Sir Robert Porter - A Biographical Essay

Alistair Lexden wrote this account of the career of an outstanding Ulster politician and lawyer as the basis for an obituary in The Times newspaper. A badly mangled obituary that drew on this account was published in The Times on June 25, 2014. What follows is the full text that Alistair Lexden produced.

Lord Lexden reflects on the losses sustained by the House of Lords in World War One

Peers and their families were conspicuous throughout the First World War. Nothing, of course, could have been less surprising. For centuries many heads of aristocratic families and their sons had made their careers in the armed forces. Like most of its other members, they rarely appeared in the House of Lords itself.

Lord Lexden highlights the importance of independent schools to the economy

In April the Independent Schools Council published the first ever report showing the contribution that independent schools make to the British economy. At nearly £10 billion, it exceeds that of the BBC and the City of Liverpool. Alistair Lexden underlined the significance of the report in the Lords on June 23.

Lord Lexden assesses Churchill’s use of his War Rooms

On 19 June Alistair Lexden addressed the Spalding Conservative Patrons’ Club at the end of their visit to Churchill’s War Rooms. He pointed out that, although the War Rooms are a fine memorial to Churchill and record perfectly the masterly way in which he conducted the war, he actually made comparatively little use of them.


The rediscovery of patriotism is indeed crucial for the revival of Toryism which Disraeli defined as ‘love of country and an instinct for power’. There has been far too much talk about the eternal economic verities so successfully put into practice by Mrs Thatcher. There are no permanent economic features of Toryism.

Stuck to the seat - The Times

Sir, Tories have not represented Canterbury since 1835 without interruption (“Tory addiction”, June 14). Between 1880 and 1885 the constituency had no MP. It was disfranchised as a result of electoral corruption. A Liberal candidate at the 1880 election made it known that he had been offered £1,000 to stand down.

Lord Lexden opens Peel Society’s History Fair

The Peel Society, based at Tamworth in Staffordshire and now in its 35th year, promotes interest in, and fuller understanding of, the career of Sir Robert Peel, who founded the modern Conservative Party. On June 8 it held its third history fair at Middleton Hall, which is close to Peel’s former country home, Drayton Manor, outside Tamworth (where Peel issued the first ever election manifesto).

Lord Lexden recalls the last hotly contested Tory victory in Newark

It was in 1832—and the Tory candidate was none other than Gladstone, then on the right of the Conservative Party. Alistair Lexden describes the election in a letter (below) published in The Daily Telegraph on June 7, following the Tory victory in the crucial by-election in Newark.

Lord Lexden joins Independent/ State School Partnership Forum

Lord Lexden has joined the Independent/ State School Partnership Forum. This important Forum, at which Alistair Lexden spoke in January (see above), promotes collaboration and partnership schemes in a wide variety of forms between the two sectors of education.