MacMillan Places & People

Clan MacMillan People

Harold Macmillan

Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC (1894 – 1986)
Harold Macmillan was born in Brixton. His paternal grandfather, Daniel Macmillan was a Scottish crofter who founded Macmillan Publishers. Harold was educated at Eton and at Balliol College, Oxford. He served as a captain in the Grenadier Guards in World War I, being wounded during the Battle of the Somme. He married Lady Dorothy Cavendish, daughter of Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire in 1920.

He was elected to the House of Commons in 1924. In World War II he at last attained office, serving in the wartime coalition government, working in the Ministry of Supply and the Colonial Ministry before attaining real power when he was sent to North Africa in 1942 as British government representative to the Allies in the Mediterranean. He returned to England after the war and was briefly Secretary of State for Air in Churchill’s Caretaker Administration.

With the Conservative victory in 1951 he became Minister of Housing under Winston Churchill then served as Minister of Defence from October 1954. He then served as Foreign Secretary in April-December 1955 and Chancellor of the Exchequer 1955-1957 under Anthony Eden. During the Suez Crisis he was “First In, First Out” (in the description of Labour Shadow Chancellor Harold Wilson) – first gung ho for invasion, then a prime mover in Britain’s withdrawal in the wake of the financial crisis. Harold Macmillan became Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party after Eden’s resignation in January 1957.

The Profumo affair of spring and summer 1963 permanently damaged the credibility of Macmillan’s government and his health. He was taken ill on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference and was diagnosed incorrectly with inoperable prostate cancer. Consequently, he resigned on 18 October 1963. He was succeeded by the Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home.

In 1984 he accepted a peerage and was created Earl of Stockton and Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden. Macmillan died at Birch Grove in Sussex in 1986 aged 92 — the greatest age attained by a British Prime Minister until surpassed by James Callaghan.

Hector MacMillan (b.1929)
Well-known Scottish playwright, best known for his play, “The Sash, written in 1973.

Somerled MacMillan
Scottish minister, also renowned Gaelic scholar. Author of “Bygone Lochaber”, published in 1971.

Sir Hugh P MacMillan (b. circa 1930)
Was created Lord MacMillan of Aberfeldy, a life peerage.