Anthony Eden

Anthony Eden

honorific-prefix = The Right Honourable
name = Anthony Eden
honorific-suffix =
The Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC

imagesize = 230px
order = Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
term_start = 7 April 1955
term_end = 10 January 1957
monarch = Elizabeth II
predecessor = Sir Winston Churchill
successor = Harold Macmillan
order2=Lord Privy Seal
term_start2=June 1934
term_end2=7 June 1935
monarch2=George V
primeminister2=Ramsay MacDonald
predecessor2=Stanley Baldwin
successor2=The Marquess of Londonderry
order3=Foreign Secretary
term_start3= 22 December 1935
term_end3= 20 February 1938
monarch3=George V
Edward VIII
George VI
primeminister3= Stanley Baldwin
Neville Chamberlain
predecessor3 = Sir Samuel Hoare, 2nd Baronet
successor3 = The Viscount Halifax
term_start4 = 22 December 1940
term_end4 = 26 July 1945
monarch4 = George VI
primeminister4= Winston Churchill
predecessor4 = The Viscount Halifax
successor4 = Ernest Bevin
term_start5 = 28 October 1951
term_end5 = 7 April 1955
monarch5 = George VI
Elizabeth II
primeminister5= Sir Winston Churchill
predecessor5 = Herbert Stanley Morrison
successor5 = Harold Macmillan
order6 = Deputy Prime Minister
term_start6 = 26 October 1951
term_end6 = 6 April 1955
primeminister6= Sir Winston Churchill
predecessor6 = "Vacant"
last holder was Herbert Stanley Morrison earlier in 1951
successor6 = "Vacant"
next holder was Rab Butler in 1962
birth_date = birth date|1897|6|12|df=y
birth_place = West Auckland, County Durham, England
death_date = death date and age|1977|1|14|1897|6|12|df=y
death_place = Alvediston, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
nationality = British
party = Conservative
religion = Anglican
alma_mater = Christ Church, Oxford
profession =Member of Parliament
spouse = Beatrice Beckett (1902–1957) (1923 – divorced 1950)
Clarissa Eden, Countess of Avon (born 1920) (1952–1977)

Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC (12 June 1897 – 14 January 1977) was a British Conservative politician, who was Foreign Secretary for three periods between 1935 and 1955, including during World War II. He was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957.

His worldwide reputation as a "Man of Peace" and skilled diplomat was severely damaged by his conduct of the Suez Crisis in 1956, which was considered disastrous for Britain and a decisive sign of the decline of the British EmpireDavid Dutton: "Anthony Eden. A Life and Reputation" London, Arnold, 1997 ] .

In the post-war years, Eden was a protagonist of the change in British policy [Churchill had been a major founder of the War Criminal Trials policy, by drafting the Statement on Atrocities of the Moscow Declaration, signed on 30 October 1943 which, under the emergence of the Cold War, he most notably started to undermine since 1947, when he successfully urged the Attlee government to obtain the commuting in a life sentence the death penalty inflicted upon Albert Kesselring by a British Military Court.] on war criminal trials, which was perhaps best symbolised by his signature under the pardon conceded to the German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring on 24 October 1952.

He is generally ranked among the least successful British Prime Ministers of the twentieth century [ [ Rating British Prime Ministers] 29 November 2004] [ [ Churchill 'greatest PM of 20th Century'] 4 January 2000] , although two broadly sympathetic biographies (in 1986 and 2003) have gone some way to redressing the balance of opinion Robert Rhodes James (1986) "Anthony Eden"; D.R. Thorpe (2003) "Eden"] .

Early career

Eden was born in West Auckland, County Durham, England, into a very conservative landed gentry family, and attended Eton. He was a younger son of Sir William Eden, baronet, from an old titled family. His mother, Sybil Frances Grey, was a member of the famous Grey family of Northumberland (see below). This was perhaps the meaning of Rab Butler's later gibe that Eden - in later life a handsome but ill-tempered man - was "half mad baronet, half beautiful woman". He had an elder brother called Timothy and a younger brother, Nicholas, who was killed when the battlecruiser HMS "Indefatigable" blew up and sank at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.

During the First World War, Eden served with the King's Royal Rifle Corps, and reached the rank of captain. He received a Military Cross, and at the age of twenty-one became the youngest brigade-major in the British Army. At a conference in the early 1930s, he and Adolf Hitler observed that they had probably fought on opposite sides of the trenches in the Ypres sector. After the war he studied at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated in Oriental Languages. He was fluent in French, German and Persian, and also spoke Russian and Arabic. After fighting a hopeless seat in the November 1922 General Election, Captain Eden, as he was still known, was elected Member of Parliament for Warwick and Leamington in the December 1923 General Election, as a Conservative. Also in that year he married Beatrice Beckett. They had two sons (as well as a third who died in infancy), but the marriage was not a success and later broke up under the strain of a son missing in action.

In the 1924-1929 Conservative Government, Eden was first Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary, Sir William Joynson Hicks, and then in 1926 to the Foreign Secretary Sir Austen Chamberlain. In 1931 he held his first ministerial office as Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. In 1934 he was appointed Lord Privy Seal and Minister for the League of Nations in Stanley Baldwin's Government. Like many of his generation who had served in the First World War, Eden was strongly anti-war, and strove to work through the League of Nations to preserve European peace. However, he was among the first to recognise that peace could not be maintained by appeasement of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. He privately opposed the policy of the Foreign Secretary, Sir Samuel Hoare, of trying to appease Italy during its invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935. When Hoare resigned after the failure of the Hoare-Laval Pact, Eden succeeded him as Foreign Secretary.

At this stage in his career Eden was considered as something of a leader of fashion. He regularly wore a Homburg hat (similar to a trilby but more rigid), which became known in Britain as an "Anthony Eden".

Foreign secretary and resignation (1935-38)

Eden became Foreign Secretary at a time when Britain was having to adjust its foreign policy to face the rise of the fascist powers. He supported the policy of non-interference in the Spanish Civil War, and supported prime minister Neville Chamberlain in his efforts to preserve peace through reasonable concessions to Germany. He did not protest when Britain and France failed to oppose Hitler's reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1936. His resignation in February 1938 was largely attributed to growing dissatisfaction with Chamberlain`s policy of Appeasement. That is, however, disputed by new research; it was not the question if there should be negotiations with Italy, but only when they should start and how far they should be carried. He became a Conservative dissenter leading a group conservative whip David Margesson called the "Glamour Boys," and a leading anti-appeaser like Winston Churchill who led a similar group called "The Old Guard." [ [ Oxford DNB theme: Glamour boys ] ] Although Churchill claimed to have lost sleep the night of Eden's resignation (later recounted in his wartime memoirs ("The Gathering Storm", 1948), they were not allies, and did not see eye to eye until Churchill became Prime Minister. There was much speculation that Eden would become a rallying point for all the disparate opponents of Neville Chamberlain, but instead he maintained a low profile, avoiding confrontation, though he opposed the Munich Agreement and abstained in the vote on it in the House of Commons. As a result, Eden's position declined heavily amongst politicians, though he remained popular in the country at large; in later years he was often wrongly supposed to have resigned in protest at the Munich Agreement.

econd World War (1939-45)

In September 1939, on the outbreak of war, Eden, who had briefly rejoined the army with the rank of major, returned to Chamberlain's government as Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, but was not in the War Cabinet. As a result, he was not a candidate for the Premiership when Chamberlain resigned after Germany invaded France in May 1940 and Churchill became Prime Minister. Churchill appointed Eden Secretary of State for War.

At the end of 1940 Eden returned to the Foreign Office, and in this role became a member of the executive committee of the Political Warfare Executive in 1941. Although he was one of Churchill's closest confidants, his role in wartime was restricted because Churchill conducted the most important negotiations, with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, himself, but Eden served loyally as Churchill's lieutenant. Nevertheless he was in charge of handling much of the relations between Britain and de Gaulle during the last years of the war. Eden was often critical of the emphasis Churchill put on the Special Relationship with the United States, and was often disappointed by their treatment of their British allies.

In 1942 Eden was given the additional job of Leader of the House of Commons. He was considered for various other major jobs during and after the war, including Commander-in-Chief Middle East in 1942 (this would have been a very unusual appointment as Eden was a civilian; General Harold Alexander was in fact appointed), Viceroy of India in 1943 (General Archibald Wavell was appointed to this job), or Secretary-General of the newly-formed United Nations Organisation in 1945.

Eden's eldest son, Simon Eden, went missing in action, later declared deceased, while serving as a pilot with the RAF in Burma in the latter days of the Second World War. There was a close bond between Anthony and Simon, and Simon's death was a great personal shock to his father, who nevertheless accepted it. Lady Eden reportedly reacted differently to her son's loss, and this led to a breakdown in the marriage. De Gaulle wrote him a personal letter of condolence in French.


Opposition (1945-51)

After the Labour Party won the 1945 elections, Eden went into opposition as Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party. Many felt that Churchill should have retired and allowed Eden to become party leader, but Churchill refused to consider this, and Eden was too loyal to press him. He was in any case depressed during this period by the break-up of his first marriage and the death of his eldest son. Churchill was in many ways only "part-time Leader of the Opposition", given his many journeys abroad and his literary work, and left the day-to-day-work largely to Eden. Eden was largely regarded as lacking sense of party politics and contact with the common man [,9171,891429,00.html Sir Anthony Eden: The Man Who Waited - TIME ] ] .In these opposition years, however, he developed some knowledge about domestic affairs and created the idea of a "property-owning-democracy", which was only realized by the Thatcher government decades later. His domestic agenda is overall considered centre-left .

Return to government (1951-55)

In 1951, the Conservatives returned to office and Eden became Foreign Secretary for a third time. Churchill was largely a figurehead in this government, and Eden had effective control of British foreign policy for the first time, as the Cold War grew more intense. He dealt effectively with the various crises of the period, although Britain was no longer the world power it had been before the war. The success of the 1954 Geneva Conference on Indo-China ranks as his outstanding achievement of his third term in the Foreign Office. In 1950 he and Beatrice Eden were finally divorced, and in 1952 he married Churchill's niece, Lady Clarissa Spencer-Churchill (b. 1920), a nominal Roman Catholic who was fiercely criticised by Catholic writer Evelyn Waugh for marrying a divorced man. This second marriage was much more successful than his first had been. In 1954 he was made a Knight of the Garter and became "Sir Anthony Eden".

The release of war criminals

Upon regaining office, Winston Churchill and Eden moved for the release of the German war criminals still in British custody [Birmingham University Archives, hereafter, 'BUA',FO 800/846, fo. 2, Churchill to Eden, 29 Nov. 1951; fo. 12, Churchill to Eden 8 June 1952, cited in Donald Bloxham, "Genocide on Trial - War Crimes Trials and the Formation of Holocaust History and Memory", Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 168 ISBN 0-19-925904-6.] , following a policy focused on Anti-Communism and the emerging Cold War. This policy had been discreetly pursued since at least 1947, when Churchill and Harold Alexander had pressured Clement Attlee to commute the death sentence on the German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, which had been handed down by a British Military Court in Venice on 6 May 1947. Kesselring had been called to account for atrocities perpetrated in Italy during the Second World War, such as the massacre of more than 1,400 innocent civilians in a series of violent reprisals, including the Ardeatine massacre.

In December 1951 Eden introduced to the Cabinet a cleverly drafted policy, according to which pre-trial custody should be counted against sentences inflicted upon war criminals, effectively reducing them. The policy, which apparently aimed only to promote an equitable principle, exploited a loophole which in certain instances was effectively used to double a prison reduction already in effect, as for example, in the case of the German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein.

Von Manstein was mainly accused of orders equating Partisans to Jews, thus aiming at their indiscriminate extermination. Churchill donated money to von Manstein's defence, and openly branded the trial against the German Field Marshal as yet another effort by the then ruling Attlee government to "appease" the Soviets.

Anticipating an extensive interpretation of the pre-trial custody reduction, the Tribunal that condemned von Manstein on 19 December 1949 explicitly stated in its ruling that "The period during which the accused has been in custody has been taken into account". Nevertheless, Eden pushed ahead with the idea that it was legitimate to subtract the pre-trial custody time from the period decreed by judicial decision even in cases such as von Manstein's.

The pressure on Eden and the government to resolve the war criminals issue as quickly as possible increased during the summer of 1952, coinciding with the looming question of the ratification of the European Defence Community Treaty by West Germany. A lobby that included Harold Alexander (then Minister of Defence) and Basil Liddell Hart strove to this end, echoing the calls in the same direction coming from the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and the press campaign orchestrated in West Germany for the pardoning of most war criminals. Alexander in particular had gone to considerable lengths to justify their release in one way or another, tactically and falsely emphasising health issues and, almost incredibly, the "melancholy" experienced by jailed war criminals. [Donald Bloxham, "Genocide on Trial - War Crimes Trials and the Formation of Holocaust History and Memory", Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 169 ISBN 0-19-925904-6, based on LHCMA, Liddell Hart 11/1952/8, Liddell Hart's notes on London visit 1-3 July 1952.]

Under Eden, who as Foreign Minister had taken over responsibility after the withdrawal of the British High Commission from the International Military Tribunal, with the clear approval of Churchill, and based on the tactics suggested by Alexander, which included adequately priming prison doctors of which medical aspects to emphasise, both Kesselring (July) and Manstein (August) were released from prison under medical pretexts during the summer of 1952, allegedly because they needed urgent hospitalization for treating, respectively, an "exploratory operation" on a throat cancer, and cataracts. Following their operations, both were conveniently left in liberty for an indefinite convalescence period, and were not to set foot again in jail. [PRO, FO, 371/104159, CW 1663/17, Roberts to Strang, 30 April 1953, as cited in Donald Bloxham, "Genocide on Trial - War Crimes Trials and the Formation of Holocaust History and Memory", Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 169 ISBN 0-19-925904-6.] [De_icon Kerstin von Lingen, "Kesselrings letzte Schlacht. Kriegsverbrecherprozesse, Vergangenheitspolitik und Wiederbewaffnung: der Fall Kesselring", Ferdinand Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 2004, ISBN 3-506-71749-9.] .

Jeane Kirkpatrick, promoter of the Kirkpatrick Doctrine advocating Anti-Communism worldwide, swiftly suggested that Adenauer propose the application of the same principal to the US High Commission, which helped West Germany not to misunderstand the real significance of the "medical" release of the Field Marshals, and the policy pursued by both the British and the US governments. [Adenauer, "Memoirs", p. 447.]

However, to make the path taken by the British government towards the war criminals clear to German public opinion, a more explicit gesture was deemed to be necessary. Therefore, on 24 October 1952 Eden signed an act of clemency in favour of the German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. Kesselring, who was pardoned in consideration of his allegedly cancerous throat, addressed a rally of veterans immediately after his release, calling for the wholesale liberation of all war criminals.

Afterwards Kesselring lived an active public life for another eight years, mostly rallying far right veterans as leader of the organisation Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten, a post to which he had been elected while still in prison. [Donald Bloxham, "Genocide on Trial - War Crimes Trials and the Formation of Holocaust History and Memory", Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 170 ISBN 0-19-925904-6.]

Thus Eden, albeit with some reluctance and attention for legal stricture, had put his signature upon a policy commenced by Churchill which, by means of a broad campaign of rehabilitation of German military personalities, was aimed at re-establishing a strong army in what was then West Germany, as a central part of the NATO front line at the height of Cold War.

When Churchill took over the Foreign Office due to Eden's serious health problems in 1953, the plan for liberating the war criminals was brought to its logical conclusion. Selwyn Lloyd, the Minister of State in the Foreign Office with responsibility for German Affairs, was given "carte-blanche" to resolve the issue of war criminals, now seen as no more than embarrassing. On 6 May 1953 Manstein was pardoned, and in 1956 he returned to service upon Adenauer's call, assuming an important official role in the resurrection of the German Army.

Prime minister (1955-57)

In April 1955 Churchill finally retired, and Sir Anthony succeeded him as Prime Minister. Eden was a very popular figure, as a result of his long wartime service and his famous good looks and charm. His famous words "Peace comes first, always" added to his already substantial popularity.

On taking office he immediately called a general election, at which the Conservatives were returned with an increased majority. But Sir Anthony had never held a domestic portfolio and had little experience in economic matters. He left these areas to his lieutenants such as Rab Butler, and concentrated largely on foreign policy, forming a close alliance with U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower.

uez (1956)

This alliance proved not universal, however, when in 1956 Sir Anthony, in conjunction with France, tried to prevent Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt, from nationalising the Suez Canal built in the 19th century by the Suez Canal Company and owned by its British and French shareholders. Eden, drawing on his experience in the 1930s, saw Nasser as another Mussolini, considering the two men aggressive nationalist socialists determined to invade other countries. Sir Anthony even responded by plotting to assassinate Nasser by enlisting Miles Copeland's assistance, since he was apparently a close friend of Nasser's. Others believed that Nasser was acting from legitimate patriotic concerns.

In October 1956, after months of negotiation and attempts at mediation had failed to dissuade Nasser, Britain and France, in conjunction with Israel, invaded Egypt and occupied the Suez Canal Zone. But Eisenhower was an advocate of decolonisation, and he immediately and strongly opposed the invasion. Eden, who faced domestic pressure from his party to take action, as well as stopping the decline of British influence in the Middle East, had ignored Britain's financial dependence on the U.S. in the wake of World War II, and had overestimated US loyalty towards its closest ally. Eden was finally forced to bow to American pressure to withdraw. The Suez Crisis is widely taken as marking the end of Britain's status as a superpower.

The Suez fiasco ruined, in many eyes, Eden's reputation for statesmanship and led to a breakdown in his health. He went on vacation to Ian Fleming's estate on Jamaica in November 1957, at a time when he was still determined to soldier on as Prime Minister. His health, however, did not improve and during his absence from London, his Chancellor Harold Macmillan and Rab Butler worked to manoeuvre him out of office. Macmillan, despite having himself been one of the architects of Suez, succeeded him as Prime Minister in January 1957. Eden retained some of his personal popularity and was made Earl of Avon in 1961.

uez in retrospect

His official biographer Robert Rhodes James re-evaluated sympathetically Eden's stance over Suez in 1986 [Robert Rhodes James (1986) "Anthony Eden"] and, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, asked, "who can now claim that Eden was wrong?" [Letter, "Daily Telegraph", 7 August 1990.] . Such arguments turned mostly on whether, as a matter of policy, the Suez operation was fundamentally flawed or whether, as such "revisionists" thought, the lack of American support conveyed the impression that the West was divided and weak. Anthony Nutting, who resigned as a Foreign Office Minister over Suez, expressed the former view in 1967, the year of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War, when he wrote that "we had sown the wind of bitterness and we were to reap the whirlwind of revenge and rebellion" [Anthony Nutting (1967) "No End of a Lesson" ] . Conversely, D. R. Thorpe, another of Eden's biographers, suggested that had the Suez venture succeeded, "there would almost certainly have been no Middle East war in 1967, and probably no Yom Kippur War in 1973 also" [D. R. Thorpe (2003) "Eden"] .

Health issues

A medical mishap would change the course of Eden’s life forever. During an operation in 1953 to remove gallstones, the surgeon damaged his bile duct. This blunder made Eden vulnerable to recurrent infections and attacks of violent pain and fevers. To overcome this weakness Eden was prescribed Benzedrine, the wonder drug of the 1950s. Regarded by doctors in the 1950s as a harmless stimulant, it belongs to the family of drugs called amphetamines. During this time amphetamines were prescribed and used in a very casual way. Among the side effects of Benzedrine are Insomnia, restlessness and mood swings, all of which Eden actually suffered during the Suez Crisis. His health condition is now commonly agreed to have been a part of the reason for the Prime Minister's ill judgment.

Rejected plan for union between Britain and France

British Government cabinet papers from September 1956, during Eden's term as Prime Minister, have shown that French Prime Minister Guy Mollet approached the British Government suggesting the idea of an economic and political union between France and Great Britain. [ [ When Britain and France nearly married] 15 January 2007] This was a similar offer, in reverse, to that made by Churchill (drawing on a plan devised by Leo Amery [See David Faber (2005) "Speaking for England"] ) in June 1940 [See, for example, Julian Jackson (2003) "The Fall of France"] . The offer by Guy Mollet was referred to by Sir John Colville, Churchill's former private secretary, in his collected diaries, "The Fringes of Power" (1985), his having gleaned the information in 1957 from Air Chief Marshal Sir William Dickson during an air flight (and, according to Colville, after several whiskies and soda) "Postscript to Suez", recording conversation of 9 April 1957: John Colville (1985) "The Fringes of Power, Volume Two"] . Mollet's request for Union with Britain was rejected by Eden, but the additional possibility of France joining the British Commonwealth was considered, although similarly rejected. Colville noted, in respect of Suez, that Eden and his Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd "felt still more beholden to the French on account of this offer" .

Retirement (1957-77)

Eden soon retired and lived quietly with his second wife Clarissa, formerly Clarissa Spencer-Churchill, niece of Sir Winston, in 'Rose Bower' by the banks of the River Ebble in Broad Chalke, Wiltshire. He published a highly acclaimed personal memoir, "Another World" (1976), as well as several volumes of political memoirs, in which he, however, denied that there had been any collusion with France and Israel. In his view, American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, whom he particularly disliked, was responsible for the ill fate of the Suez adventure. This and other untruths further diminishef his standing. His main concern in his later years was trying to rebuild his reputation that was destroyed by the Suez fiasco, often taking legal actions against authors who didn't share his point of view .He sat for extensive interviews for the famed multi-part Thames Television production, "The World at War", which was broadcast in 1974. He also featured frequently in Marcel Ophüls' 1969 documentary "Le chagrin et la pitié", discussing the occupation of France in a wider geopolitical context. He spoke impeccable, if accented, French. [ [,,1760503,00.html We would have done the same under Nazi occupation] Tuesday 25 April 2006] From 1945–1973, Eden was Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, England.

On a trip to the United States in 1976-1977 to spend Christmas and New Year with Averell and Pamela Harriman, his health rapidly deteriorated. At his family's request, James Callaghan arranged for an RAF plane that was already in America to divert to Miami to fly him home. The Earl of Avon died from liver cancer in Salisbury in 1977 at the age of 79. Born in the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, he thus died in the year of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. Eden's papers are housed at the University of Birmingham Special Collections [ [ Special Collections ] ]

Eden's surviving son, Nicholas Eden (1930–1985), known as Viscount Eden until 1977, was also a politician and a minister in the Thatcher government until his premature death from AIDS at the age of 54.

Anthony Eden is buried in the country churchyard at Alvediston, just 3 miles upstream from 'Rose Bower' at the source of the River Ebble.

Character and speaking style

Anthony Eden always made a particularly cultured appearance, well-mannered and good-looking. This gave him huge popular support throughout his political life, but some contemporaries felt that he was merely a superficial person lacking any deeper convictions. That view was enforced by his very pragmatic approach to politics. Sir Oswald Mosley, for example, said that he never understood why Eden was so strongly pushed by the Tory party, while he felt that Eden's abilities were very much inferior to those of Harold Macmillan and Oliver Stanley. [ Sir Oswald Mosley. "My Life" London, 1968] Also, Secretary of State Dean Acheson regarded him as a quite old-fashioned amateur in politics typical of the British Establishment. However, recent biographies put more emphasis on Eden's outstanding achievements in foreign policy, and perceive him to have held deep convictions regarding world peace and security as well as a strong social conscience.

Eden was for all his abilities not a very effective public speaker. Too often in his career, for instance in the late 1930s, following his resignation from Chamberlain´s government, his parliamentary performances disappointed many of his followers. Churchill once even commented on an Eden speech that the latter had used every cliché except "God is love" . His inability to express himself clearly is often attributed to shyness and lack of self-confidence. Eden is known to have been much more direct in meeting with his secretaries and advisors than in Cabinet meetings and public speeches, sometimes tending to become enraged and behaving "like a child" [ Evelyn Shuckburgh: "Descent to Suez. Diaries 1951-1956". London, 1986] only to regain his temper within a few minutes .

Eden in popular culture

As Secretary of State for War in 1940, Eden authorised the setting-up of the Local Defence Volunteers (soon renamed the Home Guard). In the film of the TV sitcom "Dad's Army", the (fictional) Walmington-on-Sea platoon is formed in response to Eden's radio broadcast. The debonair Sergeant Wilson is often said to resemble Eden, something he takes enormous pride in.

Eden appears as a character in James P. Hogan's science-fiction novel "The Proteus Operation".

Eden appears as a character in the 2008 play "Never So Good" – portrayed as a hysterical, pill-addicted wreck, spying on members of his own Cabinet by ordering government chauffeurs to report on their comings and goings. He is shown being overwhelmed by the chaos of the Suez Crisis and eventually forced out of office by his Conservative Party colleagues, at the urging of the American government.

Eden is mentioned in the 1993 film "The Remains of the Day" when Anthony Hopkins´s character mentions that Eden has also been a guest at Darlington Hall.

Eden is mentioned by Ed Norton on The Honeymooners saying that because of the residency requirements that Anthony Eden could never be a member of The Racoon Lodge.

Eden is also mentioned in a song by The Kinks, "She's Bought a Hat Like Princess Marina" from the 1969 album "Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)".

The Eden Government

*Anthony Eden: Prime Minister
*Lord Chancellor: Lord Kilmuir
*Lord President of the Council: Lord Salisbury
*Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons: Harry Crookshank
*Chancellor of the Exchequer: R.A. Butler
*Foreign Secretary: Harold Macmillan
*Home Secretary: Gwilym Lloyd George
*Secretary of State for the Colonies: Alan Lennox-Boyd
*Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations: Lord Home
*President of the Board of Trade: Peter Thorneycroft
*Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Lord Woolton:
*Minister of Education: Sir David Eccles:
*Secretary of State for Scotland: James Stuart
*Minister of Agriculture: Derick Heathcoat Amory
*Minister of Labour and National Service: Sir Walter Turner Monckton
*Minister of Defence: Selwyn Lloyd
*Minister of Housing and Local Government: Duncan Sandys
*Minister of Pensions and National Insurance: Osbert Peake


*December 1955 - Rab Butler succeeds Harry Crookshank as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons. Harold Macmillan succeeds Butler as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Selwyn Lloyd succeeds Macmillan as Foreign Secretary. Sir Walter Monckton succeeds Lloyd as Minister of Defence. Iain Macleod succeeds Monckton as Minister of Labour and National Service. Lord Selkirk succeeds Lord Woolton as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Minister of Public Works, Patrick Buchan-Hepburn, enters the Cabinet. The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance leaves the Cabinet upon Peake's retirement.
*October 1956: Sir Walter Monckton becomes Paymaster-General. Antony Henry Head succeeds Monckton as Minister of Defence.

Eden's initial cabinet is remarkable for the fact that 10 out of the original 18 members were Old Etonians: Eden, Salisbury, Crookshank, Macmillan, Home, Stuart, Thorneycroft, Heathcoat Amory, Sandys and Peake were all educated at Eton.

The Grey-Eden connection

Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey = Elizabeth Grey

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey William Grey Prime Minister = Maria Shireff
Georgina Plowden = Sir William Grey
Sir William Eden = Sybil Grey
Anthony Eden Prime Minister


*Eden, Anthony. "The Memoirs of the Rt. Hon. Sir Anthony Eden KG, PC, MC: Full Circle". (3 volumes) London: Cassell, 1960, 1962, 1965.;Biographies:
*Film: Marcel Ophüls. Le chagrin et la pitié, 1971.
* Thorpe, D.R. "Eden: The Life and Times of Anthony Eden, First Earl of Avon, 1897–1977". London: Chatto and Windus, 2003 (hardcover, ISBN 0-7011-6744-0); London: Pimlico, 2004 (paperback, ISBN 0-7126-6505-6).
** [,12084,918456,00.html Reviewed] by Peter Jay in [ "The Guardian"] , 22 March 2003.

External links

* [ More about Anthony Eden] on the Downing Street website.
* [ University of Birmingham Special Collections] The Avon Papers including papers on the Suez Crisis
* [ "Prime Ministers in the Post-War world: Anthony Eden"] , lecture by Dr David Carlton, given at Gresham College, 10 May 2007 (available for download as video or audio files)


NAME=Eden, Anthony
SHORT DESCRIPTION=British politician & Conservative prime minister
DATE OF BIRTH=birth date|df=yes|1897|6|12
PLACE OF BIRTH=West Auckland, County Durham, England
DATE OF DEATH=death date|df=yes|1977|1|14
PLACE OF DEATH=Alvediston, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

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  • Anthony Eden — Robert Anthony Eden KG, 1. Earl of Avon (* 12. Juni 1897 in Windlestone; † 14. Januar 1977 in Salisbury, Wiltshire) war ein britischer Politiker (Conservative Party). Während des Zweiten Weltkriegs war er britischer Außenminister und von 1955 bis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Anthony Eden — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Anthony Eden Anthony Eden (12 de junio de 1897 – 14 de enero de 1977) fue un político británico. Educado en Eton y Oxford, militó en el Partido Conservador, por el …   Wikipedia Español

  • Anthony Eden — [Anthony Eden] (1897–1977) a Conservative politician who had a long career, mostly in foreign affairs, and became ↑Prime Minister in 1955 when Winston Churchill ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Anthony Eden — (12 de junio de 1897 – 14 de enero de 1977) fue un político británico. Educado en Eton y Oxford, militó en el Partido Conservador, por el que fue diputado desde 1923. Secretario parlamentario de Austen Chamberlain fue uno de sus colaboradores en… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Anthony Eden — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Eden. Anthony Eden Mandats …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Anthony Eden, 1. Earl of Avon — Anthony Eden Robert Anthony Eden KG, 1. Earl of Avon (* 12. Juni 1897 in Windlestone; † 14. Januar 1977 in Salisbury, Wiltshire) war ein britischer Politiker (Conservative Party). Während des Zweiten Weltkriegs war er britischer Außenminister …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Anthony Eden — ➡ Eden * * * …   Universalium

  • Anthony Eden hat — An Anthony Eden hat, or simply an Anthony Eden , was a silk brimmed, black felt Homburg of the kind favoured in the 1930s by Anthony Eden, later 1st Earl of Avon (1897 1977). Eden was a Cabinet Minister in the British National Government, holding …   Wikipedia

  • Sir Anthony Eden — Anthony Eden Robert Anthony Eden KG, 1. Earl of Avon (* 12. Juni 1897 in Windlestone; † 14. Januar 1977 in Salisbury, Wiltshire) war ein britischer Politiker (Conservative Party). Während des Zweiten Weltkriegs war er britischer Außenminister …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • EDEN, SIR ANTHONY, EARL OF AVON° — (1897–1977), British Conservative statesman, foreign secretary (1935–38, 1940–45, 1951–55), secretary for war (1940), and prime minister (1955–57). Eden resigned in 1938 in protest against Neville Chamberlain s policy of appeasement to the Axis… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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