John Baird, 1st Viscount Stonehaven

John Lawrence Baird of Urie, 1st Viscount Stonehaven, 1st Baron Stonehaven, 2nd Baronet, 3rd of Ury, GCMG, DSO, PC (27 April 1874 – 20 August 1941) was a British politician who served as the eighth Governor-General of Australia, in office from 1925 to 1930. He had previously been a government minister under David Lloyd George, Bonar Law, and Stanley Baldwin.


The Viscount Stonehaven

8th Governor-General of Australia
In office
8 October 1925  2 October 1930
MonarchGeorge V
Prime Minister
Preceded byThe Lord Forster
Succeeded bySir Isaac Isaacs
Minister of Transport
In office
31 October 1922  22 January 1924
MonarchGeorge V
Prime Minister
Preceded byThe Earl of Crawford
Succeeded byHarry Gosling
First Commissioner of Works
In office
31 October 1922  22 January 1924
MonarchGeorge V
Prime Minister
Preceded byThe Earl of Crawford
Succeeded byFred Jowett
Personal details
Born(1874-04-27)27 April 1874
Chelsea, London, UK
Died20 August 1941(1941-08-20) (aged 67)
Ury House, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, UK
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Sydney Keith-Falconer,
11th Countess of Kintore
(1874–1974)
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford

Baird was born in London, and attended Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. His father was Sir Alexander Baird, a Scottish-born civil servant who spent much of his life in Egypt. Baird was a member of the Diplomatic Service before winning election to the House of Commons in 1910, representing the Conservative Party. When war broke out a few years later, he joined the Intelligence Corps and won the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). Baird was added to the Lloyd George ministry in 1916, and held various junior portfolios until 1922 when he was appointed Minister of Transport and First Commissioner of Works.

In 1925, Baird was appointed Governor-General of Australia on the advice of Stanley Bruce. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Stonehaven, having previously succeeded to his father's baronetcy in 1920. Lord Stonehaven was the first governor-general to live in Canberra, moving into Yarralumla in 1927 and presiding over the first sitting at the new Parliament House. After returning to Britain, Stonehaven served as Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1931 to 1936. He was raised to the viscountcy in 1938, and retired to his ancestral seat in Aberdeenshire.