24 Mar 2015

How to live to 100: 'Everything in moderation'

He is one of the greatest trial lawyers of the 20th century. But Lord Jeremy Hutchinson QC is much more even than that.

He is a man who can remember the end of the first world war; can remember the Jarrow hunger marches; fought in the navy in the second world war; married the greatest actress of the middle 20th century and fought the parliamentary seat of the Cities of London and Westminster in the 1945 election.

All that before his legal career took off.

Born into the upper middle classes, Jeremy’s mother, Mary, was part of the Bloomsbury set. She had a long and torrid affair with the art critic Clive Bell. Matisse painted her.

In his growing up, Jeremy Hutchinson became a radical. He believed that part of the scourge of British class system lay in the charitable status public schools enjoyed, and still enjoy.

When it comes to his legal career, at the robust age of 100 years old on 28 March, Jeremy has participated in a book – Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories – with Thomas Grant (Hodder).

Winning the case involving the publication of the then-banned Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by DH Lawrence, probably represented the most socially impactful victory of the 20th century.

He also defended Christine Keeler during the Profumo affair, and the great train robber Charlie Wilson, whom Jeremy found “delightful”.

Do watch our interview with Jeremy Hutchinson (above), in which he tells me that the family motto (in English) is “Neither rash nor fearful” – in other words, everything in moderation. I shall be interviewing him on stage at the Chalke Valley History Festival in June.

In the meantime: happy 100th birthday, Lord Jeremy Hutchinson!

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