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Reginald McKenna: Wikis


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The Right Honourable
 Reginald McKenna

In office
25 May 1915 – 10 December 1916
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by David Lloyd George
Succeeded by Andrew Bonar Law

In office
24 October 1911 – 27 May 1915
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Winston Churchill
Succeeded by Sir John Simon

Born 6 July 1863 (2010-03-16T23:05:29)
Died 6 September 1943 (2010-03-16T23:05:30)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Pamela Jekyll (d. 1943)
Alma mater Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Reginald McKenna (6 July 1863 – 6 September 1943) was a British banker and Liberal. He notably served as Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer during the premiership of H. H. Asquith.


Background and education

McKenna was the son of William Columban McKenna and his wife Emma, daughter of Charles Hanby. Sir Joseph Neale McKenna was his uncle. McKenna was educated at King's College School and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.[1] At Cambridge he was a notable rower. In 1886 he was a member of the Trinity Hall Boat Club eight that won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta.[2] He rowed bow in the the winning Cambridge boat in the 1887 Boat Race. Also in 1887 he was a member of the Trinity Hall coxless four that won the Stewards' Challenge Cup at Henley.

Reginald McKenna by Leslie Ward (Vanity Fair caricatures) entitled "In the winning crew"

Political career

McKenna was elected at the 1895 general election as Member of Parliament (MP) for North Monmouthshire. He served in the Liberal governments of Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Herbert Henry Asquith as President of the Board of Education, First Lord of the Admiralty and Home Secretary. As Chancellor of the Exchequer in Asquith's coalition government, he opposed the introduction of conscription, and retired into opposition upon the fall of Asquith at the end of 1916. He lost his seat in the 1918 general election and became Chairman of the Midland Bank. In 1922, the new Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law hoped to persuade him to come out of retirement and serve once again at the Exchequer, but he refused, and remained in private life. The following year Law's successor Stanley Baldwin repeated the request and McKenna was more agreeable. However he wished to enter Parliament as MP for the City of London and neither of the incumbent MPs would agree to vacate in order to make room. As a result McKenna declined.

It is said that he refused offers of a peerage throughout the rest of his life in order to be always in a position to be offered the Exchequer so that he could refuse.


McKenna was married in 1908 to Pamela Jekyll (who d. November 1943), younger daughter of Sir Herbert Jekyll, KCMG (brother of landscape gardener Gertrude Jekyll) and his wife Lady Agnes Jekyll, née Graham.[3] They had two sons - Michael (died 1931) and David, who married Lady Cecilia Elizabeth Keppel (born 12 April 1910), a daughter of the the 9th Earl of Albemarle in 1934, and had issue.[4]

Reginald McKenna died in London on 6 September 1943, and was buried at Mells, Somerset (the home of his old friend Sir John Horner). His wife died two months later, and is buried beside him. McKenna was a regular client of Sir Edwin Lutyens who designed the Midland Bank headquarters in Poultry, London, several branches and several homes for McKenna, as well as his grave.

See also


  1. ^ McKenna, Reginald in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  2. ^ R C Lehmann "The Complete Oarsman
  3. ^ Details of the Jekyll family and BBC: Making History: Sir Herbert Jekyll. Retrieved 4 December 2007. Sir Herbert's elder daughter Barbara married as her 2nd husband, Field Marshal Lord Freyberg; her grandson holds the peerage today.
  4. ^ Darryl Landy, The Peerage database, retrieved 4 December 2007.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Phillips Price
Member of Parliament for North Monmouthshire
constituency abolished
Political offices
Preceded by
Augustine Birrell
President of the Board of Education
Succeeded by
Walter Runciman
Preceded by
The Lord Tweedmouth
First Lord of the Admiralty
Succeeded by
Winston Churchill
Preceded by
Winston Churchill
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir John Simon
Preceded by
David Lloyd George
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Andrew Bonar Law
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Bernard M. Baruch
Cover of Time Magazine
3 March 1924
Succeeded by
Warren S. Stone

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