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Butler, a Cambridge historian and Conservative MP for the university, Butler's uncle and a particular early influence on him.

Butler attended several preparatory schools but refused to attend Harrow, where many of his family had been educated.

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The following morning, Rab had to escort Baldwin back to the railway station, where, according to one version of the story, Baldwin bought him a copy of "Something Fresh" by P. Wodehouse with an admonition not to take life too seriously.

In his International Law exam, he was dissatisfied with his essays, and at half time, he tore up his answers and wrote six fresh ones on six sheets of foolscap.

Born into a family of academics and Indian administrators, Butler enjoyed a brilliant academic career before entering Parliament in 1929.

As a junior minister, he helped to pass the Government of India Act 1935.

Butler's paternal family had a long and distinguished association with the University of Cambridge, dating back to his great-grandfather George Butler.

Especially notable were Butler's grand-uncle Henry Montagu Butler (Master of Trinity College and Dean of Gloucester) and Sir Geoffrey G.

The Butlers had inherited Gatcombe Park from Sam Courtauld in 1949.

In 1976 it was sold to the Queen as a home for Princess Anne, for a sum between £300,000 and £750,000 (Howard gives the figure as "more than £500,000").

When the Conservatives returned to power in 1951 he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1951–55), Home Secretary (1957–62), Deputy Prime Minister (1962–63) and Foreign Secretary (1963–64).

Butler had an exceptionally long ministerial career and was one of only two British politicians (the other being John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon) to have served in three of the four Great Offices of State but never to have been Prime Minister, for which he was passed over in 19.

At the time, the Conservative Leadership was decided by a process of private consultation rather than by a formal vote.

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