The Lord Cockfield
Arthur Cockfield 1952.jpg
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
In office
7 January 1985 – 5 January 1989
PresidentJacques Delors
Preceded byKarl-Heinz Narjes
Succeeded byMartin Bangemann
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
11 June 1983 – 11 September 1984
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byCecil Parkinson
Succeeded byThe Earl of Gowrie
Secretary of State for Trade
President of the Board of Trade
In office
6 April 1982 – 11 June 1983
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byJohn Biffen
Succeeded byCecil Parkinson (Trade and Industry)
Minister of State for Treasury
In office
6 May 1979 – 6 April 1982
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byDenzil Davies
Succeeded byJohn Wakeham
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
14 April 1978 – 8 January 2007
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born(1916-09-28)28 September 1916
Horsham, West Sussex, England
Died8 January 2007(2007-01-08) (aged 90)
Political partyConservative
Alma materLondon School of Economics

Francis Arthur Cockfield, Baron Cockfield, PC (surname pronounced "Co-feeld"; 28 September 1916 – 8 January 2007), was by turns a civil servant, a company director, a Conservative Party politician, and a European Commissioner. He served as Minister of State at the Treasury from 1979 to 1982, as Secretary of State for Trade from 1982 until 1983, as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1983 until 1984, and a member of the European Commission from 1984 to 1988. He is known as 'The Father of the Single Market'.[1][2]

Early life

Cockfield was born in Horsham, West Sussex, a month after his father, Lieutenant C. F. Cockfield, died at the Battle of the Somme. He was educated at Dover Grammar School, then read for an LLB and a BSc (Econ) at the London School of Economics.


Cockfield joined the Inland Revenue in 1938, and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1942. He progressed rapidly within the Inland Revenue, serving as Director of Statistics from 1945 to 1952 and as a Commissioner from 1951 to 1952, before joining retailer Boots as its finance director. He was its managing director and chairman from 1961 to 1967. He was also a member of Selwyn Lloyd's National Economic Development Council from 1962 to 1964.[citation needed]

Cockfield was known by his first name, Frank, for most of his life but hated it. When he married his first wife, Ruth Simonis, his granddaughter, Emma, recalls how he told her he wished to use his middle name instead: "All my life I've been called Frank but I've hated it – you're to call me Arthur."[citation needed]

Cockfield left Boots to become an adviser to the Conservative politician Iain Macleod on taxation and economic matters, and was president of the Royal Statistical Society from 1968 to 1969. Macleod died shortly after the Conservatives took power in 1970, but Cockfield went on to advise Anthony Barber, Macleod's successor as Chancellor of the Exchequer, until 1973. He then served as chairman of the Price Commission from 1973 to 1977, receiving a knighthood in 1973 New Years Honours List.[citation needed]

Political career

Cockfield was created Baron Cockfield, of Dover in the County of Kent on 14 April 1978.[3] On the election of Margaret Thatcher to office in May 1979, he became a Minister of State at the Treasury, a post he held until April 1982. He became a member of the Privy Council in 1982, and was the last Secretary of State for Trade from 1982, before it was merged with the Department of Industry in 1983.[citation needed]

After the 1983 general election, Cockfield became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In this role he had no specific departmental responsibilities, so he effectively became an advisor and a sort of one-man think-tank to the Prime Minister. Lord Cockfield resigned from the cabinet in September 1984 to join the European Commission as commissioner for Internal Market, Tax Law and Customs under Jacques Delors, and a vice-president of the first Delors Commission. He was expected to follow Thatcher's eurosceptic line, but became a driving force in laying the groundwork for the creation of the Single European Market in 1992. Only a few months after he arrived in Brussels, he produced a mammoth white paper listing 300 barriers to trade, with a timetable for them to be abolished. He was not selected[clarification needed] to serve a second term, and was replaced by Leon Brittan.[citation needed]

Later career

After leaving the Commission in 1988, Cockfield became a consultant for accountants Peat, Marwick, McLintock. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold II of Belgium in 1990, and honorary doctorates and fellowships from a number of British and American universities.[citation needed]

Personal life

He married twice. He married his first wife, Ruth Helen Simonis, in 1943, but they divorced in the early 1960s. They had a daughter and a son. He later married choreographer Monica Mudie, in 1970; she died in 1992.

Lord Cockfield is buried, along with his wife Monica, on the Isle of Man.


Coat of arms of Arthur Cockfield, Baron Cockfield
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
Cockfield Escutcheon.png
Coronet of a baron


A Globe rising Or issuing therefrom a Lymphad Sail furled Azure flying from the main and stern mast Flags Gules therein two Human Figures that in the stern pulling an Oar Or
Chequy Azure and Gules two Flaunches conjoined to three Barrulets Or
On either side a Cock Azure combed wattled beaked and legged Gules gorged with a Mural Crown Or
Prorsum Specta Nec Rursum


  1. ^ "EU Archives" (PDF). European Union. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  2. ^ Cockfield, Arthur (1994). European Union: Creating The European Single Market. Wiley Chancery Law. ISBN 9780471952077. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  3. ^ "No. 47519". The London Gazette. 24 April 1978. p. 4731.
  4. ^ "Life Peerages – C".
Political offices Preceded byJohn Biffen Secretary of State for Trade 1982–1983 Succeeded byCecil Parkinsonas Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Preceded byCecil Parkinson Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1983–1984 Succeeded byThe Earl of Gowrie Preceded byChristopher Tugendhat European Commissioner from the United Kingdom 1985–1989 Served alongside: Stanley Clinton-Davis Succeeded byLeon Brittan Preceded byIvor Richard Succeeded byBruce Millan Preceded byKarl-Heinz Narjes European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services 1985–1989 Succeeded byMartin Bangemann