Badeley, Henry John Fanshawe, Baron Badeley 1874-1951, clerk of the Parliaments and engraver, was born at Elswick, Newcastle upon Tyne, 27 June 1874, the elder child and only son of Captain Henry Badeley, of Guy Harlings, Chelmsford, and his wife, Blanche, daughter of Christian Augustus Henry Allhusen, of Elswick Hall, and of Stoke Court, Stoke Poges. He was educated at Radley College and Trinity College, Oxford, of which in 1948 he became an honorary fellow. Here his small energetic figure, which changed but little throughout his life, marked him for athletics, and in the years 1895 to 1897 he was chosen to represent his university in the quarter mile against Cambridge. Rowing also became one of Badeley's accomplishments, although golf remained his favourite form of relaxation.
In 1897 Badeley won first place in a Civil Service competition for a clerkship in the Parliament Office, and in that year began a career remarkable for its loyalty to, and affection for, the institution which he served. He eagerly threw himself into his official life and, when not employed on his routine work, was often found helping the lord chancellor's secretaries, and building an interest in matters parliamentary, legal, and heraldic. It was in the last of these interests that Badeley first made his mark.
After studying under (Sir) Frank Short [qv.] at the Royal College of Art, Badeley was elected an associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers, and was almost at once appointed honorary secretary (1911-21). In 1914 he was elected a fellow and exhibited regularly until his death. His combined interest in heraldry and line-engraving turned his talent for the latter towards the engraving of book-plates. His work in this field became widely known and he executed commissions for a large number of individuals and institutions, which included plates for the library of the House of Lords.
In 1919 Badeley became principal clerk of the Judicial Office and judicial taxing officer of the House of Lords. Here his energy and capacity for making personal contacts soon enabled him to break through formalities, and he became the adviser both of the lord chancellor of the day and of the law lords as well as of all those members of the legal profession whose business brought them to the House.
The turning-point of Badeley's career came in 1930 when he was appointed clerk assistant of the Parliaments, while retaining the principal judicial clerkship. This was the first known promotion to the Table of the House of Lords from the staff of the Parliament Office, and opened for Badeley himself and for his successors an avenue to the top of their profession. Badeley strode this avenue in four years, and in 1934 became clerk of the Parliaments. He was clearly suited for this office, although his qualifications differed somewhat from those of his predecessors. His strength lay in the force of his personality, coupled with a quick intelligence and a broad practical knowledge of parliamentary affairs.
Badeley was appointed K.C.B. in 1935. He had also been made C.B.E. in 1920 for his work as county director of auxiliary hospitals and voluntary aid detachments in the county of London (1917-19). From 1919 to 1923 he was president of the county of London branch of the British Red Cross Society.
On reaching the age of seventy in 1944, Badeley was due to retire but the House had no wish to lose such a valuable servant whose vigour was in no way diminished, and Badeley was granted by the Crown an extension of five years. When this final term of service was completed he was created (1949) a member of the House he had served so well, with the title of Baron Badeley, of Badley, in the county of Suffolk.
The position he had attained in the parliamentary world may perhaps best be summarized in the words of the Marquess of Salisbury on the occasion of Badeley's retirement: In an age when a great many things have altered, he has appeared to be the one unchanging element, and that shrewd, kindly face has seemed as much a part of the House of Lords as the Table at which he sat. But for the fact that he did not technically qualify, I think he might certainly have been described as the Father of the House.
Badeley died in London 27 September 1951. He was unmarried and the peerage became extinct.
Contributor: Victor Goodman.