Roper, Baron 2000 (Life Peer), of Thorney Island in the City of Westminster; John Francis Hodgess Roper; Liberal Democratic Chief Whip, House of Lords, since 2001; Hon. Professor, Institute for German Studies, University of Birmingham, since 1999; b 10 Sept. 1935, e s of late Rev Frederick Mabor Hodgess Roper and of Ellen Frances (nee Brockway); m 1959, (Valerie) Hope, er d of late Rt. Hon. L. John Edwards,PC, OBE, MP, and late Mrs. D. M. Edwards, one d Educ: William Hulme's Grammar Sch, Manchester, Reading Sch: Madgalen Coll., Oxford; Univ. of Chicago. Nat. Service, command RNVR, 1954-56; studied PPE, Oxford. 1956-59 (Pres. UN Student Assoc., 1957; organised Univ. referendum on Nuclear Disarmament); Harkness Fellow, Commonwealth Fund, 1959-61; Research Fellow on Economic Statistics, Univ. of Manchester, 1961, Asst Lectr in Econs, 1962-64, Lectr 1964-70, Faculty Tutor 1968-70; RIIA: Editor of International Affairs, 1983-88; Head of Internat. Security Programme, 1985-88, and 1989-90; Dir. of Studies, 1988-89; Associate Fellow, 1996-; Hd. WEU Inst. for Security Studies, Paris, 1990-95, Vis. Prof. Coll. of Europe, Bruges, 1997-2000. Contested: (Lab) High Peak (Derbys), 1964; (SDP) Worsley, 1983. MP (Lab and Co-op1970-81, SDP 1981-83 Farnwornh, 1970-83; PPS to Minister of State, Dol. 1978-79; opposition front bench spokesman on defence, 1979-81; Social Democrat Chief Whip,1981-83. Vice-Chairman Anglo-German Party Gp. 1974-83; Anglo-Benelux Party Gp. 1979-83; Chm. British-Atlantic Gp of Young Politicians, 1974-5. Counsel of Europe Consultant,1965-66; Mem. Consultative Assembly, 1973-80; Chm. Centre on Culture and Educn. 1979-80; Mem. WEU Assembly, 1973-80; Chm. Centre on Defence Questions and Disarmaments, WEU, 1977-80. Hon Treasurer, Fabian Soc., 1976-81; Chairman, Labor Centre for Europe, 1976-80; GB/East Europe Centre, 1987-90; Council on Christian Approaches to Defence and Disarmament, 1983-89; Mem. Internat. Comm. on Balkans, 1995-96. Research Adviser (part-time), DEA in NW, 1967-79. Director: Co-op Wholesale Soc., 1969-74; Co-op Insurance Soc., 1971-74; Pres. Gen. Council, IBA, 1974-79. Vice-Pres. Manchester Statistical Soc., 1971-. Trustee, Hist. of Park Trust, 1974-84. Publications: Towards Regional Co-operatives, 1967; The Teaching of Economics at University Level, 1970. The Future of British Defence Policy, 1985; (ed. with Karl Kaiser) British-German Defence Co-operation, 1988; (ed. with Yves Boyer) Franco-British Defence Co-operation, 1988; (ed. with Nicole G....) Western Europe and the Gulf, 1992; (ed with Nanette Gantt) Towards a New Partnership, 1993; (ed with Laurence M...) Towards a Common Defence Policy, 1995. Recreations: reading, travel. Address: House of Lords, 5W1A 0PW, T: (020) 7219 3114. Club: Oxford and Cambridge.
http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page175.asp: 10 Downing Street stands on what was once a piece of marshy and boggy land known as Thorney Island or the Island of Thorns. The 30 acre island lay between two branches of the River Tyburn which flowed from Hampstead Heath to the Thames. The Thames was wider and shallower in the past and a ford, near where Westminster Bridge now stands, joined the Roman road from Kent. The Romans therefore selected Thorney Island as a site for settlement. In later centuries King Canute (r.1017-35), who was said to have commanded the tide to stop to illustrate the limits of his powers to his courtiers, built a royal palace here. Then Edward the Confessor (r. 1042-66) and William I (r. 1066-87) built far more extensively, and Thorney Island or Westminster as it had become known, was established as the centre of Government and the Church.
http://www.britainexpress.com/articles/London/Westminster_Abbey_origins.htm: Westminster Abbey The Abbey at Westminster is built upon what was once an island - Thorney Island - a marshy retreat from the City of London. The island was at one time flanked by two channels of the Tyburn River, which flowed where Downing Street and Great College Street now run. There may have been a Christian church on Thorney Island as early as 604 AD, just eight years after the first Christian mission under St Augustine landed near Canterbury in 596 AD. In that same year of 604, Ethelbert, uncle of the king of the East Saxons, founded St Paul's in the City of London. Later royals followed the pattern; King Edgar (957-75) gave land for a church, and several kings, including Canute and Ethelred, donated relics. St Dunstan endowed a place for a dozen monks in 960 AD. But it is to one man that we owe the marvellous church we can see today. Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) had a vision of an eclesiastic-royal complex including a palace with a large monastery and an abbey church suitable for royal functions and burials. Devout though Edward certainly was, he was also driven by guilt in his building project. Earlier in his reign he had been forced to flee from a Danish invasion into exile in Normandy. He made a solemn vow that if he ever regained his throne he would make a pilgrimage to Rome in gratitude. He did indeed manage to oust the Danes and regain the throne, but the politically uncertain climate made it unwise for him to leave for Rome. Pope Leo, being an understanding sort, excused Edward from his vow - on condition that the king re-endow the monastery of Westminster. So Edward went to work. He rebuilt the old Saxon church in the new Romanesque style and began his palace nearby. The work was consecrated on December 28, 1065, but Edward himself lived only another eight days. Harold Godwinson followed him as king, and he may have begun the tradition of royal coronations in the Abbey. Certainly Harold's successor, William the Conqueror, was crowned here, on December 25, 1066.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Roper .