Roy Douglas obituary | Law


My father, Roy Douglas. who has died aged 95, was a tutorial specialising in fashionable historical past, legislation and politics who wrote or contributed to greater than 20 books, together with titles equivalent to Law for Technologists (1964) and Land, Individuals & Politics: A Historical past of the Land Query in the UK, 1878-1952 (1976).

Roy was born in Hampstead, north London, the one youngster of Percy Douglas, who was firm secretary on the Woman journal, and his spouse, Lilian (nee Bowley). After attending Mitcham County grammar faculty he went to King’s Faculty London, the place he obtained a level in zoology. He then accomplished his PhD in zoology at Edinburgh College and was appointed by Battersea Polytechnic in London to run a biology course.

After a time, nonetheless, he determined to turn into a barrister, hoping ultimately to utilize his scientific background to work in patents. He was referred to as to the bar in 1956 as a member of Grey’s Inn and was simply beginning to practise when adjustments at Battersea Polytechnic (by then Battersea Faculty of Know-how) led him to return as an emeritus reader normally research. He taught there, and at Surrey College, which it grew to become, for greater than 50 years, giving his last lecture at Guildford Institute in 2017.

A political activist, Roy joined the Liberal social gathering when he was 16 and stood unsuccessfully as a parliamentary candidate 5 occasions within the Fifties and 60s. He chaired nationwide conferences, spoke at occasions and contributed to many social gathering publications, together with the Journal of Liberal Historical past. He additionally wrote The Historical past of the Liberal Get together 1895-1970 (1971).

His membership lastly ended when the social gathering entered into coalition with the Conservatives. He had an encyclopaedic information of UK parliamentary constituencies, byelections and nationwide election outcomes and an exceptional reminiscence for trivia and obscure information.

Even into previous age Roy retained a boyish curiosity about all topics. He was exceptionally effectively learn and will converse on a wide range of subjects. His final guide, Enemies of Warfare, about opponents of the primary world struggle, was accomplished shortly earlier than his demise, and can be revealed posthumously.

He’s survived by his spouse, Jean (nee Roberts), whom he met by means of the Younger Liberals and married in 1955, their kids, Mick, Claire, Nigel and me, and grandchildren, Aimee, Mollie, Kate and Callum.

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