Washminster

Washminster
Washminster

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Mastermind

Today, the Mastermind Champion of 1988, will become the new Clerk of the Parliaments - the most senior clerk serving the House of Lords. David Beamish has worked in the House of Lords since 1974 - and is a popular successor to Michael Pownall, who has retired after four years in the top post.

Beamish's success on Mastermind came after building a solid base with his specialist subjects - 'Nancy Astor', an American born (Danville VA) woman who became the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons (she was elected for Plymouth Sutton); and The British Royal Family 1714-1910 (George I to Edward VII).

He is both a scholar and an experienced expert in the work of the House of Lords.

The work of the Clerk of the Parliaments is described on the Parliamentary website. An article in a 1958 Article in "Parliamentary Affairs" describes the office and some of its former holders. One was a namesake of mine (John Morgan - I am John David Morgan, but use my middle name) - Maurice F Bond writes "John Morgan (1485-1496) had perhaps the most varied career of all, having probably been in exile with Henry Tudor, returning with him to become his first Clerk of the Parliament in 1485, a Councillor, Dean of Windsor, Dean of St. Mary's, Leicester, Archdeacon of Carmarthen, and, eventually, on ceasing to be Clerk, Bishop of St Davids." - but then in 1958 no Clerk had ever won Mastermind!
The original announcement of David Beamish's appointment, with biographical details, can be accessed here.

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