Chichester-Clark, James (Northern Ireland, United Kingdom)

Reference work entry


James Chichester-Clark was prime minister of Northern Ireland from April 1969–March 1971, a period of growing sectarian conflict. In 1969 he called in British troops to quell unrest, an act widely considered the start of ‘the Troubles’. Chichester-Clark resigned in 1971 amid the polarization of Northern Ireland’s politics.

Early Life

James Chichester-Clark was born on 12 Feb. 1923 in Moyola Park, Castledawson, Londonderry. His landowning family was prominent in Unionist politics and had regularly held the South Londonderry constituency. Educated at Eton College, Chichester-Clark joined the Irish Guards in 1942, serving in North Africa and Italy during the Second World War. In 1947 he was appointed Aide-de-camp to Lord Alexander of Tunis, then governor general of Canada. Following tours of duty in Germany and Egypt, he left the army in 1960 and succeeded his grandmother as Unionist MP for South Londonderry.

In 1963 he was appointed chief whip and in 1966 became leader of...

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