Thatcher, Margaret Hilda, née Roberts, Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven

Right-wing Conservative politician, born in Grantham, into a Methodist family, who regularly attended Finkin Street church and Sunday School. As a student at Somerville College, Oxford she was active in MethSoc. The daughter of a local shopkeeper, through her family background she inherited John Wesley's independence, industriousness, thrift and concern for public service, though not his distrust of surplus wealth or bias in favour of the poor. She was married in 1951 in Wesley's Chapel, London and was called to the Bar in 1954. Becoming an MP in 1959, she was Secretary of State for Education and Science 1970-1974 and Prime Minister 1979-1990, the first woman to hold that office. She was made a life peer in 1992 and was remembered for the determination that earned her the title of 'the Iron Lady'. She published two volumes of autobiography, The Downing Street Years (1993) and The Path to Power (1995). She died in London on 8 April 2013 and, though still a highly controversial figure, was accorded a state funeral at St. Paul's cathedral..


'Alfred Roberts … was a local preacher, an alderman and eventually mayor of Grantham… He was a tall and stately man and extremely good-looking, as was Margaret his daughter. But one thing I discovered was that there was another side to the Iron Lady that was kind and compassionate…

'She says, writing in the "Daily Telegraph" in June 1980, "I owe a great deal to the Church for everything I believe. I am glad I was brought up strictly." '

Rev. Allan Bowers, in Methodist Recorder, 3 May 2013

  • Hugo Young, One of Us: a biography of Margaret Thatcher (1989)
  • J.A. Newton in The Tablet, 1 Dec 1990
  • John Campbell, Margaret Thatcher: the Grocer's Daughter (2000)
  • Graeme Smith, 'Margaret Thatcher's Christian faith: a case study in political theology', in Journal of Religious Ethics, vol. 35:2 (2007) pp.233-57
  • Brenda Maddox, Maggie: the first lady (2003)
  • Nick Spencer (ed.), The Mighty and the Almighty: How political leaders do God (2017)
  • Times, 9 April 2013
  • Church Times, 12 April 2013
  • Methodist Recorder, 3 May 2013, 5 July 2013
  • Charles Moore, Margaret Thatcher: the authorized biography, volume one: Not for Turning (2013)
  • Eliza Filby, God and Mrs. Thatcher: the battle for Britain's soul (2015)