George Younger, 4th Viscount Younger of Leckie

Summary

George Kenneth Hotson Younger, 4th Viscount Younger of Leckie, Baron Younger of Prestwick, KT, KCVO, TD, PC, FRSGS (22 September 1931 – 26 January 2003[1]), was a British Conservative Party politician and banker.

The Viscount Younger of Leckie
Secretary of State for Defence
In office
9 January 1986 – 24 July 1989
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byMichael Heseltine
Succeeded byTom King
Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
4 May 1979 – 9 January 1986
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byBruce Millan
Succeeded byMalcolm Rifkind
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
18 February 1975 – 15 January 1976
LeaderMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byPeter Walker
Succeeded byIan Gilmour
Minister of State for Defence
In office
8 January 1974 – 4 March 1974
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byIan Gilmour
Succeeded byWilliam Rodgers
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
24 June 1970 – 8 January 1974
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byBruce Millan
Succeeded byTeddy Taylor
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
as a hereditary peer
25 June 1997 – 11 November 1999
Preceded byThe 3rd Viscount Younger of Leckie
Succeeded bySeat abolished[a]
as a life peer
7 July 1992 – 26 January 2003
Member of Parliament
for Ayr
In office
15 October 1964 – 16 March 1992
Preceded byThomas Moore
Succeeded byPhil Gallie
Personal details
Born
George Kenneth Hotson Younger

(1931-09-22)22 September 1931
Stirling, Scotland, UK
Died26 January 2003(2003-01-26) (aged 71)
Gargunnock, Scotland, UK
Political partyConservative (1965–2003)
Other political
affiliations
Unionist (until 1965)
Spouse
Diana Tuck
(m. 1954)
Children4
Alma materNew College, Oxford
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceBritish Army
UnitArgyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Battles/warsKorean War

Early life and career

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Younger's forebear, George Younger (baptised 1722), was the founder of George Younger and Son of Alloa, the family's brewing business (not to be confused with Younger's of Edinburgh). Younger's great-grandfather, George Younger, was created Viscount Younger of Leckie in 1923. Younger was the eldest of the three sons of Edward Younger, 3rd Viscount Younger of Leckie.

He was born in Stirling in 1931 and educated at Cargilfield Preparatory School, Winchester College, and New College, Oxford, where he obtained a Master's degree. Joining the British Army, he served in the Korean War with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. On 7 August 1954, he married Diana Tuck, daughter of a Royal Navy captain. They had four children, including James Younger, who succeeded his father to the Viscountcy.[2]

Political career

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He first stood for Parliament, unsuccessfully, in North Lanarkshire in the 1959 general election. Subsequently, he was initially selected to stand for the Kinross and West Perthshire seat in a by-election in late 1963, but agreed to stand aside to allow the new Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home the chance to enter the House of Commons.

Following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather the 1st Viscount, Younger became Member of Parliament for Ayr in 1964 and served as Margaret Thatcher's Secretary of State for Scotland for seven years. He subsequently succeeded Michael Heseltine as Secretary of State for Defence in 1986 when Heseltine resigned from the cabinet over a dispute about helicopters known as the Westland affair. In the 1987 general election, as part of a considerable swing away from the Conservatives in Scotland, he retained his seat after three recounts, by a majority of just 182 votes (having been almost 8,000 votes in 1983). Incidentally, it was held by his successor Phil Gallie by an even smaller majority of 85 votes in 1992.

Later years

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Younger quit the cabinet in 1989, and joined the Royal Bank of Scotland, becoming its chairman in 1992. He was created a life peer as Baron Younger of Prestwick, of Ayr in the District of Kyle and Carrick, on 7 July 1992, five years before succeeding to the viscountcy. As such, he continued to sit in the House of Lords after the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999 which expelled most of the hereditary peers. In 1995, the Queen appointed him a knight of the Order of the Thistle.[3] Younger was Chancellor of Edinburgh's Napier University from 1993 until his death, and Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2001 and 2002.

Notes

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References

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  1. ^ "Obituary: Viscount Younger of Leckie" The Independent, 9 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Entry for George Younger, 4th Viscount Younger of Leckie" Burke's Landed Gentry of Great Britain, p. 1389, 9 April 2010.
  3. ^ "Appointments to the Order of the Thistle". royal.uk. 30 November 2002. Archived from the original on 3 December 2021. Retrieved 31 January 2022.

Sources

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  • Torrance, David, The Scottish Secretaries (Birlinn 2006)
  • Burke's Peerage & Baronetage (106th edition, 1999). Editor-in-chief: Charles Mosley; publisher: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd.
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  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by George Younger
  • Lord Younger dies after cancer battle – BBC News article, dated Sunday, 26 January 2003.
  • Lord Younger: A career in politics – BBC News article, dated Sunday, 26 January 2003.
  • Tribute paid to 'Gentleman George' – BBC News article, dated Sunday, 26 January 2003.
  • Marlow (Scotland) Lectures – IESIS website, retrieved 27 May 2012.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Ayr

19641992
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
1975–1976
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary of State for Scotland
1979–1986
Succeeded by
Preceded by Secretary of State for Defence
1986–1989
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Viscount Younger of Leckie
1997–2003
Succeeded by