Harry Hylton-Foster

Sir Harry Braustyn Hylton Hylton-Foster (10 April 1905 – 2 September 1965), was a British Conservative Party politician who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1950 until his death. He was also the Speaker of the House of Commons for the final six years of his life.

Sir Harry Hylton-Foster

1960 portrait of Hylton-Foster dressed in the Speaker′s robes.
Speaker of the House of Commons
In office
20 October 1959  2 September 1965
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterHarold Macmillan
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Harold Wilson
Preceded byWilliam Morrison
Succeeded byHorace King
Solicitor General
In office
Preceded bySir Reginald Manningham-Buller
Succeeded bySir Jocelyn Simon
Member of Parliament
for Cities of London and Westminster
In office
8 October 1959  2 September 1965
Preceded bySir Harold Webbe
Succeeded byJohn Smith
Member of Parliament
for York
In office
23 February 1950  8 October 1959
Preceded byJohn Corlett
Succeeded byCharles Longbottom
Personal details
Born10 April 1905
Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Died2 September 1965(1965-09-02) (aged 60)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Audrey Brown
Alma materMagdalen College, Oxford

Early life

Hylton-Foster was born in Surrey, his father was a barrister, and he was educated at Eton College before reading jurisprudence at Magdalen College, Oxford, in which he graduated with a first-class degree. He was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1928, at which time he was also working as a legal secretary for Robert Finlay, 1st Viscount Finlay.

Military service

During World War II Hylton-Foster served in the Royal Air Force volunteer reserve. He also served as a deputy judge advocate, a military judge, in North Africa.

Political career

After the end of the war, he stood as a candidate for the Shipley seat in the 1945 general election, but was unsuccessful. However, in the 1950 election he succeeded in taking the York seat, a seat he held for the next two elections before standing for the safer seat for the Cities of London and Westminster in the 1959 election. He was made King's Counsel in 1947.

In 1954 Hylton-Foster was named as the Solicitor General for England and Wales, receiving the customary knighthood. The fact that he was serving as the Solicitor General when he was named as the Speaker of the House of Commons in 1959 was a source of some controversy, which was compounded by the fact that the Labour Party felt they had been insufficiently consulted about the nomination. However, once the controversy died down Hylton-Foster proved to be a popular and respected Speaker. He died suddenly in 1965 whilst still in office. His wife, Audrey, was given a life peerage as Baroness Hylton-Foster in his honour the same year, and was granted a life annuity by the Honourable Lady Hylton-Foster's Annuity Act 1965.

Personal life

Hylton-Foster and his wife are buried together in the churchyard of St Barnabas Church, Ranmore Common, Surrey.


    Parliament of the United Kingdom
    Preceded by
    John Corlett
    Member of Parliament for the City of York
    Succeeded by
    Charles Longbottom
    Preceded by
    Sir Harold Webbe
    Member of Parliament
    for the Cities of London and Westminster

    Succeeded by
    John Smith
    Preceded by
    William Morrison
    Speaker of the House of Commons
    Succeeded by
    Dr. Horace King
    Legal offices
    Preceded by
    Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller
    Solicitor General for England and Wales
    Succeeded by
    Sir Jocelyn Simon

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