Patrick Mayhew

The Lord Mayhew of Twysden

Lord Mayhew of Twysden.jpg
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
10 April 1992 β€“ 2 May 1997
Prime Minister John Major
Preceded by Peter Brooke
Succeeded by Mo Mowlam
Attorney General for England and Wales
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
In office
13 June 1987 β€“ 10 April 1992
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded by Michael Havers
Succeeded by Sir Nicholas Lyell
Solicitor General for England and Wales
In office
13 June 1983 β€“ 13 June 1987
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Ian Percival
Succeeded by Sir Nicholas Lyell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment
In office
4 May 1979 β€“ 5 January 1981
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by John Grant
Succeeded by David Waddington
Member of Parliament
for Tunbridge Wells
In office
28 February 1974 β€“ 2 May 1997
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Archie Norman
Personal details
Patrick Barnabas Burke Mayhew

(1929-09-11)11 September 1929
Died 25 June 2016(2016-06-25) (aged 86)
Kent, England
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Middle Temple

Patrick Barnabas Burke Mayhew, Baron Mayhew of Twysden, PC, QC, DL (11 September 1929 – 25 June 2016) was a British barrister and politician.

Early life

Through his father, Mayhew was descended from the Victorian social commentator Henry Mayhew. Mayhew's mother was a Roche and a relative of Lord Fermoy. He was educated at Tonbridge School, an all boys public school in Tonbridge, Kent.

He then served as an officer in the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, studied law at Balliol College, Oxford, and was president of the Oxford University Conservative Association and of the Oxford Union.[1] He was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1955.


Mayhew contested Dulwich in 1970, but the incumbent Labour member, Sam Silkin, beat him by 895 votes. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for the Tunbridge Wells constituency from its creation at the February 1974 general election, standing down at the 1997 election.

He was Under Secretary of Employment from 1979 to 1981, then Minister of State at the Home Office from 1981 to 1983. After this, he served as Solicitor General for England and Wales from 1983 to 1987, and then Attorney General for England and Wales and simultaneously Attorney General for Northern Ireland from 1987 to 1992.

He was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1992 to 1997, the longest anyone has served in this office.

He was one of only five Ministers (Tony Newton, Kenneth Clarke, Malcolm Rifkind and Lynda Chalker are the others) to serve throughout the whole 18 years of the Governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major. This represents the longest uninterrupted Ministerial service in Britain since Lord Palmerston in the early 19th century.

Honours and awards

Mayhew was knighted in 1983.[2] On 12 June 1997, he was given a life peerage as Baron Mayhew of Twysden, of Kilndown in the County of Kent.[3] He retired from the House of Lords on 1 June 2015.[4]

Personal life

In 1963, he married Jean Gurney, and they had four sons.[1] Mayhew's son, The Hon. Henry Mayhew, appeared in the fourth episode of the series The Secret History Of Our Streets, discussing life in the Portland Road, Notting Hill, London.[citation needed] Another son, Tristram, co-founded the outdoor adventure company Go Ape.

His son, Jerome Mayhew, is the Conservative MP for the constituency of Broadland in Norfolk since December 2019.

Mayhew suffered from cancer and Parkinson's disease in his later years.[5] He died on 25 June 2016, aged 86, in his home in Kent.[5]


  1. ^ a b 1993 Profile in The Independent. Retrieved 26 June 2016
  2. ^ "No. 49397". The London Gazette. 24 June 1983. p. 8380.
  3. ^ "No. 54809". The London Gazette. 17 June 1997. p. 7011.
  4. ^ "Retired members of the House of Lords". UK Parliament. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Former NI Secretary Lord Mayhew dies, aged 86". BBC News. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.

External links