It is with great sorrow that the Chapter of Felicity announces the passing of our friend and Companion the Right Honourable the Lord Peter Julian Millett GBS on 27 May 2021.
Lord Millet was a prominent and senior Freemason. He was the first Metropolitan Grand Master and Metropolitan First Grand Principal. He was initiated into the Chancery Bar Lodge No 2456 in 1968 before joining the Old Harrovian Lodge No 4653 in 1971. He served as Assistant Grand Registrar in 1983 and was promoted to Past Junior Grand Warden in 1994. He has also found time to be a Member of the Panel of the Commission for Appeals Courts since 1991. He was exalted into this Chapter in 1977, becoming First Principal in 1985.
Lord Millett was born in the United Kingdom in 1932, the only son of Denis Millett and Adele Yvette Weinberg. His father’s family had emigrated to Britain in the late 19th century from what was then Austrian Galicia (now part of Poland). He went to Harrow before going up to Trinity Hall with an open scholarship, taking his a double first in Classics and Law and later being made an Honorary Fellow. He served as a Flying Officer in the RAF from 1955 to 1957.
He was called to the English Bar at the Middle Temple in 1955 and admitted ad eundem to Lincoln’s Inn in 1959, where he was a pupil to John Mills. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1973, and from 1977 to 1982 was member of the Department of Trade Insolvency Law Review Committee, before being appointed a Judge of the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division in 1986. He was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal and a Privy Counsellor in 1994 and a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 1998. Lord Millett was latterly a Non-Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.
In its statement the Hong Kong Judiciary marked the important contributions he made as a member of that Court and described him as held being held “in the highest regard as a jurist and one of the greatest legal minds of our time”. In the UK he was “widely regarded by counsel as a very good judge to appear in front of, he was quick on the uptake, interested and courteous, and his judgments were generally seen as excellent”.
He was President of the West London Synagogue from 1991 to 1995.
Lord Millett was knighted in 1986 and made a life peer in 1998. He was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star in 2015.
Millett married Ann Mireille Harris in 1959. They had three sons and five grandchildren.
Photo Credit: Universal Pictorial Press Photo