Frederic Herbert Maugham

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Frederick Herbert Maugham

Birthplace: Paris, France
Death: March 23, 1958 (91)
Hartfield, Sussex, United Kigdom
Place of Burial: Hartfield, Sussex, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Ormond Maugham and Edith Mary Maugham (Snell)
Husband of Helen Mary Maugham (Romer)
Father of Hon. Kate Mary Bruce (Maugham); Hon. Edith Honor Earl (Maugham); Hon. Diana Julia Marr-Johnson (Maugham) and Robert Maugham, 2nd Viscount Maugham
Brother of William Somerset Maugham, CH

Managed by: David Linton Wall
Last Updated:

About Frederic Herbert Maugham

The 1st. Viscount Maugham & Lord Chancellor 1938-1939

Frederick Herbert Maugham was called to the Bar, Lincoln's Inn, in 1890, and then embarked upon a legal career, becoming a King's Counsel in 1913. In 1922 he briefly considered entering politics as a Conservative Member of Parliament but could not find a seat. He was a Judge of the High Court of Justice (Chancery Division) from 1928 to 1934 and a Lord Justice of Appeal from 1934 to 1935. He was knighted in 1928 and sworn of the Privy Council in 1934. In 1935 he became a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, made a life peer and entered the House of Lords as Baron Maugham, of Hartfield in the County of Sussex. Three years later he was offered the role of Lord Chancellor by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Such was Maugham's lack of political experience that Chamberlain and he had never met before. He was offered the role because there were very few obvious available choices amongst the ranks of parliamentary supporters of the National Government to replace the ailing Lord Hailsham, as the obvious successor, Sir Thomas Inskip, could not be moved from the position of Minister for Coordination of Defence.

As Maugham was already 71 years old it was widely expected that he would prove to be a mere stop-gap appointment, to be succeeded by Inskip as soon as it was possible for the latter to leave Defence. However by the time this occurred in early 1939, Chamberlain was sufficiently impressed with Maugham's work to offer to retain him, whilst allowing Inskip the opportunity to defer choosing between becoming Lord Chancellor and remaining in the House of Commons with the possibility of becoming Prime Minister (a choice that Hailsham had always regretted) and intended to make a change at the next general election, which was expected to take place that year.

However war intervened and Chamberlain carried out a full scale reconstruction of his government. As part of this Maugham was allowed to retire, to be finally succeeded by Inskip, who was ennobled as Viscount Caldecote. Maugham took the retirement honour of Viscount Maugham, of Hartfield in the County of Sussex, which, unlike his barony, was hereditary. He again served as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary until 1941.

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Frederic Herbert Maugham's Timeline

October 20, 1866
Paris, France
December 18, 1897
Age 31
London, United Kingdom
Age 34
September 16, 1908
Age 41
London, United Kingdom
May 17, 1916
Age 49
United Kingdom
March 23, 1958
Age 91
Hartfield, Sussex, United Kigdom
April 1958
Age 91
Hartfield, Sussex, United Kingdom