Family tree of Margaret THATCHER

Head of state, British Politician

EnglishBorn Margaret Hilda ROBERTS

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990

Born on October 13, 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England , United Kingdom

Died on April 8, 2013 in London, England , United Kingdom

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Thatcher was born to Alfred Roberts, originally from Northamptonshire, and his wife, the former Beatrice Ethel Stephenson from Lincolnshire. Thatcher spent her childhood in the town of Grantham in Lincolnshire, where her father owned two grocery shops. She and her older sister Muriel (born 1921, Grantham; died December 2004; married name Cullen) were raised in the flat above the larger of the two located near the railway line. Her father was active in local politics and religion, serving as an Alderman and Methodist lay preacher. He came from a Liberal family but stood—as was then customary in local government—as an Independent. He lost his post as Alderman in 1952 after the Labour Party won its first majority on Grantham Council in 1950.

Margaret Roberts was brought up a strict Methodist by her father. Having attended Huntingtower Road Primary School, she won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School. Her school reports show hard work and commitment, but not brilliance. Outside the classroom she played hockey and also enjoyed swimming and walking. Finishing school during the Second World War, she applied for a scholarship to attend Somerville College, Oxford, but was only successful when the winning candidate dropped out. She went to Oxford in 1943 and studied Natural Sciences, specialising in Chemistry. She became President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1946, the third woman to hold the post. At Oxford she read Friedrich von Hayek's recently published (1944) The Road to Serfdom. " I cannot claim that I fully grasped the implications of Hayek's little masterpiece at this time, [but] at this stage it was the..unanswerable criticisms of socialism in The Road to Serfdom which had an impact." In 1946 Roberts took the Final Honour School examination, graduating with a Second Class Bachelor of Arts degree. She subsequently studied crystallography and received a postgraduate BSc degree in 1947. Three years later, in 1950, she achieved a Master of Arts advanced degree, according to her entitlement as an Oxford BA of seven years' standing since matriculation.


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Geographical origins

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