civil Lord of the Admiralty from April 1921 to October 1922; then Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty until May 1923, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury from July 1923 to January 1924, and again from November 1924 to June 1929 and from September 1931 to November 1931. He became First Lord of the Admiralty in 1931, retaining his office in government until 1936.[6]

He was created GBE in 1929 and Viscount Monsell in 1935.[6] He married a second time on 25 July 1950 to Essex Leila Hilary French. He was succeeded in the viscountcy by his son Graham. His second daughter, the Hon. Joan Eyres-Monsell (1912–2003),[7] was married for the second time in 1968 to Patrick Leigh Fermor, the traveller and author. Lord Monsell's nephew was the British arctic explorer Henry George Watkins (1907–1932).

A suburb of Leicester is named Eyres Monsell after him; the council estate was built on land he had owned before it was compulsorily purchased in the early 1950s.

See also

  • Dumbleton Hall


  1. "No. 27390". 24 December 1901. p. 9063. 
  2. "No. 27452". 8 July 1902. p. 4375. 
  3. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 5 June 1902. 
  4. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 22 July 1902. 
  5. London Gazette 19 December 1917
  6. 6.0 6.1 Cameron Hazlehurst; Sally Whitehead; Christine Woodland (1996). "Sir Bolton Meredith Eyres-Monesell, 1st Viscount Monsell". A guide to the papers of British cabinet ministers, 1900–1964. Cambridge University Press. pp. 272. ISBN 9780521587433. 
  7. Her obituary in The Independent[dead link]

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Wigram Long
Member of Parliament for Evesham
January 1910–1935
Succeeded by
Rupert de la Bère
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Sanders
Treasurer of the Household
Succeeded by
George Gibbs
Preceded by
Leo Amery
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty
Succeeded by
Archibald Boyd-Carpenter
Preceded by
Leslie Wilson
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Ben Spoor
Preceded by
Ben Spoor
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Tom Kennedy
Preceded by
Sir Austen Chamberlain
First Lord of the Admiralty
Succeeded by
Sir Samuel Hoare
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
Viscount Monsell
Succeeded by
(Henry Bolton) Graham Eyres-Monsell

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