Anthony Eden

Politician & Conservative Prime Minister
Born Jun 12, 1897

Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC was a British Conservative politician, who was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957. He was also Foreign Secretary for three periods between 1935 and 1955, including during World War II. He is best known for his outspoken opposition to appeasement in the 1930s, his diplomatic leadership in the 1940s and 1950s, and the failure of his Middle East policy in 1956 that ended his premiership.… Read More

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1897 Birth Born on June 12, 1897.
1907 10 Years Old Eden was educated at two independent schools: at Sandroyd School in Cobham from 1907 to 1910, where he swam poorly but excelled in languages, followed by Eton College, where he won a Divinity prize and excelled at cricket, rugby and rowing, winning House colours in the last. … Read More


1914 17 Years Old …  Eden had an elder brother called John, who was killed in action in 1914 and a younger brother, Nicholas, who was killed when the battlecruiser HMS Indefatigable blew up and sank at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.


1922 25 Years Old Like many aspiring politicians, Captain Eden, as he was still known, first contested a seat where he had little chance of winning in the November 1922 general election, and was then elected Member of Parliament for Warwick and Leamington in the December 1923 general election, as a Conservative, at the age of twenty-six. … Read More
1924 27 Years Old In the 1924–1929 Conservative Government, Eden was first Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary, Sir William Joynson Hicks, and then in 1926 to the Foreign Secretary Sir Austen Chamberlain.


1931 34 Years Old In 1931 he held his first ministerial office as Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
1933 36 Years Old 1 More Event
…  In response to sharp criticism of this policy by Winston Churchill in the House of Commons on 23 March 1933, he defended this appeasement policy toward Adolf Hitler's Germany by arguing that Britain needed to "secure for Europe that period of appeasement which is needed", a speech that brought him a standing ovation in the House. … Read More
1935 38 Years Old He privately opposed the policy of the Foreign Secretary, Sir Samuel Hoare, of trying to appease Italy during its invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935. … Read More
1936 39 Years Old Eden did not protest when Britain and France failed to oppose Hitler's reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1936. … Read More


1938 - 1942 6 More Events
1943 46 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1943 with the revelation of the Katyn Massacre Eden refused to help the Polish Government in Exile.
1944 47 Years Old In 1944, Eden went to Moscow to negotiate with the Soviet Union at the Tolstoy Conference. … Read More
Eden's eldest son, Pilot Officer Simon Gascoigne Eden, went missing in action, later declared deceased, while serving as a navigator with the RAF in Burma, in June 1945. … Read More
1946 49 Years Old 1 More Event
As early as the spring of 1946, Eden openly asked Churchill to retire in his favour. … Read More


1947 - 1950 2 More Events
1951 54 Years Old In 1951, the Conservatives returned to office and Eden became Foreign Secretary for a third time, as well as Deputy Prime Minister. … Read More
1952 55 Years Old In February 1952 even Macmillan (who was later to spread much mythology on this topic) acknowledged that Britain’s relationship with the USA and the Commonwealth would prevent her from joining a federal Europe at that time.
1953 56 Years Old Eden was also irritated by Churchill's hankering for a summit meeting with the USSR, during the period in 1953 after Stalin's death and whilst Eden was seriously ill from a botched bile duct operation. … Read More
The success of the 1954 Geneva Conference on Indo-China ranks as the outstanding achievement of his third term in the Foreign Office, although he was critical of the United States decision not to sign the accord. … Read More
In April 1955, Churchill finally retired, and Eden succeeded him as Prime Minister. … Read More
By this time Eden was suffering from recurrent fevers and using mood-altering prescription drugs following a series of botched operations. His worldwide reputation as an opponent of appeasement, a "Man of Peace", and a skilled diplomat was overshadowed in 1956 when the United States refused to support the Anglo-French military response to the Suez Crisis, which critics across party lines regarded as an historic setback for British foreign policy, signalling the end of British predominance in the Middle East. … Read More


1957 60 Years Old 1 More Event
Eden resigned on 9 January 1957, after his doctors warned him his life was at stake if he continued in office. … Read More
In a 1967 interview Eden explained his decision to resign: "It was not over protocol, Chamberlain's communicating with Mussolini without telling me. … Read More
1969 - 1976 2 More Events
1977 80 Years Old 1 More Event
At his death, Eden was the last surviving member of Churchill's War Cabinet. Eden's surviving son, Nicholas Eden (1930–1985), known as Viscount Eden until 1977, was also a politician and a minister in the Thatcher government until his premature death from AIDS at the age of 54. … Read More
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