Click for Bookshop

William (Willie) Ross


(Lord Ross of Marnock)

1911 - 1988

Labour politician and longest serving Secretary of State for Scotland. Born in Ayr, the son of a train driver, Ross was educated at Ayr Academy and the University of Glasgow. He became a school-teacher, but was elected as Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock in 1946. Ross was regarded as a formidable politician and went on to represent this seat until 1979.

He held the office of Secretary of State for Scotland between 1964-70 and again from 1974 to 1976. Ross was a staunch unionist, resisting calls for Scottish devolution. He disliked the Scottish National Party, dismissing them as the 'Tartan Tories'.

Ross was perhaps harshly summed up by a political commentator who described him as 'a stern-faced and authoritarian Presbyterian conservative, who ran the country like a personal fiefdom for Harold Wilson'.

Following his retiral in 1979, Ross was elevated to the peerage as Lord Ross of Marnock.


Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better