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John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

(1877-1969), Colonial administrator

Sitter in 11 portraits
Educated at Rugby School, Maffey entered the Indian Civil Service in 1899. There his career took him to the North West Frontier Province where he earned the description of 'a sort of honorary Pathan'. He became Chief Commissioner of the Province in 1921, but he resigned three years later when his advice against military occupation was ignored. In 1926 he became Governor-General of the Sudan, followed in 1933, by appointment as Permanent Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. At Churchill's request he became the first United Kingdom representative to Eire in 1939, a post he held throughout the war years and until his retirement in 1949.

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John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby, by Philip Alexius de László - NPG 6597

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Philip Alexius de László
oil on canvas, 1923
NPG 6597

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x150079

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 27 June 1931
NPG x150079

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x150081

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 27 June 1931
NPG x150081

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby, by Walter Stoneman - NPG x185058

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, April 1947
NPG x185058

Web image not currently available

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 27 June 1931
NPG x150077

Web image not currently available

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 27 June 1931
NPG x150078

Web image not currently available

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 27 June 1931
NPG x150080

Web image not currently available

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Walter Stoneman
half-plate glass negative, April 1947
NPG x188666

Web image not currently available

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Walter Stoneman
half-plate glass negative, April 1947
NPG x188667

Web image not currently available

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Baron (Sterling Henry Nahum)
halftone reproduction tear sheet, published 16 March 1949
NPG x193348

Web image not currently available

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby

by Elliott & Fry
bromide print
NPG x90410

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Dr Ben Knighton

14 June 2019, 12:11

John Loader Maffey, 1st Baron Rugby, GCMG, KCB, KCVO, CSI,CIE, (1 July 1877 – 20 April 1969) was a British civil servant and diplomat who was a key figure in Anglo-Irish relations during the Second World War.
Maffey was the younger son of Thomas Maffey, a commercial traveller of Rugby, Warwickshire, and his wife, Mary Penelope, daughter of John Loader. He was educated at Rugby School and Christ Church, Oxford
He entered the Indian Civil Service in 1899, and notably served as Assistant Secretary to the Chief Commissioner of North-West-Frontier-Province from 1912 to 1916 and then as Private Secretary to the Viceroy of India Lord Chelmsford from 1916 to 1920 and then Chief Commissioner of the North-West Frontier Province from 1921 to 1924. After a disagreement with the British government in 1924, Maffey resigned from the Indian Civil Service. In 1926 he became Governor-General of the Sudan, followed in 1933 by his appointment as Permanent Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies -1937
At Winston Churchill's request, he became the first United Kingdom representative to Ireland in 1939. In 1947, Maffey was raised to the peerage as Baron Rugby, of Rugby in the County of Warwick.
His portrait hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland.
Lord Rugby married Dorothy Gladys Huggins, daughter of Charles Lang Huggins, on 28 August 1907. They became the parents of three children: Alan, Henry, and Penelope.
Their only daughter, Penelope, married the war hero and Tory MP Sir William Aitken and became a well-known socialite. She was the mother of the former Conservative politician Jonathan Aitken and the actress Maria Aitken. Her grandchildren are the actor Jack Davenport, the artiste and environmentalist Alexandra Aitken (also known as Uttrang Kaur Khalsa), Victoria Aitken, and William Aitken.
Lord Rugby died in April 1969, aged 91. He was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son Alan Loader Maffey

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