David Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles, CH KCVO KBE PC

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David Eccles

Birthdate: (95)
Death: 1999 (95)
Immediate Family:

Son of William McAdam Eccles and Anna Coralie Anstie
Husband of Mary Eccles, Viscountess Eccles and Sybil Frances, Viscountess Eccles
Father of <private> Eccles; Hon Simon Dawson Eccles and <private> Petty-FitzMaurice (Eccles)

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About David Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles, CH KCVO KBE PC


David McAdam Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles, CH, KCVO, MP, PC (18 September 1904 – 24 February 1999) was an English Conservative politician.

Education and Early Career

Eccles was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford. He worked with the Central Mining Corporation in London and Johannesburg. During the Second World War he worked for the Ministry of Economic Warfare from 1939 to 1940 and for the Ministry of Production from 1942 to 1943 and was Economic Adviser to the British ambassadors at Lisbon and Madrid from 1940 to 1942.

Political Career

Eccles was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Chippenham in a wartime by-election in 1943, a seat he held until 1962. He served in the Conservative administrations of Churchill, Eden and Macmillan respectively as Minister of Works from 1951 to 1954 (in which position, he helped organise the 1953 Coronation), as Minister of Education from 1954 to 1957 and again from 1959 to 1962 and as President of the Board of Trade from 1957 to 1959. Eccles was also President of the Board of Trade in January 1957.

In 1962 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Eccles, of Chute in the County of Wiltshire, and in 1964 he was created Viscount Eccles, of Chute in the County of Wiltshire. Lord Eccles returned to the government in 1970 when Edward Heath appointed him Paymaster-General and Minister for the Arts, a post he held until 1973. As Minister for the Arts he clashed with the Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain Arnold Goodman over the funding of controversial plays and exhibitions and introduced mandatory admission charges at public museums and galleries. Lord Eccles was made a Doctor of Science (DSc) in 1966 by Loughborough University. He also received an Honorary Science Doctorate from the University of Bath in 1972.

Pesonal Life

Eccles married, firstly, the Hon. Sybil Frances Dawson (1904–1977), daughter of Bertrand Dawson, 1st Viscount Dawson of Penn, on 1 October 1929. They had three children:

The Hon. Selina Eccles; m. George Petty-FitzMaurice, 8th Marquess of Lansdowne; became The Marchioness of Lansdowne

The Hon. Simon Dawson Eccles

The Hon. John Dawson Eccles; later 2nd Viscount Eccles (born on 20 April 1931)

Widowed, he married again, this time to the book collector and philanthropist Mary Morley Crapo Hyde (1912–2003) on 26 September 1984. He died at age 94 at home of natural causes leaving an estate of approximately £2.4 million.

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David Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles, CH KCVO KBE PC's Timeline

Age 30
Age 95