John Kay: The Tory MPs for Lewes, 1874-1997
Lewes prides itself on being different and, despite being a prosperous Home Counties constituency, it is over 20 years since it last elected a Conservative M.P. However, for more than a century, from 1874 to 1997, it was represented by seven successive long-serving Tories, sandwiched between the Liberal Lord Pelham and the Liberal Democrat Norman Baker. At first inspection these seven Tories seem a rather typecast group – privately-educated, well-heeled and well-connected country gentlemen with Oxbridge or military backgrounds. Without exception, they appear establishment figures. Peer a little closer and the homogeneity disappears, allowing the individual characters to emerge. Some had real accomplishments to their credit, though none achieved high office. It may not have helped that several were hardly Tories at all in their political beliefs. One was a direct descendant of Earl Grey (of the tea) and another of Charles II and Nell Gwynne. Yet another was the godfather, and the early political patron, of a prime minister whose name you will recognise.
All are welcome from 7.00pm for free refreshments and updates on the Group’s activities. The talk will begin promptly at 7:30pm and will finish by 9.00pm.
There is an entry fee for these meetings, payable at the door, of £2 for members, and £3 for non-members.
Venue: The King’s Church building on Brooks Road, Lewes, BN7 2BY. (Between Tesco car park and Homebase)
See the Meetings page for a list of forthcoming monthly talks organised by the Lewes History Group.