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Image result for Arthur Hobhouse 1965'''Sir Arthur Lawrence Hobhouse'''[1] (15 February 1886 – 20 January 1965) was a long-serving English local government Liberal politician, who is best remembered as the architect of the system of National parks of England and Wales.

Hobhouse was the son of the prominent Liberal politician and MP Henry Hobhouse and the brother of peace activist, prison reformer, and religious writer Stephen Henry Hobhouse. Arthur Hobhouse was educated at Eton College, St Andrews University and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in Natural Sciences. At Cambridge, he was a Cambridge Apostle and a member of the Cambridge University Liberal Club, becoming Secretary in 1906[2] and was also the lover of John Maynard Keynes and Duncan Grant.[3] [4]

Hobhouse practised as a solicitor until the outbreak of World War I, when he joined the British Expeditionary Force. After the War he joined the Claims Commission, dealing with claims against Allied forces in the Abbeville area, and rose to the rank of Staff Captain. Returning to civilian life, Hobhouse took to farming on a family estate Hadspen house and garden in Somerset.

He stood as Liberal candidate for Wells at the 1922 General Election when he finished a strong second. He was elected Member of Parliament for Wells at the 1923 General Election but lost the seat in 1924. He failed to regain Wells in 1929.[5]

He was elected to Somerset County Council in 1925, became an alderman in 1934, and was chairman of the council from 1940 to 1947.

In 1945 he was appointed by Lewis Silkin, the Minister of Town and Country Planning, to chair the National Parks Committee. The resulting Hobhouse Report was the basis for the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Of the twelve parks it proposed, ten were implemented in the 1950s, while the remaining two, the New Forest and the South Downs, were proposed in 1999 and finally designated in 2005 and 2009 respectively.

Hobhouse was knighted in 1942. Sir Arthur also served as chair of the Rural Housing Committee 1942–1947, was pro-chancellor of Bristol University, and was both chairman and president of the County Councils Association (now part of the Local Government Association).

Hobhouse married Konradin Huth Jackson, daughter of Frederick Huth Jackson, and they had five children together:
*Elizabeth Hobhouse (1921–1995)
*Henry Hobhouse (1924–2016)
*Paul Rodbard Hobhouse (1927–1994)
*Mary Hermione Hobhouse (1934–2014)
*Virginia Hobhouse (1936–)

Hobhouse's eldest son, Henry, wrote ''Seeds of Change: Five Plants That Transformed Mankind''. He was married three times, and had a daughter, Janet, who died in 1991.[6] [7] A younger son, Paul, married Penelope Chichester-Clark.[8]


  1. ^ Arthur Hobhouse, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. ^ cite web|url=http://keynessociety.wordpress.com/who-ran-the-society/secretaries/ |title=Secretaries | Keynes Society |publisher=Keynessociety.wordpress.com |accessdate=22 May 2015
  3. ^ cite web|url=http://www.facingthechallenge.org/himmelfarb.php |title=From Clapham to Bloomsbury: a genealogy of morals, by Gertrude Himmelfarb |publisher=Facingthechallenge.org |accessdate=22 May 2015 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20070607130045/http://www.facingthechallenge.org/himmelfarb.php |archivedate=7 June 2007
  4. ^ Cite book |title=Lytton Strachey|last=Holroyd|first=Michael|authorlink=Michael Holroyd|pages=108–110|publisher=Vintage|year=1995
  5. ^ 'HOBHOUSE, Sir Arthur Lawrence', Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 [http://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whowaswho/U52517, accessed 18 May 2016]
  6. ^ cite news|title=Janet Hobhouse, 42, A Novelist and editor|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1991/02/04/obituaries/janet-hobhouse-42-a-novelist-and-editor.html|accessdate=10 April 2016|work=The New York Times|date=4 February 1991
  7. ^ cite news|last1=Vidal|first1=John|title=Henry Hobhouse obituary|url=https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/10/henry-hobhouse-obituary|accessdate=10 April 2016|work=The Guardian|date=10 April 2016
  8. ^ cite news|title=Henry Hobhouse, author – obituary|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2016/03/25/henry-hobhouse-author---obituary/|accessdate=10 April 2016|work=The Telegraph|date=25 March 2016