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British Industrial History

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Hugh Cecil

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Hugh Richard Heathcote (Gascoyne-)Cecil, 1st Baron Quickswood PC (14 October 1869 – 10 December 1956) was a British Conservative Party politician, known as Lord Hugh Cecil before 1941.

Cecil was both a younger son of the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (who was Prime Minister three times in the late 19th century) and a cousin of British Prime Minister Arthur James Balfour, and was educated at Eton and University College, Oxford.

After his graduation, he was Assistant Private Secretary to his father from 1891-92, in the latter's role as Foreign Secretary and entered the Commons as MP for Greenwich in 1895. Lord Hugh held Greenwich until 1906 and then became MP for Oxford University in 1910, which he represented for the next twenty-seven years.

He served during World War I as a Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps. During the early 20th century, Cecil (known to his friends as "Linky") was the eponymous leader of the Hughligans, a group of privileged young Tory Members of Parliament critical of their own party's leadership. Modelled after Lord Randolph Churchill's Fourth Party, the Hughligans included Cecil, F.E. Smith, Arthur Stanley, Ian Malcolm, and, until 1904, Winston Churchill.

In 1908, Cecil was the best man at Churchill's wedding.

In 1916 he was part of the Mesopotamia Commission of Inquiry.

Lord Hugh left the Commons in 1937 to become Provost of Eton College and was created Baron Quickswood four years later. On his death in 1956, unmarried and childless, his title became extinct.

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