Sir William M Graham-Harrison KCB KC

Sir William Montagu Graham-Harrison, by Walter Stoneman, 1930 - NPG x167917 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir William Montagu Graham Harrison KCB KC was a Founding Steward of the Lodge and installed as Worshipful Deputy Master in November 1925.

‘G-H’ was a barrister and civil servant who had a distinguished and far reaching career at the Bar and as a parliamentary draftsman and legal adviser to the Home Office.

After leaving Wellington and the Orange, Graham-Harrison went up to Magdalen College Oxford. He was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1897, and appointed solicitor to HM Customs and Excise in 1913, where amongst other things he was responsible for drafting the ‘Trading with the Enemy Act of 1914’, known in hindsight as a particularly tough piece of legislation.

His move to the heart of Government followed in 1917 with his appointment as Second Parliamentary Counsel, and as First Parliamentary Counsel in 1928, holding the post until his retirement in 1933.

He took silk in 1930 and was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Durham in 1934, the Diocese of Truro in 1935, the Diocese of Gloucester in 1937, and the Diocese of Portsmouth in 1938. He retired from all except Gloucester in 1940, which he retained until his death in 1949.

Graham-Harrison was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 1920 New Year Honours and Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (known affectionately as the ‘deep end’) in the 1926 Birthday Honours.

He did not forgo his connections with academia, being elected a Fellow of All Souls College and being awarded an Oxford DCL for a thesis which according to Sir Cecil Carr “went far to lay down a foundation for the study of administrative law in England.” Carr went on to say that “He discharged his intricate and important duties as Parliamentary Counsel with widely acknowledged distinction.”[1]

Graham Harrison had been initiated into Friendship & Harmony Lodge No 1616, and was made Assistant Grand Registrar and later a Grand Deacon.



[1] Dictionary of National Biography 1941- 50 (1959), pp. 314-15, by Sir Cecil Carr