James Stevenson, 1st Baron Stevenson
(2 April April 1873 – 10 June 1926), known as Sir James Stevenson, Bt
, between 1917 and 1924, was a British businessman and civil servant.
Stevenson was educated at the Kilmarnock Academy
Kilmarnock Academy is a comprehensive school, one of several in Kilmarnock, a town in western Scotland. It can trace its history back to the local burgh school founded in the 1630s and the first school to bear the name was established in 1807...
. It would appear that his career there was interrupted - perhaps because his parents had had to withdraw him due to an inability to pay school fees - for when he enrolled in 1887 he had a previous admission number.
Stevenson joined the Johnnie Walker
Johnnie Walker is a brand of Scotch Whisky owned by Diageo and originated in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.It is the most widely distributed brand of blended Scotch whisky in the world, sold in almost every country with yearly sales of over 130 million bottles.-History:Originally known as Walker's...
whisky blending company in 1888, working his way up to become its joint Managing Director. He is credited with having come up with the company's advertising slogan 'Born in 1820 - still going strong'. During the First World War he was appointed to a senior position in the Ministry of Munitions and in return for his service was created a Baronet
, of Walton Heath in the Parish of Walton-on-the-Hill in the County of Surrey, on 11 April 1917. After the war he continued in government service and from 1921 he worked as a personal adviser to Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...
, then Secretary of State for the Colonies
The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....
. Immediately after the First World War he was responsible for the Stevenson Plan
The Stevenson Plan, also known as the Stevenson Restriction Scheme, was an effort by the British government to stabilize low rubber prices resulting from a glut of rubber following World War I.-Background:...
, which was an effort by the UK government to stabilise low rubber prices after a world glut of rubber.
Stevenson later chaired the Standing Committee responsible for the British Empire Exhibition
The British Empire Exhibition was a colonial exhibition held at Wembley, Middlesex in 1924 and 1925.-History:It was opened by King George V on St George's Day, 23 April 1924. The British Empire contained 58 countries at that time, and only Gambia and Gibraltar did not take part...
(1924–25). London's Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...
had been built as a temporary home for the exhibition, but Scotsman Stevenson fought successfully to prevent its demolition and it continued as an English national stadium into the 21st Century. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Stevenson
, of Holmbury in the County of Surrey, on 7 May 1924, during the first premiership of Ramsay MacDonald
James Ramsay MacDonald, PC, FRS was a British politician who was the first ever Labour Prime Minister, leading a minority government for two terms....
. He was the first person from Kilmarnock
Kilmarnock is a large burgh in East Ayrshire, Scotland, with a population of 44,734. It is the second largest town in Ayrshire. The River Irvine runs through its eastern section, and the Kilmarnock Water passes through it, giving rise to the name 'Bank Street'...
to be elevated to the peerage.
According to his obituary, in 1912 he published a novel, The Kiss of Chance
(published by Eveleigh Nash, London, pp. 301), under the pseudonym Roland Dunster. A second novel was An Incurable Disease
which The Strand
magazine says was illustrated by Septimus Edwin Scott
Septimus Edwin Scott was a member of the Royal Watercolour Society and his pictures were shown in the Royal Academy.His art was probably most widely known through railway company posters such as one for the London & North Eastern Railway to advertise rail services to Newcastle's North East Coast...
Lord Stevenson died on 10 June 1926, aged 53, when the baronetcy and barony became extinct.
- John Keith McBroom Laird
John Keith McBroom Laird was a Canadian author, barrister, and solicitor. He was a member of the Canadian Liberal Party, a well-known tax lawyer in Windsor, and a law partner of Paul Martin, Sr., who was the father of Prime Minister Paul Martin.He served as Senator for Windsor, Ontario in the...
(1907–1985) Canadian Senator - 2nd cousin, once removed
- Sir Alexander Stewart Stevenson (1860–1936) Edinburgh Lord Provost – uncle
- Stewart Stevenson
Stewart Stevenson is a Scottish politician who became a member of the Scottish Parliament in 2001....
(1946– ) Member of the Scottish Parliament, Minister for Environment and Climate Change – 1st cousin, once removed