At our offices at 15 Belgrave Square, we share the building with the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI). When I started working for Valkyrie in September 2021, I was pleased to see that one of the Presidents of the SCI was Lord Melchett! Those Blackadder fans among us will remember the character of Lord Melchett, Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth the First, played by Stephen Fry! Clearly these two characters are not linked in any way*, but I often smile when I see Lord Melchett’s name on the board in the ground floor reception area.
Lord Melchett was President of the SCI in 1930. The tenure for presidency is usually two years, but Lord Melchett sadly died during his term. Lord Melchett was born Alfred Moritz Mond on 28th October 1868. Interestingly, his father, Dr Ludwig Mond was also President of the SCI from 1888 to 1889.
Mond was created a Baronet, of Hartford Hill in Great Budworth in the County of Chester, in 1910, and was admitted to the Privy Council in 1913.
Mond first achieved renown as a prominent member of the Liberal War Committee set up in January 1916, the ginger group of Liberals who helped to propel Lloyd George to the premiership.
Consequently, the new Prime Minister made Mond First Commissioner of Works, one of the most important posts not of Cabinet rank to be filled by a Liberal.
In April 1921 Mond succeeded Dr Christopher Addison as Minister of Public Health.
In 1928 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Melchett, of Landford in the County of Southampton.
The other Lord Melchett was famous for his trademark bellow “Baaaah!” and was affectionately called ‘Melchy’ by Queen Elizabeth the First!
*perhaps there is a link or just a coincidence? In the final episode of series two of Blackadder, Lord Melchett is murdered by Prince Ludwig the Indestructible. Ludwig, obviously is also the father of Mond, the Lord Melchett and President of the SCI!