William Waldegrave

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Person.png William Waldegrave   Powerbase SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, deep state operative)
Official portrait of Lord Waldegrave of North Hill 2020 crop 2.jpg
BornWilliam Arthur Waldegrave
15 August 1946
London, United Kingdom
Alma materCorpus Christi College (Oxford), Harvard University
SpouseCaroline Burrows
Member ofThe Other Club
PartyConservative Party (UK)
Creator of the hugely unpopular UK poll tax. Chairman of the Rhodes Trust. 4 Bilderbergs. Involved in exporting weapons to Iraq, the denied this in "untrue letters" to MPs. Associate of spooky Victor Rothschild.

Employment.png Provost of Eton

In office
2009 - Present

Employment.png Chief Secretary to the Treasury Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
5 July 1995 - 2 May 1997
Preceded byJonathan Aitken
Succeeded byAlistair Darling

Employment.png Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
10 April 1992 - 20 July 1994
Preceded byChris Patten

Employment.png Secretary of State for Health Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
2 November 1990 - 10 April 1992
Preceded byKenneth Clarke

Employment.png UK/Minister of State for Housing

In office
13 June 1987 - 26 July 1988

William Arthur Waldegrave, Baron Waldegrave of North Hill, is a British Conservative politician who served in the Cabinet from 1990 until 1997, where he was on of the instigators of the hugely unpopular poll tax.

Waldegrave served as a Trustee (1992–2011) and Chair (2002–2011) of the Rhodes Trust, during which time he also helped to create and served as a Trustee of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

As a Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he was involved in easing policy on arms exports to Iraq - the UK part of a larger Western armament effort. He denied this in 38 untrue letters to Members of Parliament stating that the policy was unchanged.

Waldegrave attended Bilderberg Group meetings four times: 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1995. He was a panelist for the discussion of Germany at the 1990 Bilderberg.[1]

Early life

Bearing the title The Honourable from birth as a younger son of an Earl, William Waldegrave was the youngest (by six years) of the seven children of Mary Hermione Grenfell and the 12th Earl Waldegrave, his elder brother being the present Earl. One of his sisters is Lady Susan Hussey, who became Baroness Hussey of North Bradley upon her husband's elevation to the House of Lords. His father's title was created five generations earlier for diplomat and ambassador James Waldegrave, 1st Earl Waldegrave, whose grandfather was James II and VII.


Waldegrave was educated at Eton College, where he won the Newcastle Scholarship in 1965, and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he served for a term as president of the Oxford Union. Oxford was followed by Harvard University in the United States, on a Kennedy Scholarship. In 1971, he was elected a Prize Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and is now a Distinguished Fellow.

Early career

In 1971, Waldegrave was working at the Conservative Research Department; that March he was appointed to the Central Policy Review Staff (CPRS, also referred to as the 'Think-Tank'). "He was from the beginning one of the most active 'philosophers' of the CPRS, and the proponent of strong views about its proper roles and functions".[2] He was one of the few openly political members of the staff and was used by Victor Rothschild, head of the CPRS, as a link with both the Conservative party (then in government) and the outside, non-Civil Service world.[3] He left in December 1973.[4]

Waldegrave's 2015 memoir, A Different Kind of Weather, discusses his high youthful political ambition, his political and to some extent personal life, and growing acceptance that he would not achieve his ultimate ambition. It also provides an account of the Heath, Thatcher and—to a lesser extent—Major governments, including his role in the development of the 'community charge' or poll tax. It includes a chapter entitled 'The Poll Tax – all my own work'.[5]

Parliamentary career

Arms exports to Iraq

He was elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bristol West in 1979. He was regarded as a member of the "wet" or moderate tendency of the Conservative Party, and despite this progressed well from the backbenches in Margaret Thatcher's government.

He became a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Education and Science in 1981 before moving to the Department of the Environment in 1983. He remained at Environment, becoming a Minister of State in 1985, until he became a Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1988. In this post he was involved in setting policy on arms exports to Iraq; the initial draft of the Scott Report found that he had agreed in February 1989 to relax the policy, but had sent out 38 untrue letters to Members of Parliament stating that the policy was unchanged. However, Sir Richard Scott exonerated Waldegrave of "duplicitous intent" in wrongly describing the Government's policy.[6]

Plundering of the NHS and poll tax

He was promoted to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Health in November 1990, just days before Thatcher's resignation, and remained a member of the Cabinet throughout John Major's time as Prime Minister. He became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Cabinet Office with responsibility for public services and science in 1992, Secretary of State of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1994 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1995.

In an article about the plundering of the NHS in the UK, Medialens observe (April 2012):

... Lord Waldegrave, who was Secretary of State for Health from 1990-1992. He is an adviser to UBS Investment Bank whose healthcare division has earned the firm over $1 billion since 2005. He has a poor voting record in the House - less than 8 per cent of votes in his time there - but he did manage to vote on the Health and Social Care Bill. He is Director of Biotech Growth Trust plc which is managed by Orbimed, the world's largest healthcare-dedicated investment firm, with approximately $5 billion in assets under management." [7]

After losing his Commons seat to Valerie Davey in the 1997 general election, he entered the House of Lords being created a life peer as Baron Waldegrave of North Hill, of Chewton Mendip in the County of Somerset, on 28 July 1999.[8]

Private sector

Lord Waldegrave was a Director of Adam & Company, a member of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, from 2017 to 2018. He has been a Director of Coutts & Company, also a member of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, since 2012. He is currently non-executive director of GW Pharmaceuticals, which is involved in the cannabis business.[9]

Waldegrave served as a Trustee (1992–2011) and Chair (2002–2011) of the Rhodes Trust, during which time he also helped to create and served as a Trustee of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. His portrait hangs at Rhodes House, Oxford.[10]

He is now a life peer in the House of Lords. Since 8 February 2009, Lord Waldegrave has been the Provost of Eton College. Additionally, he was inaugurated as Chancellor of the University of Reading on 9 December 2016.[11]

He was the Chairman of Trustees of the National Museum of Science and Industry from 2002 to 2010.[12]

Personal life

He is married to Caroline Burrows, cookery writer and managing director of Leith's School of Food and Wine. They have four children, Katherine, Elizabeth, James and Harriet.

Waldegrave is a trustee of Cumberland Lodge, an educational charity.[13] He is an active member of the Board of Managers for the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.[14]


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/198724 April 198726 April 1987Italy
35th Bilderberg, in Italy, 106 participants
Bilderberg/19883 June 19885 June 1988Austria
The 36th meeting, 114 participants
Bilderberg/199010 May 199013 May 1990New York
Glen Cove
38th Bilderberg meeting, 119 guests
Bilderberg/19958 June 199511 June 1995Greece
Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel
The 43rd Bilderberg. Held at the Burgenstock Hotel in Burgenstock, Switzerland.
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


  1. File:Bilderberg-Conference-Report-1990.pdf
  2. Inside The Think Tank - Advising the Cabinet 1971–1983 Tessa Blackstone and William Plowden 1988 ISBN 0 7493 0302 6 p27
  3. Inside The Think Tank - Advising the Cabinet 1971–1983 Tessa Blackstone and William Plowden 1988 ISBN 0 7493 0302 6 p28
  4. Tessa Blackstone and William Plowden 1988 ISBN 0 7493 0302 6 Appendix 4
  5. Waldegrave, William: A Different Kind of Weather - A Memoir, Constable (2015); ISBN 978-1-47211-975-9
  6. David Pallister, "Waldegrave: 'Untrue' letters sent to MPs", The Guardian, 16 February 1996, p. 12.
  7. Medialens, ‘People Will Die’ - The End Of The NHS. Part 2: Buried By The BBC, 25 April 2012.
  8. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/55571/page/8353
  9. https://www.marketbeat.com/stocks/NASDAQ/GWPH/
  10. http://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/news/rhodes-community-thanks-lord-waldegrave
  11. http://www.reading.ac.uk/
  12. http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-waldegrave-of-north-hill/957
  13. http://www.cumberlandlodge.ac.uk/about-us/people/lord-waldegrave
  14. http://www.library.yale.edu/walpole/about/board_of_managers.html