The Lord Windlesham
Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
In office
23 May 1973 – 4 March 1974
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byThe Earl Jellicoe
Succeeded byThe Lord Shepherd
Minister of State for Northern Ireland
In office
26 March 1972 – 5 June 1973
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byThe Lord Belstead
(as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State)
Minister of State for Home Affairs
In office
23 June 1970 – 26 March 1972
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterEdward Heath
Preceded byShirley Williams
Succeeded byThe Viscount Colville of Culross
Member of the House of Lords
as a hereditary peer
20 February 1963 – 11 November 1999
Preceded byThe 2nd Baron Windlesham
Succeeded bySeat abolished
as a life peer
17 November 1999 – 21 December 2010
Personal details
Born28 January 1932
Died21 December 2010(2010-12-21) (aged 78)
Political partyConservative
Alma materTrinity College, Oxford

David James George Hennessy, 3rd Baron Windlesham, Baron Hennessy, CVO, PC, FBA (28 January 1932 – 21 December 2010[1]) was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who held visiting professorships at various universities.

Early life

Hennessy, an Anglo-Irish peer, was educated at Ampleforth College and Trinity College, Oxford, earning a Master of Arts in Jurisprudence in 1957.[2] He did his National Service with the Grenadier Guards in Tripoli.[2] His father, James Hennessy, 2nd Baron Windlesham, was a Lieutenant General in the Grenadier Guards. They are closely related to the Franco-Irish Cognac Hennessy family.

Political career

Hennessy was elected to Westminster Borough Council in 1958 to 1962,[2] unsuccessfully contested Tottenham in 1959, and entered the House of Lords as the 3rd Baron Windlesham upon his father's death in 1962, who died in a helicopter accident at sea, having been a brigadier in the Grenadier Guards. He joined the Government as Minister of State in the Home Office in 1970 to 1972; and from 1972 to 1973, in the Northern Ireland Office, after which he became Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords in June 1973 until October 1974.[2] He was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 1981 New Year's Honours.[3] On 16 November 1999, he was created Baron Hennessy, of Windlesham in the County of Surrey[4] after the House of Lords Act 1999, so that he could continue sitting in the Lords.


He worked for Associated-Rediffusion and was involved in This Week. He later joined the board of Rediffusion as Chief Programme Executive.[2] His TV career continued as managing director of Grampian (1967–1970) and managing director of the ATV network (1974–1981).[2] He was a director of The Observer from 1981 to 1989.[2]


Hennessy returned to Oxford, where he earned a DLitt,[citation needed] and was principal of Brasenose College from 1989 to 2002.[2] He had also been a visiting professor at Princeton University in 1997 and 2002 to 2003.[2]


Baron Windlesham married the fashion journalist and author Prudence Glynn in 1965. She died in 1986; he is survived by a son, James and a daughter, Victoria.[2]


Coat of arms of David Hennessy, 3rd Baron Windlesham
In front of a dexter arm embowed in armour the hand grasping a battle-axe a trefoil slipped and a red rose stalked and saltirewise all Proper.
Gules a boar passant Proper on a chief Or a trefoil slipped Vert between two roses of the field barbed and seeded also Proper.
On either side an officer of the Irish Brigade in the service of the King of France in the 18th century Proper the dexter supporting with the exterior hand a gold mounted and tasselled staff Proper.
Vi Vivo Et Armis [5]


  1. ^ "Politics obituaries: Lord Windlesham". The Daily Telegraph. London. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The Ampleforth Journal. 115: 88–89. ((cite journal)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "No. 48467". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1980. p. 4.
  4. ^ "No. 55672". The London Gazette. 19 November 1999. p. 12349.
  5. ^ Burke's Peerage. 1956.
Peerage of the United Kingdom Preceded byJames Hennessy Baron Windlesham 1962–2010 Succeeded byJames Hennessy Political offices Preceded byThe Earl Jellicoe Lord Privy Seal 1973–1974 Succeeded byThe Lord Shepherd Leader of the House of Lords 1973–1974 Party political offices Preceded byThe Earl Jellicoe Leader of the Conservative Partyin the House of Lords 1973–1974 Succeeded byThe Lord Carrington Academic offices Preceded byBarry Nicholas Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford 1989–2002 Succeeded byRoger Cashmore