UWE awards honorary degree to Henry Elwes Esq

Issue date: 10 November 2006


Henry Elwes Esq The University of the West of England is awarding the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws to Henry Elwes Esq in recognition of his outstanding record of service to Gloucestershire; local government; charities; farming; horticulture; and the promotion of higher education, in particular his promotion of University status for Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education. The honorary degree will be conferred at the Award Ceremony of Hartpury College on Tuesday 14 November at 11.30 at Gloucester Cathedral.

Henry William George Elwes was born in 1935 and educated at Eton College. He served for three years as a Lieutenant in the Scots Guards, before enrolling at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. Since 1956, when he inherited his family's estate of Colesbourne Park, he has dedicated his time to managing all aspects of the estate and is a Director of Colesbourne Estate Company and associated companies.

Interested in farming and forestry, Henry Elwes has worked to preserve and develop the Arboretum at Colesbourne Park. The Arboretum, which was planted by his great-grandfather, is known for the extensive snowdrop collection (totalling some 250 varieties and cultivars of snowdrop) and was opened to the public for the first time in 1997.

In 1959 Henry Elwes was elected to the former Cirencester Rural District Council, and in 1970 to Gloucestershire County Council, of which he was elected first Vice-Chairman, then Chairman. He has chaired many council committees and working parties, serving as a county councillor for thirty-two years. In 1979 and 1980 Henry Elwes served as High Sheriff of Gloucestershire. In 1982 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant and in 1992, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for the county. As the permanent representative of the Crown in the county, he is the Queen's ceremonial representative for Gloucestershire, and attends all royal visits. In 1992, he was elected an Honorary Alderman of Gloucestershire.

Henry Elwes has served on the National Joint Council for Fire Brigades and the Association of County Councils. He has served as a: Regional Director of Lloyds Bank plc; a member of the Lord Chancellor's Judicial Appointments Board; and, as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Gloucestershire. He has a long association with many Gloucestershire bodies as: Patron, Trustee, Governor, Friend, or Member, including: Gloucestershire Community Foundation; Western Woodland Owners Ltd; Gloucestershire Arthritis Trust; Crickley Hill Archaeological Trust; Barnwood House Trust; Prince's Trust (Gloucestershire); Gloucestershire Rural Community Council; Kingshill Comprehensive School; Cirencester College; Royal British Legion Branch; University of Gloucestershire; Country Landowners Association; Royal Forestry Society, (Gloucestershire Branch); Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust; Cheltenham & North Cotswold Eye Therapy Trust; Prince's Youth Business Trust (Gloucestershire); Outward Bound Association; Gloucestershire Association for the Blind; and, The Scout Association. He has served as President of the Three Counties Agricultural Society and is currently Vice-President of the Royal Bath and West Agricultural Society. He has been a churchwarden since 1967 and, since 2001, an Honorary Lay Canon of Gloucester Cathedral.

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