Peyton, John 1919-2006

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Peyton, John 1919-2006

(John Wynne William Peyton, John Peyton, Baron of Yeovil)

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born February 13, 1919, in England; died November 22, 2006. Politician and author. Peyton was a conservative minister during the government of Britain’s Prime Minister Edward Heath. A law student at Trinity College, Oxford, his education was interrupted by World War II. Peyton enlisted in the 15th/19th Hussars, but was captured in Belgium in 1940. He spent the rest of the duration as a prisoner of war. After the Americans liberated his prison camp in 1945, Peyton returned home and completed a master’s degree at Trinity. Called to the Bar of the Inner Temple, he spent a year in India assisting with the transfer of power of this former part of the British Empire. Back in England again, he worked as a broker and then sought office on the Conservative ticket. He subsequently won the 1950 election for the Yeovil seat in Parliament. During his political career, Peyton held a variety of seats, including service in the Ministry of Defense, as secretary of the Ministry of Power in the early 1960s, and as minister of Transport Industries in the early 1970s. When the Conservatives lost power in 1974, Peyton was a candidate for prime minister, though no one, not even he, thought he had a serious chance at the office. He continued in Parliament as opposition spokesman for agriculture, a position of little prominence, and quit government work for good in 1979. Peyton then focused on the business world. He was United Kingdom chair of Texas Instruments from 1974 to 1990, and was also director for Alcan Aluminum from 1985 to 1991. A big supporter of the London Zoo, he served as the treasurer of the Zoological Society of London from 1984 to 1991 and was chair of Zoo Operations Ltd. from 1988 to 1991. Peyton reflected on his life in the autobiography Without Benefit of Laundry (1997) and was also the author of Solly Zuckerman: A Scientist Out of the Ordinary (2001).



Peyton, John, Without Benefit of Laundry, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1997.


Times (London, England), November 24, 2006, p. 79.