George Courthope, 1st Baron Courthope

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Lord Courthope in 1945

George Loyd Courthope, 1st Baron Courthope, MC, TD, PC, JP, DL (12 June 1877 – 2 September 1955), known as Sir George Courthope, Bt, from 1925 to 1945, was a British Conservative Party politician.

Background and education[edit]

The member of a family that had been settled at Whiligh in Sussex for many centuries, Courthope was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel George John Courthope and his wife Elinor Sarah, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Loyd. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford and was later called to the Bar, Inner Temple.[1]

Political career[edit]

He was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Rye in the 1906 general election, a seat he held until 1945.[1][2] He never held ministerial office but was sworn of the Privy Council in 1937.[3] He was also a Colonel in the 5th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment (Territorial Army) and fought in the First World War, where he was wounded, mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Cross.[1] Courthope was created a Baronet, of Whiligh in the County of Sussex, in 1925,[4] and in 1945 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Courthope, of Whiligh in the County of Sussex.[5]


Lord Courthope married firstly Hilda Gertrude, daughter of Major-General Henry Pelham Close, in 1899. They had two daughters. After her death in 1940 he married secondly Margaret, daughter of Frederick Barry, in 1944. Lord Courthope died in September 1955, aged 78. As he had no male issue the baronetcy and barony became extinct.[1]

Westminster Hall oaks[edit]

George Courthope took a particular interest in forestry, being at sometime President of the Royal English Arboricultural Society, and Chairman of the Empire Forestry Association and of the Forestry Commission's Consultative Committee for England.[6] He famously supplied oak wood for the repair of the 14th-century roof of Westminster Hall, some cut from trees over 600 years old,[7] from the same forest in Whiligh, Sussex, which had supplied some of the original timber in 1393.[8][9][10]


Coat of arms of George Courthope, 1st Baron Courthope
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
Courthope Escutcheon.png
A demi-stag salient Gules attired and charged with estoiles wavy Or.
Argent a fess Azure between three estoiles of six points wavy Sable.
Dexter a forester holding in his exterior hand his hat; sinister a farmer holding in his exterior hand a pitchfork erect; all Proper.
Court Hope [11]


  1. ^ a b c d George Loyd Courthope, 1st and last Baron Courthope
  2. ^ " House of Commons: Rochester to Ryedale". Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  3. ^ "No. 34407". The London Gazette. 11 June 1937. p. 3731.
  4. ^ "No. 33063". The London Gazette. 3 July 1925. p. 4449.
  5. ^ "No. 37166". The London Gazette. 6 July 1945. p. 3517.
  6. ^ Taylor, W.L. "George Loyd Courthope: An Appreciation" in Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, Volume 29, Issue 1, 1 January 1956
  7. ^ "In some districts we are growing oak, and it may interest hon. Members to know that a number of the oak trees which I felled for the restoration of Westminster Hall had over 600 annual rings, that is, they were over 600 years old, and as it is safe to assume that the great beams which they were replacing in Westminster Hall must have been at least of a similar age, you get (?)90 per cent. of that roof taking you back to the days before King Alfred burnt the cakes." From a speech made in Parliament by George Courthope on 1 July 1938.
  8. ^ "Historic Oaks". The Spectator. 3 August 1929. p. 14. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Famous Oaks - Some years ago I called attention to". The Spectator. 16 February 1934. p. 16. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Vic Keegan’s Lost London 19: the oak roof of Westminster Hall" 13 December 2017
  11. ^ Burke's Peerage. 1956.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Frederick Hutchinson
Member of Parliament for Rye
Succeeded by
William Cuthbert
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Courthope
1945 – 1955
Title extinct
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Whiligh)