John Barnes, Historian

Hailsham of Hailsham in the County of Sussex, the Viscounts

The Barony of Hailsham was created in 1928 for Sir Douglas Hogg (1872-1950), a distinguished barrister and Conservative politician, when he succeeded Lord Cave as Lord Chancellor. In 1929 he received a step in the peerage becoming the first Viscount Hailsham. He was succeeded in 1950 by his son, the second Viscount, who was also a prominent lawyer and Conservative politician. In 1963 he disclaimed his peerages under the Peerages Act 1963 so that he could be re-elected to the House of Commons. He had hoped to succeed to the leadership of the Conservative Party and the Prime Ministership, but by the time he returned to the Commons, Sir Alec Douglas Home, who had also disclaimed his peerage, had become Prime Minister. Hogg had to be content with a front bench position and chose not to enter the next contest for the leadership. Instead he accepted a life peerage as Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone in 1970 in order to become Lord Chancellor in Edward Heath’s administration. His father had twice served as Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom, and Hailsham subsequently served a second term in the position when he became Margaret Thatcher’s Lord Chancellor. The first and second Viscount Hailsham are the only father and son to both serve in that position.

On the second Viscount’s death in 2001 the life peerage became extinct and he was succeeded in the hereditary barony and Viscountcy by his son, the third Viscount. Like his father and grandfather he is a lawyer and a Conservative MP. He had already served in the Cabinet. The House of Lords Act 1999 had by the time of his father's death removed the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords and he did not need to disclaim his peerages to remain a member of the House of Commons. He stood down from the Commons in 2010. Lord Hailsham is the husband of Sarah Hogg, Baroness Hogg, a life peeress in her own right.