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This Briefing has been produced to mark the 60th anniversary of the enactment of the Life Peerages Bill on 30 April 1958. The Briefing provides biographical information on the first 14 life Peers who were created under the provisions of the Life Peerages Act. It provides an overview of their career before they received a peerage, and of a selection of speeches made and posts held while a Member of the House of Lords.

On 24 July 1958, the first 14 life Peers were announced in the London Gazette. The list included ten men and four women. Hugh Gaitskell, the Leader of the Opposition, nominated six people for a life peerage, six of the ten men nominated were former MPs, and one of the four women was a hereditary Peeress in her own right. The first 14 life Peers, as they appeared in the London Gazette, were:

  • Dame Katharine Elliot (Conservative)
  • Rt Hon Mary Irene, Baroness Ravensdale (Crossbench)
  • Stella, Marchioness of Reading (Crossbench)
  • Barbara Frances, Mrs Wootton (Labour)
  • Sir Robert John Graham Boothby (Conservative)
  • Victor John Collins (Labour)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Sir (Willian Jocelyn) Ian Fraser (Conservative)
  • Sir Charles John Geddes (Labour)
  • Victor Ferrier Noel-Paton (Conservative)
  • Edward Arthur Alexander Shackleton (Labour)
  • Sir John Sebastian Bach Stopford (Crossbench)
  • Stephen James Lake Taylor (Labour)
  • Sir Edward Francis Twining (Crossbench)
  • Daniel Granville West (Labour)

Lord Fraser of Lonsdale was the first Peer to be created, by letters patent dated 1 August 1958. The first female Peer to receive her letters patent was Baroness Wootton of Abinger, created on 8 August 1958, who was also the first woman to chair proceedings in the House of Lords, as Deputy Speaker. The first female Peer to be introduced was Baroness Swanborough, taking her seat on 21 October 1958.

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