Malcolm Stewart McCorquodale,
Baron McCorquodale Of Newton-le-willows

Malcolm McCorquodale
Malcolm McCorquodale.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Poster printed by McCorquodale & Co.
Poster printed by McCorquodale & Co.
Image source: LSE Digital Library

You will already be asking what this poster has to do with Malcolm McCorquodale, who was the MP for Epsom from 1947 to 1955, and the answer is that he was (1938-42 and 1945-67) the chairman of McCorquodale & Co, the printing company founded by his grandfather George. The company evolved from a stationery firm that George built up in Liverpool in the 1840s and it still exists, although it was taken over in a hostile bid by Robert Maxwell in the 1980s and is no longer in the hands of the McCorquodales. The success of the business can be gauged by the fact that when George died in 1895 he left effects to the value of £439,396, which is about £48 million in today's terms. You have almost certainly seen the work of McCorquodales at some time, as they printed Harpers and Queen magazine (now Harper's Bazaar) and many different charming and iconic old railway posters, which you can see online at https://collection.sciencemuseum.org.uk/search/people. George lived for much of the time in Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, where one of his printing works was located, and that is why, when Malcolm received a peerage, he chose that place for his title.

The McCorquodale Works at Newton-le-Willows.
The McCorquodale Works at Newton-le-Willows.
Image courtesy of Steven Dowd at http://newton-le-willows.com/

The Type Setting room at the McCorquodale Works.
The Type Setting room at the McCorquodale Works.
Image courtesy of Steven Dowd at http://newton-le-willows.com/

If you would like to read more about George McCorquodale and his enterprise in Newton-le-Willows, please see Steven Dowd's very interesting account at http://www.newton-le-willows.com. There are more pictures of the Works at http://www.newton-le-willows.com.

George McCorquodale was married twice (his first wife died in 1870) and had children by both marriages, but the one who interests us is Malcolm's father, Norman, born on 24 October 1863 in Newton-le-Willows. To a lesser extent we are also interested in some descendants of Norman's brothers, Alexander Cowan (born 1858) and Harold (born 1865), but we will come to them at the end.

Norman, who was also in the family business, married solicitor's daughter Constance Helena Burton (born c.1867 Northampton) in 1897 and that same year he bought Winslow Hall in Sheep Street, Winslow, Buckinghamshire, which was fairly near to the McCorquodale Works at Wolverton (now part of Milton Keynes). Norman was a magistrate and High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in 1910.

Winslow Hall
Winslow Hall.
Image © Copyright Christopher Hilton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The other children of Norman and Constance were as follows.

Mary Rosamond Born 1897, married Rev John Stanley Gibbs, died 1966 after a car accident. Their daughter Mary Sheila married the 21st Earl of Morton.
Norman Duncan Born 1898, married Barbara Helen de Knoop 1923, died 1971. He was awarded the MC in World War I and was a Brigadier in World War II. His daughter, Mary Pamela, married Fergus Michael Claude Bowes-Lyon, 17th Earl of Strathmore & Kinghorne, nephew of the late Queen Mother and first cousin to the present Queen. Norman Duncan lived in Scotland.
George Born 1904, married the Hon Enid Lawson Johnston, died 1979.
Pamela Constance Born 1910, married Major Angus McCorquodale (killed in action 1940 at Dunkirk, son of Harold - see later), died 1944.

Norman died on 3 January 1938 and Constance on 17 August 1939.

Malcolm was born on 29 March 1901 in Paddington district and was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church College, Oxford, where he studied chemistry. Although he was involved in the family firm from 1924, he did not waste much time before entering Conservative politics and even postponed his honeymoon to contest the Labour-held seat of Sowerby in the West Riding of Yorkshire at the General Election of 1931. He won by 25,511 votes to 11,857. (The 1931 General Election was peculiar, in that the Labour Party was in disarray over the financial crisis caused by the Great Depression and the Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, had formed a coalition, which caused his expulsion from the Party. He then called a General Election, leading a breakaway group called National Labour, which led to a landslide Conservative victory. Despite this, MacDonald remained Prime Minister, at the head of a 'National Government', until 1935, when he lost his seat and Stanley Baldwin took over).

Malcolm's new bride has been lost in the politics here, so let's put that right immediately. She was Winifred Sophia Doris Clark (born c.1905 in Troon, Ayrshire), daughter of James Oscar Max Clark, Chairman of J & P Coats, the thread company. The Clarks were originally knitting wool manufacturers (e.g. Anchor tapestry wool) and had amalgamated with J & P Coats towards the end of the 19th century: both firms originated in Paisley.

Malcolm and Winifred
Newspaper photograph of Malcolm and
Winifred on their wedding day in October 1931

Incidentally, you will see from the photo that Malcolm was a large man: he was about 6 feet 6 inches tall and described as 'substantial'. He was re-elected for Sowerby in 1935 with a very much reduced majority. In 1939 he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the President of the Board of Trade. There should have been another General Election at around that time but it never happened because of the outbreak of war.

From 1940 to 1941 Malcolm was an officer in the RAFVR and in 1942 he became PPS to Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour. The 1945 General Election resulted in a Labour landslide and he lost his seat, but was appointed a Privy Councillor. As with most career politicians who are crushed in a landslide, Malcolm's next step was to find a vacant and safe Tory seat and his opportunity arrived at Epsom when Sir Archibald Southby stepped down through ill health in 1947. Malcolm defeated the Labour candidate by 33,633 votes to 17,339. He retired at the 1955 General election and was awarded a peerage.

Malcolm and Winifred had two daughters, who were the Hon Pamela Susan (born 1934) and the Hon Prudence Fiona (born 1936). Pamela married Captain William F E Forbes and Prudence married Carel Maurits Mosselmans.

Winifred died on 16 November 1960 at Balcombe House, Balcombe, West Sussex (near Haywards Heath). In 1962 Malcolm married the Hon Daisy Yoskyl Consuelo Pearson (born 1906), who was the daughter of the 2nd Viscount Cowdray and Agnes Beryl Spencer-Churchill (grand-daughter of the 6th Duke of Marlborough). Daisy had been married twice before. Her first husband, the Hon Robert Brampton Gurdon, was killed in action in Libya in 1942 and her second husband, Alistair Monteith Gibb, was killed in a polo accident in 1955 (he collided with another player and, it seems, the pony rolled on his head). She had four children by her previous marriages.

Malcolm died on 25 September 1971 and, as he had no sons, his title became extinct. Daisy died in 1979.

Other McCorquodales

Some time ago I mentioned two of Norman McCorquodale's brothers, Harold and Alexander Cowan, and the reason I did so was to tell you a tale of two cousins who both married the same very famous woman, and here she is.

The very famous woman in her youth.
The very famous woman in her youth.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Do not cheat and scroll down the page. Do you know who it is yet? Give up? Try this next picture.

Dame Barbara Cartland, photographed by Allan Warren 1987
Dame Barbara Cartland, photographed by Allan Warren 1987.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

History has treated Dame Barbara unkindly, as she tends to be remembered for her romantic novels and her (very pink) appearance in later life. However, there was a lot more to her than that. She was very active in charity work and the St John Ambulance Brigade (for which she was invested as a Commander of the Order of St John of Jerusalem), served on Hertfordshire County Council and campaigned on numerous social issues.

A descendants' diagram of the McCorquodale characters may help at this point (and I need one myself). The three men across the top were brothers.

Alexander Cowan Norman Harold
Alexander George Malcolm Pamela Constance Kenneth Hugh
Raine *     Alastair Angus  
      Neil    

In 1927 Barbara (full name Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland) married Alexander George McCorquodale (1897-1964), known as 'Sachie'. He was a son of Alexander Cowan McCorquodale and, thus, a first cousin to Malcolm. They had one daughter, Raine (born 1929), and we will return to her in a moment. In 1932 there was a very messy scandal when a Mr Curtis divorced his wife on the grounds of her adultery with Alexander George McCorquodale. Next day Barbara obtained her own decree nisi, citing Mrs Curtis as co-respondent. Alexander initially cross-petitioned on the grounds that Barbara was having an affair with his first cousin Hugh (son of Harold McCorquodale and also a first cousin of Malcolm), but he was later dismissed from the case. Barbara married Hugh in 1936 and there were two sons, Ian and Glen.

As you probably know, Raine McCorquodale, having been divorced from the Earl of Dartmouth, married Earl Spencer and thus became stepmother to Diana, Princess of Wales, so we now need to go back to Harold McCorquodale (father of Hugh). Harold had another son called Kenneth and the latter's grandson was Neil, who married Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer, Diana's eldest sister.

Alexander Cowan Norman Harold
Alexander George
Married Barbara Cartland
Malcolm Pamela Constance
Married Angus
Kenneth Hugh
Married Barbara Cartland
Raine *
Married Earl Spencer
    Alastair Angus
Married Pamela Constance
 
      Neil
Married Lady Sarah Spencer
   

*Barbara did once say that she thought Raine was the result of an affair that she had with the promiscuous and bisexual Prince George, Duke of Kent (father of the present Duke), but there is no supporting evidence for that proposition.


Linda Jackson
March 2013



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