Foot family

Isaac Foot senr (1842-1927), a WM local preacher of evangelical bent, was born in Horrabridge, Devon. He worked as a carpenter and undertaker and as a young man moved to Plymouth, where he established a large building business. He built the independent Mission Hall in Notte Street, Plymouth. He died at Plymouth in August 1927.

His son Isaac Foot junr (1880-1960) was born in Plymouth on 23 February 1880 and educated at the Hoe Grammar School under George P. Dymond. After a spell in the Civil Service he trained as a solicitor and in 1903 set up practice in Plymouth as Foot and Bowden. He was Liberal MP for Bodmin, 1922-1924 and 1929-1935 and served as Minister for Mines, 1931-1932. He was made a Privy Councillor in 1937 and was elected President of the Liberal Party in 1947. He last contested an election in 1945, when three of his sons also stood. He was Vice-President of the Conference in 1937 and was unanimously chosen as Lord Mayor of Plymouth in 1945, despite his not being on the city council. Like his father, he was a local preacher and temperance advocate. The University of Exeter gave him an honorary DLitt in 1959. A compulsive bibliophile with a remarkable memory, he lived in later years at Pencreber, Callington, which housed his vast library, sold on his death to the University of California. He habitually annotated his books heavily, but was the author only of a few booklets. He died at Callington on 13 December 1960.

The next generation included: Sir Dingle Mackintosh Foot QC (1905-1978), barrister, Liberal MP for Dundee 1931-1945 and later Labour MP for Ipswich and Solicitor General in the Labour Government of 1964-1967, hon. LLD, Dundee, 1974; Hugh Mackintosh Foot, later Lord Caradon (1907-1990), Governor of Cyprus in the 1950s and Permanent Representative to the UN 1964-70, maintaining his Methodist connection; John Mackintosh Foot, later Lord Foot (1909- ), Plymouth solicitor; and Michael Mackintosh Foot (1913-2010), journalist, author, Labour MP and leader of his party in opposition, 1981-1983, who abandoned his pacifism following the Spanish civil war and as one of the authors of Guilty Men (1940) attacked the policy of appeasement which led to the Munich agreement.

  • Conference Handbook, 1937
  • Times 20 June 1978; 6 Sept 1990
  • Methodist Recorder,18 August 1927; 15 & 22 Dec 1960; 20 Sept 1990
  • Hugh Foot, A Start in Freedom (1964)
  • M. Stenton and S. Lees, Who's Who of British MPs, vol. 3 (1979) and 4 (1981)
  • Sarah Foot, My Grandfather Isaac Foot (1980)
  • W. Ivor Thompson, The History of Hoe Grammar School and the Dymond Family (Plymouth, 1987)
  • Mervyn Jones, Michael Foot (1994)
  • Michael Foot and Alison Highet, Isaac Foot - a Westcountry Boy - Apostle of England (2006)
  • Kenneth O. Morgan, Michael Foot. A Life (2007)
  • Oxford DNB