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Born into a family of academics and Indian administrators, Butler enjoyed a brilliant academic career before entering Parliament in 1929.

As a junior minister, he helped to pass the Government of India Act 1935.

The following morning, Rab had to escort Baldwin back to the railway station, where, according to one version of the story, Baldwin bought him a copy of "Something Fresh" by P. Wodehouse with an admonition not to take life too seriously.

In History, he took the Peel special subject, at one point knowing by name which way every Conservative MP voted in the split over the Irish Coercion Bill of 1846.Butler married Sydney Elizabeth Courtauld on 20 April 1926.At the end of his second year, he was elected Secretary for Michaelmas (autumn term) 1923 at his second attempt, by the narrow margin of 10 votes out of 500.At that time, Secretary was the only office normally contested, putting him on track to be Vice-President for Lent 1924 and President for Easter (summer term) 1924.Butler, a Cambridge historian and Conservative MP for the university, Butler's uncle and a particular early influence on him.

Butler attended several preparatory schools but refused to attend Harrow, where many of his family had been educated.At the end of his second year (June 1923), he achieved a First in French Part I and was awarded an £80 scholarship to supplement his £300 parental allowance (approximately £4,000 and £15,000 at 2014 prices).Psychiatric illness was then still little understood.(9 December 1902 – 8 March 1982), generally known as R. Butler and familiarly known from his initials as Rab, was a prominent British Conservative politician.The Times obituary called him "the creator of the modern educational system, the key-figure in the revival of post-war Conservatism, arguably the most successful chancellor since the war and unquestionably a Home Secretary of reforming zeal." He was one of his party's leaders in promoting the post-war consensus through which the major parties largely agreed on the main points of domestic policy until the 1970s, sometimes known as "Butskellism" from an elision of his name with that of his Labour counterpart Hugh Gaitskell.The Butlers lived at Stanstead Hall and, in 1938, they moved into 3 Smith Square, which remained Butler's London base throughout his career.