John Dickson-Poynder, 1st Baron Islington

The Lord Islington

Lord Islington.JPG
Lord Islington in 1911.
15th Governor of New Zealand
In office
22 June 1910 â€“ 3 December 1912
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Joseph Ward
Thomas Mackenzie
William Massey
Preceded by The Lord Plunket
Succeeded by The Earl of Liverpool
Personal details
Born (1866-10-31)31 October 1866
Isle of Wight, England
Died 6 December 1936(1936-12-06) (aged 70)
Hyde Park Gardens, London, England
Spouse(s) Anne Dundas
Relations John Grigg (grandson)
Children Joan Grigg, Baroness Islington

John Poynder Dickson-Poynder, 1st Baron Islington, GCMG, GBE, DSO, PC (31 October 1866 – 6 December 1936), born John Poynder Dickson and known as Sir John Poynder Dickson-Poynder from 1884 to 1910, was a British politician. He was Governor of New Zealand between 1910 and 1912.

Early life

The son of Rear Admiral John Bourmaster Dickson, he was born on the Isle of Wight and educated at Twyford School, Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1884 he succeeded his uncle as sixth baronet, and on succeeding to his maternal uncle's property he assumed by royal licence the additional surname of Poynder in 1888.[1][2] The Poynder estates in Wiltshire included Hilmarton near Calne,[3] and Hartham near Corsham, where Dickson-Poynder carried out alterations c. 1888.[4]

He married Anne Beauclerk Dundas (c.1869-1958)[5] the daughter of James Dundas of Dundas and granddaughter of Baron Napier of Magdala. They had one daughter, Joan, who married Edward Grigg, 1st Baron Altrincham.

Member of Parliament

He was appointed High Sheriff of Wiltshire in 1890. Elected Conservative Member of Parliament for the Chippenham constituency in 1892, he joined the Liberals in 1905.[2] He was a member of London County Council from 1898 to 1904.

In late 1902 he visited British India and attended the 1903 Delhi Durbar.[6]

Military career

Dickson-Poynder was first commissioned into the volunteer battalion of the Royal Scots, but transferred to the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry where he was promoted to captain on 7 December 1898. He volunteered for active service in the Second Boer War, and was commissioned a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion (Wiltshire Company) Imperial Yeomanry on 7 February 1900,[7] leaving Liverpool for South Africa on the SS Cymric in early March 1900.[8] Appointed a quartermaster during the voyage (dated 10 March 1900),[9] he was back as a regular lieutenant in the Wiltshire company of the 1st battalion the following month. He later served on the Staff as aide-de-camp to Lord Methuen, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on 29 November 1900.[10] Following his resignation from the Imperial Yeomanry, he was on 5 February 1901 granted the rank of honorary lieutenant of the Army.[11] The following year, he was promoted to major in the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry on 31 May 1902.[12]

Governor of New Zealand

Lord Islington arriving in Wellington, 1910, in a ceremonial open carriage

In 1910 Dickson was appointed Governor of New Zealand, a post he held for two years, and on 27 April that same year, was created Baron Islington, of Islington in the County of London.[13][14] He was the last Governor of New Zealand to hold the title before it was changed to Governor-General of New Zealand during the term of his successor.[15] He was made a KCMG and Privy Counsellor in 1911, and in 1912 was appointed President of the Royal Commission on the Public Services of India, on which he served with Lord Ronaldshay, Herbert Fisher, Mr Justice Abdur Rahim, and others.[16]

Later career

Two years later he became Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, and in 1915 he became Under-Secretary of State for India. He also chaired the Imperial Institute for eight years, and was in charge of the National Savings Committee from 1920 until 1926, when he was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), having become Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) thirteen years before.


Lord Islington died on 6 December 1936 aged 70 at Hyde Park Gardens, London, and was buried at Hilmarton, Wiltshire, his barony and baronetcy becoming extinct at his death. Lady Islington subsequently rented Dyrham Park in Gloucestershire, where she ran a nursery during the Second World War.[17]


  1. ^ "No. 25780". The London Gazette. 24 January 1888. p. 551.
  2. ^ a b Foster, Bernard John (1966). "ISLINGTON, Sir John Poynder Dickson-Poynder". In McLintock, A. H. (ed.). Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  3. ^ Dunning, R.W.; Rogers, K.H.; Spalding, P.A.; Shrimpton, Colin; Stevenson, Janet H.; Tomlinson, Margaret (1970). Crittall, Elizabeth (ed.). "Victoria County History: Wiltshire: Vol 9 pp49-65 - Parishes: Hilmarton". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Hartham House (1364019)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Anne Beauclerk Dundas, Lady Islington (b.c.1869-1958) and Anne Clarissa Spencer-Churchill, Countess of Avon (b.1920), in the Great Hall, Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire". National Trust Collections. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36919). London. 7 November 1902. p. 8.
  7. ^ "No. 27162". The London Gazette. 6 February 1900. p. 808.
  8. ^ "The War - Embarcation of Troops". The Times (36078). London. 1 March 1900. p. 7.
  9. ^ "No. 27172". The London Gazette. 9 March 1900. p. 1631.
  10. ^ "No. 27359". The London Gazette. 27 September 1901. p. 6306.
  11. ^ "No. 27393". The London Gazette. 3 January 1902. p. 3.
  12. ^ "No. 27441". The London Gazette. 10 June 1902. p. 3756.
  13. ^ "No. 28361". The London Gazette. 29 April 1910. p. 2941.
  14. ^ "Lord Islington, KCMG, DSO, PC". The Governor-General. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  15. ^ "Earl of Liverpool, GCB, GCMG, GBE, MVO, PC". The Governor-General. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  16. ^ London Gazette, Issue 28642 of 6 September 1912, p. 6631
  17. ^ "History talk focuses on wartime nursery and children's homes". UWE Bristol. 6 November 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2017.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lord Henry Bruce
Member of Parliament for Chippenham
Succeeded by
George Terrell
Government offices
Preceded by
The Lord Plunket
Governor of New Zealand
Succeeded by
The Earl of Liverpool
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Emmott
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
Succeeded by
Arthur Steel-Maitland
Preceded by
Charles Henry Roberts
Under-Secretary of State for India
Succeeded by
The Lord Sinha
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Islington
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Alexander Dickson
(of Hardingham Hall)