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Biographical entry Shawcross, Lord Hartley William (1902 - 2003)

GBE 1974; PC 1946; Kt 1945; QC 1939; Hon FRCOG 1978; Hon FRCS 1981.

4 February 1902


Hartley Shawcross, a barrister, Labour politician and an honorary fellow of the College, will be perhaps best remembered as the leading British prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. He was born on 4 February 1902, the son of John and Hilda Shawcross. He was educated at Dulwich College, the London School of Economics and the University of Geneva. He was called to the bar in 1925.

He successfully stood for Parliament as a Labour candidate in 1945 and immediately became Attorney General. From 1945 to 1949 he was Britain’s principal UN delegate, as well as Chief Prosecutor at Nuremberg. He later served as President of the Board of Trade before leaving politics and resigning from Parliament in 1958. He went on to help found the University of Sussex and served as chancellor there from 1965 to 1985. He a board member of several major companies.

He married three times. His first wife, Alberta Rosita Shyvers, died in 1944. He then married Joan Winifred Mather, by whom he had two sons and a daughter (who became a doctor). In 1997, at the age of 95, he married Susanne Monique Huiskamp. Tall, handsome and with a commanding presence, Shawcross was a most distinguished member of his party, and a good friend to the College.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England