Born in Richmond upon Thames, he was educated at Eton and obtained a Master of Arts from Balliol College, Oxford. In 1903 he became a barrister of Lincoln"s Inn.
In 1910, he stood for his father"s old seat of Bosworth and replaced him. He left politics in 1922, and succeeded his father in the Barony in 1934. McLaren was also a notable industrialist, and chaired companies from both sides of the family, including John Brown & Company and the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company.
In 1915 he was the founding chairman of the Design and Industries Association.
Around the end of his political career, in 1920, he had Aberconway House built as a residence in Mayfair. He was an avid horticulturalist and took interest in the breeding of rhododendrons and magnolias.
He sponsored several botanical collectors, including George Forrest, and Rhododendron aberconwayi is named in his honor. He died in Hiraethog aged 74.
Honorary Elizabeth Mary McLaren (31 May 1911 – 4 December 1991), married and had issue Charles McLaren, 3rd Baron Aberconway (1913–2003) South/Ldr.
Honorary John Francis McLaren (1919–1953) Doctor Honorary Anne McLaren (1927–2007), a noted biologist and Fellow of the Royal Society Honorary
Christopher Melville McLaren (b 15 April 1934), married and has issue.
28th United Kingdom Parliament. 30th United Kingdom Parliament. 31st United Kingdom Parliament]
In 1906 he was elected Member of Parliament (Member of Parliament) for West Staffordshire as a Liberal, and was Private Under-Secretary to the President of the Board of Trade, David Lloyd George, until 1908.