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Sir Adam Courtauld Butler, PC, DL (11 October 1931 – 9 January 2008) was a British Conservative Party politician, serving as an MP for 17 years and holding several junior ministerial offices.

Butler was born at Halstead, the second of four children of Rab Butler and his wife, Sydney, only child of Samuel Courtauld. He was educated at Maidwell Hall prep school in Northampton and Eton College. After National Service from 1949 to 1951 as a second lieutenant in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, he read history and economics at Pembroke College, Cambridge from 1951 to 1954 (where his grandfather, Sir Montagu Butler, had been Master). After graduating, he joined the Canadian Army for as a captain to serve as aide-de-camp to the Governor-General of Canada, Vincent Massey for one year. His mother died of cancer in 1954, while he was in Canada. He returned to England in 1955, and he joined the family company, Courtaulds, working as a director of various subsidiaries.

Butler became Member of Parliament for Bosworth in 1970, surprisingly defeating the sitting Labour Party MP, Woodrow Wyatt. He was first Conservative MP to represent the seat since the 1920s, and barely retained his seat at the two general elections in 1974. He served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Joseph Godber, who was Minister of State in the Foreign Office and then at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. After becoming a whip in 1974, he became joined John Stanley as Margaret Thatcher's two PPSs. After the Conservative victory at the 1979 UK general election, he served as Minister of State for Industry at the Department of Industry until 1981, and then as minister for economic development in Northern Ireland until 1984, where he called in the receivers at the De Lorean motorcar company, and finally as minister for defence procurement until 1985. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1984, and knighted in 1986.

He retired from Parliament at the 1987 UK general election, returning to Courtaulds. He was also a member of the Court of the Goldsmiths' Company and later chairman of the British Hallmarking Council from 1998 to 2004; chairman of the chairman of the Samuel Courtauld Trustees, associated with the Courtauld Institute of Art, from 1989 to 2005; and chairman of the Airey Neave Trust from 1989 to 1999.

He lived at his 200-acre (0.81 km2) farm at Lighthorne in Warwickshire. He became a Deputy Lieutenant of Warwickshire in 1993, and served as Vice Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire from 1998 to 2005. He enjoyed field sports, and was chairman of the Warwickshire Hunt for 23 years. He also was member of the Countryside Animal Welfare Group, and campaigned to end the RSPCA's support for a hunting ban as a member of its council.

He married Felicity Molesworth-St Aubin in 1955. He died at Lighthorne, survived by his wife and their two sons and daughter.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Woodrow Wyatt
Member of Parliament for Bosworth
Succeeded by
David Tredinnick


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