The Lord Elton
Elton in 2020
Minister of State for Environment
In office
27 March 1985 – 10 September 1986
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded bynew appointment
Succeeded byHon. William Waldegrave
Minister of State for Home Affairs
In office
11 September 1984 – 25 March 1985
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byposition established
Succeeded byposition abolished
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs
In office
6 April 1982 – 11 September 1984
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byThe Lord Belstead
Succeeded byThe Lord Glenarthur
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security
In office
15 September 1981 – 6 April 1982
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byGeoffrey Finsberg
Succeeded byLord Trefgarne
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
7 May 1979 – 15 September 1981
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byTom Pendry
Succeeded byDavid Mitchell
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
13 May 1973 – 29 October 2020
Hereditary Peerage
Preceded byThe 1st Lord Elton
Succeeded byThe 7th Lord Harlech
Personal details
Born (1930-03-02) 2 March 1930 (age 91)
Political partyConservative

Rodney Elton, 2nd Baron Elton (born 2 March 1930) is a British Conservative politician and former member of the House of Lords.


Elton is the son of Godfrey Elton, 1st Baron Elton. He was educated at Eton College and New College, Oxford and succeeded to the peerage on his father's death in 1973. Between 1964 and 1967, he was a master at Loughborough Grammar School.

On the formation of a Conservative government after the 1979 general election, Elton was made a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office. In 1981 he was moved to the Department of Health and Social Security and in 1982 to the Home Office. In 1984 he was promoted to Minister of State within the Home Office. In 1985, Elton joined the Department of Environment, again as a Minister of State, but left the government the following year.

With the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999, Elton along with other hereditary peers lost his automatic right to sit in the House of Lords. He was, however, elected as one of the ninety hereditary peers allowed to remain in the House pending completion of House of Lords reform.[1] Elton was a candidate to become Lord Speaker in the elections that took place at the end of June 2006, but he was defeated, with Baroness Hayman ultimately winning. He retired from the House of Lords on 29 October 2020; a by-election was held 13-14th July 2021 to replace him, where Lord Harlech succeeded him.[2]

Marriages and children

Elton was married to Anne Frances Tilney, daughter of Robert Tilney, on 18 September 1958. They had four children (all of whom are entitled to the style The Honourable as children of a peer):

Following a divorce in 1979, on 24 August 1979 Elton married Susan Richenda Gurney (born 1937), daughter of Hugh Gurney and a granddaughter of Lancelot Carnegie. There are no children of this marriage. Richenda is a current Lady of the Bedchamber to Elizabeth II.[3]


Coat of arms

Coat of arms of Rodney Elton, 2nd Baron Elton
Coat of arms of the Elton family
A coronet of a Baron
Between two pierced Mullets and out of a Wreath of Laurel fructed Or a Dexter Arm embowed in Mail proper tied about the elbow a Cord Or the Gauntlet grasping a Scimitar proper hilted and pommeled Or
Paly Or and Gules a Bend and on a Chief Sable three pierced Mullets Or
Dexter: a Knight in Mail and White Surcoat supporting with the exterior hand a Sword point downwards proper hilted and pommeled Or; Sinister: a Viking habited proper mantled Azure supporting with the exterior hand a Battleaxe head downwards and outwards proper
Fide Quam Fortuna (By faith rather than fortune)


  1. ^ Bedford, M. (2000) Dod's Parliamentary Companion (181 edn) Westminster: Vacher Dod Publishing, p. 360.
  2. ^ "Lord Elton". UK Parliament. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Ladies in Waiting and Equerries". Official website of the Royal Family.
Peerage of the United Kingdom Preceded byGodfrey Elton Baron Elton1973–present IncumbentHeir apparent:Edward Elton Parliament of the United Kingdom New officecreated by the House of Lords Act 1999 Elected hereditary peer to the House of Lordsunder of the House of Lords Act 19991999–2020 Succeeded byThe Lord Harlech