James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon

The Right Honourable
The Viscount Craigavon
PC PC (NI)
James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon.jpg
1st Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
In office
7 June 1921 – 24 November 1940
MonarchGeorge V
Edward VIII
George VI
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byJohn Miller Andrews
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty
In office
1920–1921
Preceded byThomas James Macnamara
Succeeded byLeo Amery
Member of the Northern Ireland Parliament
for North Down
In office
22 May 1929 – 24 November 1940
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byThomas Bailie
Member of the Northern Ireland Parliament
for Down
In office
24 May 1921 – 22 May 1929
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born(1871-01-08)8 January 1871
Belfast, Ireland
Died24 November 1940(1940-11-24) (aged 69)
Glencraig, Northern Ireland
NationalityBritish
Political partyUlster Unionist Party
Spouse(s)Cecil Mary Tupper
Children3
EducationMerchiston
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1899–1901
RankCaptain
Unit3rd (Militia) Royal Irish Rifles
Battles/warsSecond Boer War

James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon, PC, PC (NI) DL (8 January 1871 – 24 November 1940), was a prominent Irish unionist politician, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. He was created a baronet in 1918 and raised to the Peerage in 1927.

Early life

Craig was born at Sydenham, Belfast, the son of James Craig (1828–1900), a wealthy whiskey distiller; he had entered the firm of Dunville Whisky as a clerk and by aged 40 he was a millionaire and a partner in the firm. James Craig Snr. owned a large house called Craigavon, overlooking Belfast Lough. His mother, Eleanor Gilmore Browne, was the daughter of Robert Browne, a prosperous man who owned property in Belfast and a farm outside Lisburn. Craig was the seventh child and sixth son in the family; there were eight sons and one daughter in all.[citation needed]

He was educated at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, Scotland; his father had taken a conscious decision not to send his sons to any of the more fashionable public schools. After school he began work as a stockbroker, eventually opening his own firm in Belfast.