Samuel Silkin, Baron Silkin of Dulwich

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Silkin of Dulwich
Shadow Attorney General
In office
4 May 1979 – 14 July 1979
Leader James Callaghan
Preceded by Michael Havers
Succeeded by John Morris
Attorney General for England and Wales
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
In office
5 March 1974 – 4 May 1979
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
Preceded by Peter Rawlinson
Succeeded by Michael Havers
Member of Parliament
for Dulwich
In office
15 October 1964 – 9 June 1983
Preceded by Robert Jenkins
Succeeded by Gerald Bowden
Personal details
Born (1918-03-06)6 March 1918
Died 17 August 1988(1988-08-17) (aged 70)
Political party Labour
Alma mater Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Samuel Charles Silkin, Baron Silkin of Dulwich, PC, QC (6 March 1918 – 17 August 1988) was a British Labour Party politician and cricketer.

Early life

He was the second son of Lewis Silkin (afterwards Baron Silkin), a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) and a minister in Clement Attlee's Cabinet from 1945 to 1950. His brother, John, was also an MP and Cabinet minister.

Samuel Silkin was educated at Dulwich College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He played two games of first-class cricket in 1938, one each for Cambridge University Cricket Club and Glamorgan County Cricket Club.[1]


He became a lawyer; he was called to the bar in 1941 and, in 1963, was raised to the rank of Queen's Counsel. He chaired the Society of Labour Lawyers. He served as a councillor on Camberwell Borough Council from 1953 until 1959.

Parliamentary career

At the 1964 general election, Silkin was elected Member of Parliament for the Dulwich constituency, adjoining his father's former constituency of Peckham. He was re-elected in Dulwich until his retirement at the 1983 general election.

From 1974 to 1979, he served as Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland under Labour Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. After his retirement from politics, he was created a life peer as Baron Silkin of Dulwich, of North Leigh in the County of Oxfordshire on 13 May 1985.[2]


Silkin died in 1988, aged 70. He left, by his first wife Elaine Stamp (whom he married in 1941), two sons and two daughters. He did not have any children by his widow, Sheila Swanston, whom he married in 1985 after his first wife's death.


  1. "Sam Silkin". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2007-05-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. The London Gazette: no. 50126. p. 6887. 17 May 1985.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Jenkins
Member of Parliament for Dulwich
Succeeded by
Gerald Bowden
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Rawlinson
Attorney General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Michael Havers
Attorney General for Northern Ireland