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The Right Honourable
 The Viscount Boyd of Merton 

In office
28 July 1954 – 14 October 1959
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Sir Anthony Eden
Harold Macmillan
Preceded by Oliver Lyttelton
Succeeded by Iain Macleod

Born 18 November 1904 (1904-11-18)
Died 8 March 1983 (1983-03-09)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lady Florence Guinness
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

Alan Tindal Lennox-Boyd, 1st Viscount Boyd of Merton (18 November 1904 – 8 March 1983) was a British Conservative politician.


Background, education and military service

Lennox-Boyd was the son of Alan Lennox-Boyd by his second wife Florence, daughter of James Warburton Begbie. He had en elder half-sister and three full brothers, two of whom were killed in the Second World War and one who died in Germany in April 1939. He was educated at Sherborne School, Dorset and graduated from Christ Church, Oxford, with a Master of Arts. At Oxford Lennox-Boyd was a lover of James Lees-Milne.[1] He served in the Second World War as a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.

Political career

Lennox-Boyd was elected as Member of Parliament for Mid Bedfordshire in 1931 (at the age of 26), and was admitted to Inner Temple, as a barrister in 1941. He was a member of Winston Churchill's peacetime government as Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation from 1952 to 1954. In this post he once memorably opined that road accidents were the result not of the taking of large risks, but of the taking of small risks very large numbers of times.

In 1954 he became Secretary of State for the Colonies, where he oversaw early stages of decolonisation, with the granting of independence to Cyprus, Ghana, Iraq, Malaya and Sudan. He was in office during the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya, and was persuaded to stay in office by Harold Macmillan after being censured for the Hola massacre. He talked openly towards independence for the Federation of Malaya, and invited the then Chief Minister of Malaya, Tunku Sir Abdul Rahman Al-Haj and his fellows to Lancester House to make up the possibility for Malaya to achieve as a sovereign nation. However, after the 1959 general election he was replaced as Colonial Secretary with Iain Macleod.

In September 1960 he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Boyd of Merton of Merton-in-Penninghame in the County of Wigtown. This caused a by-election for his Mid Bedfordshire constituency which was won by Stephen Hastings. He was further honoured the same year when he was appointed a Companion of Honour. Being opposed to the line taken in Harold Macmillan's Wind of Change speech, he subsequently became an early Patron of the Conservative Monday Club.

Other public positions and business career

Lord Boyd of Merton held the office of Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire between 1954 and 1960 and Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall in 1965. He was managing director of Arthur Guinness & Sons between 1959 and 1967, and was a Companion of Honour and Privy Councillor.


Lord Boyd of Merton married Lady Patricia, daughter of Rupert Guinness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh, on 29 December 1938. They had three children:

Lord Boyd of merton died in March 1983, aged 78, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Simon. Lady Boyd of Merton died in May 2001, aged 83.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Milner Gray
Member of Parliament for Mid Bedfordshire
Succeeded by
Stephen Hastings
Political offices
Preceded by
John Dugdale
Minister of State at the Colonial Office
Succeeded by
Henry Hopkinson
Preceded by
John Maclay
Minister of Transport
Succeeded by
as Minister of Transport
and Civil Aviation
Minister of Civil Aviation
New title Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation
Succeeded by
John Boyd-Carpenter
Preceded by
Oliver Lyttelton
Secretary of State for the Colonies
Succeeded by
Iain Macleod
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Boyd of Merton
Succeeded by
Simon Lennox-Boyd


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