John Monson

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Biographical Information

Died in 2011.

"John Monson was born on May 3 1932, the eldest son of the 10th Baron and the former Bettie Powell. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read Economics and Geography, he went into publishing...In 1958 the 10th Baron died suddenly at 51 and Monson inherited North Carlton Hall, to which his parents had moved, with 1,000 acres. Five years later he sold the Hall and moved with his young family to the Manor House at South Carlton. There he managed the estate and became a prize-winning chrysanthemum grower.

"Monson established himself as a writer to the papers well before taking an active part in the House of Lords. Most of his letters highlighted inconsistencies in the arguments of pro-Europeans, anti-nuclear campaigners, critics of the Vietnam War and the like. Nor was he afraid to change his mind, becoming an advocate of capital punishment after supporting its abolition. His first contribution in the Upper House was typically quixotic: Monson arrived late to speak in a 1968 debate on motoring because his car had been stolen. He went on to argue for a plebiscite on the future of Northern Ireland, claim the public had been misled into voting to stay in the Common Market, criticise the Labour government for offering cheap ships to communist Vietnam, oppose leasehold reform and deplore the withdrawal of the £1 note. Cross-benchers showed their respect by electing him to keep his seat when all but 92 of the hereditaries were ousted in 1999.

"In 1975 Monson took up the presidency of the hitherto low-key Society for Individual Freedom. In this capacity he opposed all legislation he saw as restrictive, fought to reduce strip searching by the police, disputed the increasingly prevalent view that passive smoking was dangerous to health, condemned the Maastricht treaty and opposed legislation to make children on horseback wear riding hats.

"John Monson married, in 1955, Emma Devas, daughter of the portrait painter Anthony Devas; they had three sons. The eldest, Nicholas John Monson, born in 1955, succeeds as the 12th Baron."[1]


Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. telegraph John Monson, organizational web page, accessed July 14, 2014.