Sydney Chapman (politician)

Sir Sydney Chapman
Sydney Chapman MP.jpg
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
In office
15 April 1992 โ€“ 7 July 1995
Prime Minister John Major
Lord Cham. The Earl of Airlie
Preceded by John Taylor
Succeeded by Timothy Kirkhope
Member of Parliament
for Chipping Barnet
In office
3 May 1979 โ€“ 11 April 2005
Preceded by Reginald Maudling
Succeeded by Theresa Villiers
Member of Parliament
for Birmingham Handsworth
In office
18 June 1970 โ€“ 8 February 1974
Preceded by Edward Boyle
Succeeded by John Lee
Personal details
Sydney Brookes Chapman

(1935-10-17)17 October 1935
Macclesfield, England
Died 9 October 2014(2014-10-09) (aged 78)
Lower Heyford, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
    Claire McNab
    ( m. 1976โ โ€“โ 1987) โ€‹
      Teresa Munoz
      ( m. 2005) โ€‹
      Children 3 (by McNab)
      Education Rugby School
      Alma mater University of Manchester
      Profession Architecture

      Sir Sydney Brookes Chapman (17 October 1935 โ€“ 9 October 2014) was a British Conservative politician and architect who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Handsworth and Chipping Barnet.[1]


      Chapman was educated at Rugby School and Manchester University, where he studied architecture, gaining his Diploma in 1958 and ARIBA in 1960. He was Chairman of the Young Conservatives from 1964 to 1966.[2]

      He married his first wife, Claire in 1976 (she was also his secretary when he was an MP), and they had three children.[3] In 2005, he married his second wife, Teresa at Chelsea Town Hall.

      After his retirement from politics, he moved from Barnet to Oxfordshire.[citation needed] He was a vice-chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews[4] and on the Council of the Royal Institute of British Architects for 2009โ€“2012.[5]

      Chapman died on 9 October 2014 in Oxfordshire.[6] A Service of Thanksgiving was organised by his family on 10 June 2015 at St Margaret's Church, Westminster. Attended by some 400 people including family, former colleagues, friends and constituents, the eulogies were read by Lord Ryder, Philip Porter and Chapman's sister, Cllr Christine Bateson.[citation needed]

      Political career

      Chapman first stood for Parliament, unsuccessfully, at Stalybridge and Hyde at the 1964 election, but was defeated by the incumbent Labour MP Fred Blackburn.

      He was first elected to Parliament in 1970 as MP for Birmingham Handsworth, but lost his seat when Labour returned to power at the February 1974 general election. During this period he was notable for Plant A Tree In '73, an initiative which had the support of Edward Heath's government and led to the formation of The Tree Council.[7][8] In the Plant A Tree role, Chapman had to work closely with the newly-formed Department of the Environment, only to discover that the senior official concerned had been a prefect at Rugby at whom he had once thrown a stink bomb.[citation needed]

      Five years later, at the 1979 election, Chapman was returned as MP for Chipping Barnet. He was briefly a whip during John Major's administration, one of his principal tasks being to provide Queen Elizabeth II with daily reports of Parliamentary proceedings. His conscientious attention to this role led to his being knighted. Chapman was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1997 to 2005.[9]

      Local achievements

      In the late 1980s, following the death of a horse rider crossing the A1 trunk road in Arkley, Chapman championed the campaign to have a bridge put in for walkers, riders and cyclists' use. This campaign was successful, and the bridge opened in 1991. In recognition of his work, he was presented with an award by the British Horse Society's President at the bridge's official opening ceremony.[10]