Humphrtey Atkins, Baron Colnbrook, KCMG, PC

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Humphrey Edward Gregory Atkins

Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Kenya
Death: October 4, 1996 (74)
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt Edward Davis Atkins and Violet Mary Preston
Husband of Margaret, Baroness Colnbrook
Father of <private> Atkins; <private> Atkins; <private> Atkins and <private> Atkins
Brother of The Rt. Hon. Humphrey Edward Gregory Atkins

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Humphrtey Atkins, Baron Colnbrook, KCMG, PC

Humphrey Edward Gregory Atkins, Baron Colnbrook, KCMG, PC (12 August 1922 – 4 October 1996) was a British politician and a member of the Conservative Party. He served in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 1979 to 1982.

Early life

Atkins was born on 12 August 1922, in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, son of Captain Edward Davis Atkins and Violet Mary (née Preston) and lived in Kenya until the age of three. He and his wife Margaret (née Spencer-Nairn, 1924–2012) had four children, three daughters and one son.


Atkins was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, and served in the Royal Navy from 1940 to 1948. He worked for Nairn's, his wife's family's linoleum business in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, then became a director of a financial advertising agency. He contested the constituency of West Lothian in 1951, and was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Merton and Morden in 1955. He became MP for Spelthorne in 1970.

Atkins was a Conservative Chief Whip from 1973 to 1979, and served as a Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1979 to 1981. On September 1981, he was appointed as Lord Privy Seal, which was a role as the chief government spokesman in the House of Commons for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. This role was necessary because the Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, sat in the House of Lords. He resigned in April 1982, along with Lord Carrington, over the Falklands invasion. Atkins was appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George as a Knight Commander (KCMG) in the 1983 Dissolution Honours.[5] He left the House of Commons in 1987 and was made a life peer as Baron Colnbrook of Waltham St Lawrence in the County of Berkshire.

Atkins died from cancer on 4 October 1996 at the age of 74 in Waltham St Lawrence, Berkshire.

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Humphrtey Atkins, Baron Colnbrook, KCMG, PC's Timeline

August 12, 1922
October 4, 1996
Age 74