Sir Archibald Sinclair 1st Viscount Thurso

Biography of Sir Archibald Sinclair 1st Viscount Thurso

Sir Archibald Sinclair
Sir Archibald Sinclair

Archibald Henry Macdonald Sinclair, 1st Viscount Thurso (1890-1970) was elected Rector of the University in 1938 and held the post until 1945.

Sinclair, who became 4th Baronet in 1912, trained at Sandhurst and served in the army during the First World War. He was briefly second-in-command to Winston Churchill when the latter commanded the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He was elected a Liberal MP in 1922 and in 1931 joined the National Government, which appointed him Secretary of State for Scotland. He became leader of the Liberal Party in 1935. He served during the Second World War as Secretary of State for Air and in 1952 he was created 1st Viscount Thurso.

The rectorial election was held on 22 October 1938, shortly after the German annexation of the Sudetenland and during a bitter national debate about the government's policy of appeasement. Sinclair announced that he would be happy to stand down as a candidate to ensure the election of the former President of Czechoslovakia, Edouard Benes, but Benes's candidacy was subsequently withdrawn. Sinclair re-entered the campaign and defeated the humanitarian and travel agency founder Sir Henry Lunn and the novelist and pacifist Laurence Housman. He remained in the post throughout the Second World War, becoming the longest-serving rector since Sir John Maxwell.

Now available: A pdf version of Sir Archibald Sinclair's Rectorial Address, entitled Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (23 pages, 3.4mb. GUAS Ref: UGC 57/47/1. Copyright reserved.), delivered to the University of Glasgow on the 7th February 1940.


Sir Archibald Sinclair 1st Viscount Thurso
Soldier and Politician

Born 22 October 1890, Scotland.
Died 14 June 1970.
University Link: Rector
GU Degree:
Occupation categories: politicians; soldiers
NNAF Reference: GB/NNAF/P164516
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Record last updated: 15th Jun 2012

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