Peter Pemberton 1944-2023

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Peter Pemberton, a founding figure of The Evelyn Trust.

He joined the Board in the early days, when it was a hospital, took a major part in the transition to the Trust in its present form in 2003 and remained on the Board until 2015. 

He was a dedicated and very hard-working Trustee, whose sharp wit enlivened many board meetings. Dogged by ill-health for the last two decades of his life, Peter joked that he was well qualified to assess medical research projects coming out of Addenbrooke’s because he had been a patient guinea-pig for a good many of them. He spoke eloquently in favour of some of the smaller primary healthcare grant proposals, while at the same time diligently checking cost controls and general discipline on the larger landmark projects.

Peter was born on May 1, 1944 to Sir Francis and Lady Diana Pemberton, and educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge, where he graduated in land economy in 1966.  A proficient horseman, Peter was once gated for riding across King’s College lawn on his way to visit a friend. The venture earned him an amused letter from the Bursar of Trinity, who could not resist the temptation to congratulate him on his skill in the saddle.

Peter became a chartered surveyor, training at Strutt and Parker in London, then joining Bidwells Cambridge, where he was a partner. He worked there for 27 years until 1996, specialising in managing great country estates such as Woburn Abbey. He led the original plans to develop the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, which is now a world leading life science park. Peter acted for the family but brought all the parties together.  He took a number of non-executive board roles, including the Museum of London Docklands and Papworth Hospital, as well as being a director of the family business, Trumpington Farm Company.

The Pemberton family has a long and generous association with the Trust, having provided donations as well as directors. Peter’s grandfather, a general practitioner, was present in 1918 at the life-saving operation on Evelyn Agnew, whose name the hospital bore. Peter is survived by his wife Anthea and his son Jeremy, who is a Trustee, and married to Tana with a 19-month old son, Rex. Peter died on February 12, 2023, at the age of 79.

Will Dawkins, Trustee