Jeremy Hunt Family History
Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt was born on November 1st, 1966 to Nicholas and Meriel Hunt in London.
Because of his father’s career with the Royal Navy, Jeremy moved around a lot in his early years. The family departed London for Edinburgh and then onto Portsmouth and Dartmouth before settling down in Shere, Surrey in 1979 when Jeremy was thirteen.
Jeremy then went off to boarding school at Charterhouse School where he was Head of School in his last year. He progressed to Oxford University, gaining a first-class degree in PP&E. During that time he served as President of the Conservative Association in 1987. David Cameron and Boris Johnson, future Conservative leaders, were among his contemporaries.
After Oxford, his initial career did not feature politics. He became an English language teacher in Japan and then embarked in Britain on a number of entrepreneurial ventures. One that proved successful was Hotcourses, an educational guidance company through its websites.
Jeremy began his political career in the 2005 general election with his election as MP for SW Surrey. When the Conservatives won the next election in 2010 he joined the Cabinet as Culture Secretary. He was subsequently Health Secretary and Foreign Secretary before putting his hat in the ring as Conservative party leader when Theresa May resigned in 2019.
He lost that bid and seemed to be out in the wilderness. But he had a dramatic return to front-line politics in 2022 after the chaos of Liz Truss’s leadership. He was recalled as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the effort to stabilize Britain’s finances.
Hunts in Shropshire
Gentry. Jeremy’s Hunt ancestors became part of the landed gentry scene in Shropshire in the 1540’s when Thomas Hunt from Northamptonshire married the heiress Anne Goldstone. These Hunts established their country seat at Boreatton near Shrewsbury in 1664. Boreatton Hall in Baschurch, built around 1700, still stands.
Hunts of this line were recorded as sheriffs of Shropshire in 1656, 1718, and again in 1830; while Agnes Hunt was a later descendant (she opened the first convalescent home for disabled children at Baschurch in 1900).
Rowland Hunt, born in 1752, had three sons – Rowland who inherited and two younger sons George and Thomas who did not and became clergymen. Jeremy Hunt is descended from this younger son Thomas.
Church and Army. Younger gentry sons generally needed to find other pursuits for themselves. The church or the army was the usual choice. Thomas and his descendants opted first for the church and then for the army.
The Rev. Thomas Hunt was the rector at the village of West Felton in Shropshire. Two of his sons became clergymen and his two daughters married clergymen. His other son Charles was a lieutenant in the British army, sadly murdered in India at the time of the 1857 mutiny.
The eldest son the Rev. Thomas Henry Hunt, born in 1826, was the vicar at Badsey village in Worcestershire from 1852 to 1887, before retiring to the family home at Ruyton Park in Shropshire. But with him the line of clergymen ended and military men took over.
The military line from here went as follows:
- Major Charles Hunt (1861-1940), who was captain and later major with the King’s Own Regiment
- Brigadier Jack Hunt (1897-1980), who served with the 2nd Punjab Regiment of the Indian army.
- and Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt (1930-2013), who was a senior Royal Navy officer.
In 1897 Charles Hunt had married Mabel Master, a descendant of Sir Streynsham Master, a pioneer of the East India Company in the late 17th century. Some fifty years earlier his aunt Harriet had married an earlier descendant, the Rev. George Streynsham Master. And both Sir Nicholas and Jeremy bear the middle name of Streynsham.
Nicholas Hunt, born in 1930, chose the Navy rather than the Army and started with them as a teenager just after World War Two. However, the early signs were not promising. He was second from bottom at his class in Dartmouth. “Not particularly clever” was a report of his time at HMS Vanguard in 1948.
Nevertheless he was able to rise through the ranks of the Royal Navy and become its Commander-in-Chief in the 1980’s. For this he gave credit to his wife Meriel who gave him the confidence to help him flourish. Nicholas had met Meriel during a naval visit to Malta where she had been stationed as a naval nurse. They married in 1966.
But there followed a family disaster. In 1968 when his son Jeremy was two, his nanny had left him and his baby sister Sarah to play in the water of the bath for a few minutes. When she returned the little girl, aged just ten months old, had drowned. Heartbreakingly Jeremy told her: ‘Sarah’s asleep.’
To his credit Nicholas, at the subsequent inquest, gave the most poignant of addresses absolving the sobbing nanny of all blame. This characteristic of compassion was to serve him well in the 1980’s during the Falklands crisis when he had the highly sensitive role of overseeing how families were informed about the death of their loved ones.
Much decorated with honors, Sir Nicholas had by that time joined the ranks of “the great and the good.” After his retirement from the Navy in 1987 he held a number of senior management positions – such as Deputy Managing Director of Eurotunnel and Director General of the Chamber of Shipping. He died in 2013.
Jeremy Hunt’s Family Tree
- Rowland Hunt of Boreatton in Shropshire (1752-1811) m. Susannah Cornish (1753-1839) in 1781
- – Rowland Hunt (1784-1839) m. Mary Lloyd
- – Rev. George Hunt (1785-1853) m. Emma Gardiner
- – Rev. Thomas Hunt (1786-1860)
- Rev. Thomas Hunt, rector at West Felton, m. Jane Harding (died in 1872) in 1824
- – Rev. Thomas Henry Hunt (1826-1896)
- – Charles Hunt (1828-1857), killed in the Indian Mutiny
- – Rev. William Cornish Hunt (1835-1891) m. Jane Pym
- – Harriet Hunt (died in 1893) m. Rev. George Streynsham Master
- – Caroline Hunt m. Rev. William Eyre
- Rev. Thomas Henry Hunt, vicar at Badsey, m. Charlotte Hamilton (1823-1887) from Scotland in Ayr in 1857
- – Captain Cecil Hunt (1860-1922) m. Beatrice Moore
- – Major Thomas Charles Hunt (1861-1940)
- – Alexander Hunt (1863-1888)
- Thomas Charles Hunt m. Mabel Master (1862-1968) in Surrey in 1897
- – Roger Hunt (1895-1918), died of wounds received in action
- – John Hunt (1897-1980)
- – Geoffrey Hunt (1900-1956) m. Hope Johnston
- Brigadier John Montgomerie (Jack) Hunt (1897-1980) m. Elizabeth (Betty) Yates (1902-2003) in 1925
- – Roger Hunt (b. 1928) m. Harriet Shepard
- – Nicholas Hunt (1930-2013)
- Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt m. Meriel Givan (1937-2022) from the Isle of Wight in 1966
- – Jeremy Hunt (b. 1966)
- – Sarah Hunt (b. 1968), died in infancy
- – Charles Hunt (b. 1970)
- Jeremy Hunt m. Lucia Guo (b. 1977) from China in 2009
- – Jack Hunt (b. 2010)
- – Anna Hunt (b. 2012)
- – Eleanor Hunt (b. 2014)
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