Judith Wilcox, Baroness Wilcox
Judith Ann Wilcox, Baroness Wilcox (née Freeman; born 31 October 1939) is a businesswoman and a Conservative Life Peer in the British House of Lords. She was awarded her peerage in 1996 as one of the first Working Peers for her services to Consumer Services.
The Baroness Wilcox
Judith Ann Freeman
31 October 1939
|Alma mater||University of Plymouth (BA)|
(m. 1961; div. 1979)
Sir Malcolm Wilcox
(m. 1986; died 1986)
She was appointed Under-Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills (Intellectual Property) from 2010 to 2012. She has been a member of the European Union Select Committee since 2015, working closely with Government departments planning the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
Judith Ann Freeman was born on 31 October 1939 in Plymouth, Devon, the eldest child and only daughter of John and Elsie (née Finch) Freeman. She was educated at St Dunstan’s Abbey School, Plymouth and St Mary’s Convent School Wantage. She graduated from Plymouth University with a Business Studies degree. (Bachelor of Arts)
After spending some time in France, Lady Wilcox managed her parents’ retail business. She built and ran a substantial family food business in Devon and Cornwall, diversifying into the fishing industry with her company, Capstan Foods Ltd which was bought by Birdseye. She then established Channel Foods Ltd in Cornwall, supplying fish to supermarkets and other major retail chains. In 1989 this was sold to French company, Pêcheries de la Morinie, of which she was President from 1989 to 1991.
In 1990, Lady Wilcox became Chairman of the UK National Consumer Council, an independent organisation working on behalf of consumers.
Lady Wilcox was Under-Secretary of State for Business innovation and Skills (Intellectual Property) from 2010 to 2012. She was a UK delegate to the Council of Europe from 2012 to 2015. Since 2015 she has been a member of the European Union Select Committee, which works closely with Government departments planning the United Kingdom’s departure for the European Union as well as a member of European Sub-Committee on Energy and Environment.
Lady Wilcox has been a non-executive Director of the Automobile Association, Inland Revenue, Port of London Authority, Carpetright PLC, Johnson Services PLC, council member of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen (the Fishermen's Mission) and the Harris Academy. She is currently a governor of the Harris Westminster Sixth Form School, Westminster.
Lady Wilcox is Vice-President of the Girl Guides Association, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and until 2017 was Chairman of Trustees for the Community of St Mary the Virgin. In 2002 she was on the Commission advising on the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Her hobbies include sailing, bird watching, enjoying cinema and theatre as well as spending time with her four grandchildren.
Lady Wilcox was first married in 1961 in Plymouth to Keith Davenport, with whom she had her only child, Simon (born 1963). She divorced Davenport in 1979. Seven years later, in 1986, she was married to Sir Malcolm Wilcox (1921–1986), the then-chief of Midland Bank. He died of cancer three months after their wedding. Wilcox has four grandchildren.
Titles, styles, honours and armsEdit
- 1939 — 1961: Miss Judith Ann Freeman
- 1961 — 1979: Mrs Keith Davenport
- 1979 — 1986: Mrs Judith Ann Davenport
- 1986 — 1996: Judith Ann Wilcox, Lady Wilcox
- 1996 — present: The Right Honourable The Baroness Wilcox
Upon her marriage to Sir Malcolm Wilcox, she became Judith, Lady Wilcox, as is customary for wives of Knights Commander of the British Empire (KBE). She retained use of this title until 1996, when she was made a life peer in the House of Lords. Upon this, she acquired the title of Baroness Wilcox and the style of Right Honourable, in her own right. As his mother is a life peer, Lady Wilcox's son is entitled to the use of the style Honourable. He will however not inherit his mother's title.