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Beatrice Nancy Seear, Baroness Seear PC (7 August 1913– 23 April 1997) was a British social scientist and politician. She was leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords from 1984 to 1988, and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords from 1988 to 1997. She was also appointed Privy Councillor in 1985.



  • Born in Croydon, Surrey
  • Educated at Croydon High School, Newnham College at the University of Cambridge, and the London School of Economics;
  • Personnel Officer, C & J Clark Ltd, 1936-1946; seconded as part-time member of staff, Production Efficiency Board, Ministry of Aircraft Production, 1943-1945;
  • Teacher of, and Reader in, Personnel Management, LSE, 1946-1978;
  • contested Hornchurch, 1950 and 1951, Truro, 1955 and 1959, Epping, 1964, Rochdale, 1966, and Wakefield, 1970, as a Liberal;
  • President, Liberal Party, 1964-1965;
  • President, Fawcett Society, 1970-1985;
  • Top Salaries Review Board, 1971-1984;
  • created Life Peer, 1971;
  • Member of Council, Industrial Society, 1972-1984;
  • President, British Standards Institute, 1974-1977;
  • President, Women's Liberal Federation, 1974;
  • Hansard Social Commission on Electoral Reform, 1975-1976;
  • President, Institute of Personnel Management, 1977-1979;
  • Visiting Professor of Personnel Management, City University, London, 1980-1987;
  • Leader of the Liberal Party, House of Lords, 1984-1988;
  • Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, House of Lords, 1988-1997;
  • Honorary President of the National Postgraduate Committee, 1991-1997

Carers champion

Baroness Seear was also remembered as a pioneer for Carers and women's rights. As a Reader in Personnel Management at the LSE in 1963 she was approached by the Rev. Mary Webster, who had given up her work as a Minister to care for her aged parents, and hit the UK headlines with her highly effective campaigning work. Nancy Seear said that within five minutes of meeting Mary Webster "I knew that she was someone quite exceptional" (Tim Cook, 2007)

She became one of twelve founder member of the NCSWD - the National Council for Single Woman and Her Dependants on 15 December 1965. Another prominent member was Sir Keith Joseph. She continued working for the movement and eventually became a Patron of Carers National Association when it was formed by a merger with the Association of Carers on 14 May 1988.

She was unmarried.

External links


  • A career for women in industry (Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1964);
  • Policies for incomes (Liberal Publication Department, London, 1967);
  • Training: the fulcrum of change (British Association for Commercial and Industrial Education, London, 1976);
  • Interdependence and survival: population policies and environmental control (Wyndham Place Trust, London, 1976);
  • Women in the penal system (Report for the Howard League for Penal Reform, 1986);
  • Education: a quantum leap? (Hebden Royd Publications, Hebden Bridge, 1988).


  • Tim Cook, 2007, "The History of the Carers Movement" ISBN 978-1-873747-36-0
  • David Steel (Lord Steel of Aikwood), Nancy Seear in Dictionary of National Biography; OUP 2004-08
  • Mark Egan, Nancy Seear in Brack et al. (eds.) Dictionary of Liberal Biography; Politico's Publishing, 1998 pp324–325
Party political offices
Preceded by
Roger Fulford
President of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Michael Eden
Preceded by
Frank Byers
Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords
Succeeded by
Roy Jenkins
Leader of the Social and Liberal Democrats


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