Arthur Gore, 8th Earl of Arran

Arthur Kattendyke Strange David Archibald Gore, 8th Earl of Arran (5 July 1910 – 23 February 1983) was a British columnist and politician who served as the Conservative whip in the House of Lords. He is known for leading the effort in the House of Lords to decriminalise male homosexuality in 1967, following the suicide of his gay brother.[1]

The Earl of Arran
Personal details
Arthur Kattendyke Strange David Archibald Gore[1]

(1910-07-05)5 July 1910
Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire,[2] England
Died23 February 1983(1983-02-23) (aged 72)
Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Resting placeLuss Parish Church Cemetery, Luss, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
(m. 1937)
EducationEton College
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford

Early life and educationEdit

Gore was the second son of Arthur Gore, 6th Earl of Arran and Maud Jacqueline Marie Beauclerk, only daughter of 3rd Baron Huyssen van Kattendyke of Kattendijke, Zeeland, Holland.[3] He was affectionately known as "Boofy".[4]

He was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford.[3]


During the Second World War, Gore worked first as a press attaché at the British Legion in Bern (1939–45) and at the British Embassy in Lisbon (1941–42). He was deputy director of the overseas general division of the Ministry of Information (1943–45) and was secretariat director at the Central Office of Information (1945–49).[1]

In 1958, Gore succeeded his elder brother, who had committed suicide reportedly because he was gay,[4] to become the 8th Earl of Arran and became an active member of the House of Lords.

Arran was the sponsor in the House of Lords of Labour MP Leo Abse's 1967 private member's bill which, as the Sexual Offences Act 1967, decriminalised homosexual acts between two consenting adult men. He was of the opinion that "no amount of legislation will prevent homosexuals from being the subject of dislike and derision, or at best of pity".[5] He also sponsored a bill for the protection of badgers, and was once asked why this effort had failed whereas decriminalising homosexuality had succeeded. Arran is reported to have replied: "There are not many badgers in the House of Lords."[6]

He was an outspoken columnist for many years, writing for The Evening Standard, The Guardian, Encounter, Punch, The Observer, The Daily Mail, and others. At one point he described himself as "a poor man's Duke of Bedford and a rich man's Godfrey Winn". His columns, which often contained inflammatory and abusive language, was tagged as coming from "The outrageous Arran, the Earl you love to hate."[1]

Marriage and issueEdit

He married Fiona Bryde Colquhoun (1918–2013), eldest daughter of Sir Iain Colquhoun, 7th Baronet.[7] She was a speedboat racer and, like her husband, an animal rights activist. The couple had homes in Hertfordshire and Scotland.[8]

They had two sons:[3]

He died at his home near Hemel Hempstead, aged 72.[1]

Popular cultureEdit

Gore was portrayed by David Bamber in the 2018 BBC limited television series A Very English Scandal.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituary: Earl of Arran". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 24 February 1983. p. 12.
  2. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837–1915
  3. ^ a b c Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 148. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  4. ^ a b Bedell, Geraldine (24 June 2007). "Coming out of the dark ages". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  5. ^ Unequal Britain, Pat Thane, p.140
  6. ^ Thomas, June (5 October 2016). "A Terrible Propensity for Malice". Slate. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  7. ^ Steven, Alasdair (10 June 2013). "Obituary: Countess Arran, power-boat champion". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  8. ^ "The Countess of Arran". The Daily Telegraph.

External linksEdit

Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Arthur Paul John Charles Gore
Earl of Arran
Succeeded by
Arthur Colum Michael Connolly-Gore