Katharine Elliot

(Baroness Elliot of Harwood)

1903 - 1994

Politician and landowner. Born in London, the daughter of Scottish industrialist and politician Sir Charles Tennant (1823 - 1906) and sister-in-law of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith (1852 - 1928), it was almost inevitable that she would become involved in politics. Initially a Liberal, she became a Conservative after marrying Walter Elliot (1888 - 1958) in 1934, who was then Minister of Agriculture in the administration of Ramsay MacDonald (1866 - 1937). She served on several Government committees and took an interest in prison reform, visiting every British prison. She was a UK delegate to the General Assembly of the United Nations (1954, 1956-57), became Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1957 and was a member of Roxburghshire County Council for 29 years.

Awarded a CBE in 1946, she became one of the first women to be appointed to a life peerage in 1958 as Baroness Elliot of Harwood. She was also the first woman to speak in the House of Lords.

Elliot was active in agriculture, farming on her husband's estate at Harwood and, on his death, took over from him as Chairman of his family firm of livestock auctioneers in Lanark. She died in Hawick and lies buried in Hobkirk.

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