It is fortuitous that Lord Lexden, the official historian of the Conservative Party and of the Carlton Club as well as the Chairman of the Conservative History Group should have a birthday on April 20, immediately after Primrose Day. He is, among other things, the historian of that very fine organization, his book having been reviewed on this blog soon after it was published.

When the CHG tweeted about the fact that Lord Lexden was 70 somebody replied that, given his extraordinary knowledge, he must be at least 150. And, indeed, it is hard to imagine how any one person can have packed that amount of learning into 70 years. I may add, as someone who has had to "edit" the then Alistair Cook's articles for the printed version of the Conservative History Journal is that he is every editor's dream: not a single comma had to be changed in his learned but crisply written pieces.

Not so long ago, this blog directed readers towards an article in the 2014 issue of the Journal about the end of the Stuart dynasty and the beginning of the Hanoverian one, written by Alistair Lexden. His most recent appearance in print was a letter in The Times that called attention to a long-standing Conservative idea: the property-owning democracy, which was originated by Noel Skelton in 1923 though he was more interested in a wider ownership of industry. That, of course, is a little out of date as industries tend to be smaller in size and ownership is more widely dispersed.

We can rely on Lord Lexden, however, for putting politicians and opinion-mongers right on details of Conservative history.


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