Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC, FRS (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was a British Conservative politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963. Caricatured as " Supermac ", he was known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability. Macmillan was badly injured as an infantry officer during ...
- Early Life
- Political Career
- Prime Minister
- Retirement and Death
- Titles from Birth to Death
Harold Macmillan was born in Chelsea, London, England, to Maurice Crawford Macmillan (1853-1936) and Helen (Nellie) Artie Tarleton Belles (1856-1937). His paternal grandfather, Daniel Macmillan (1813-1857), was the Scottish crofter who would go on to found Macmillan Publishers. Harold was first educated at Summer Fields School and then at Eton, but was expelled—according to Woodrow Wyatt—for buggery, though an alternative version argues he left due to illness. He attended Balliol College, Oxford, although he only completed two years of his classics degree—taking a first in Mods—before the outbreak of World War I. He served with distinction as a captain in the Grenadier Guards during the war and was wounded on three occasions. During the Battle of the Somme, he spent an entire day wounded and lying in a foxhole with a bullet in his pelvis, reading the Greek writer Aeschylusin the original language. Macmillan lost so many of his fellow students during the war that afterwards he refuse...
He married Lady Dorothy Cavendish, daughter of Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire on April 21, 1920. Between 1929 and 1935, Lady Dorothy had a long affair with the Conservative politician Robert Boothby, in the public view of Westminster and established society. Boothby was widely rumored to have been the father of Macmillan's youngest daughter, Sarah. The stress caused by this may have contributed to Macmillan's nervous breakdown in 1931.Lady Dorothy died on 21 May 1966, aged 65. They had four children: 1. Maurice Macmillan, Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden (1921-1984) 2. Lady Caroline Faber (born 1923) 3. Lady Catherine Amery (1926-1991) 4. Sarah Macmillan (1930-1970)
Elected to the House of Commons in 1924 for Stockton-on-Tees, he lost his seat in 1929, only to return in 1931. Macmillan spent the 1930s on the back benches, with his anti-appeasement ideals and sharp criticism of Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlainserving to isolate him. During this time (1938), he published the first edition of his book, The Middle Way,which advocated a broadly centrist political philosophy both domestically and internationally. In the Second World War, he at last attained office, serving in the wartime coalition government in the Ministry of Supply and the Colonial Ministry, before attaining real power upon being sent to North Africa in 1942, as British government representative to the Allies in the Mediterranean. During this assignment, Macmillan worked closely with Dwight Eisenhower, a friendship that would prove crucial in his later career. He returned to England after the war and was Secretary of State for Air for two months in 1945. He lost his seat in...
Once elected, Macmillan filled government posts with 35 family members, 7 of whom sat in Cabinet.
Independent nuclear deterrent
Following the technical failures of a British independent nuclear deterrent with the Blue Streak and the Blue Steel projects, and the unilateral cancellation of the Skybolt missile system by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, Macmillan negotiated the delivering of American Polaris missiles to the UK under the Nassau agreement in December 1962. Previously, he had agreed to base 60 Thor missiles in Britain under joint control, and since late 1957, the American McMahon Act had been eased to...
Britain's application to join the EEC was vetoed by Charles de Gaulle(January 29, 1963), in part due to de Gaulle's fear that "the end would be a colossal Atlantic Community dependent on America" and in part in anger at the Anglo-American nuclear deal.
The Profumo affair of spring and summer 1963 permanently damaged the credibility of Macmillan's government. He survived a Parliamentary vote with a majority of 69, one less than had been thought necessary for his survival, and was afterwards joined in the smoking-room only by his son and son-in-law, not by any Cabinet minister. Nonetheless, Butler and Maudling (who was very popular with backbench MPs at that time) declined to push for his resignation, especially after a tide of support from Conservative activists around the country. However, the affair may have exacerbated Macmillan's ill-health. He was taken ill on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference, diagnosed incorrectly with inoperable prostate cancer. Consequently, he resigned on October 18, 1963. He was succeeded by the Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home in a controversial move; it was alleged that Macmillan had pulled strings and utilized the party's grandees, nicknamed "The Magic Circle," to ensure that Butler was...Harold Macmillan, Esq (February 10, 1894–October 29, 1924)Harold Macmillan, Esq, MP (October 29, 1924–May 30, 1929)Harold Macmillan, Esq (May 30, 1929–November 4, 1931)Harold Macmillan, Esq, MP (November 4, 1931–1942)Aldous, Richard and Sabine Lee. Harold Macmillan and Britain's World Role. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996. ISBN 9780312125783Gearson, John P.S. and Harold Macmillan. Harold Macmillan and the Berlin Wall Crisis, 1958-62: The Limits of Interests and Force. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998. ISBN 9780312174002Horne, Alistair. Harold Macmillan. New York: Viking, 1989. ISBN 9780670805020Hutchinson, George. The Last Edwardian at No. 10: An Impression of Harold Macmillan. London: Quartet Books, 1980. ISBN 9780704322325
Biography. The half-American son of a publisher, Harold Macmillan was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford and served in both World Wars. He rose quickly through Conservative ranks and ...
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC, FRS (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963. Nicknamed 'Supermac' and known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability, Macmillan achieved note before the Second World War as a Tory radical and critic of appeasement. Rising to high office as a ...
Harold Macmillan. Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was a British Conservative politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963. Caricatured as "Supermac", he was known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability.
Maurice Harold Macmillan was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 until 1963, when he resigned on health grounds. Before becoming Prime Minister, he was both Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Chancellor of the Exchequer under his predecessor, Anthony Eden. In The Crown, he is portrayed by Anton Lesser.