Almeric Paget, 1st Baron Queenborough

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Almeric Hugh Paget
GBE
Member of Parliament
for Cambridge
In office
January 1910 – 1917
Preceded by Stanley Buckmaster
Succeeded by Sir Eric Geddes
Majority 587
Personal details
Born (1861-03-14)14 March 1861
London, England
Died 22 September 1949(1949-09-22) (aged 88)
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s)
Children Five daughters

Almeric Hugh Paget, 1st Baron Queenborough GBE (14 March 1861 – 22 September 1949) was born into a noble family, but left school with only £5 to his name. He became a cowboy, self-made industrialist, award-winning yachtsman, British peer and Conservative Party politician, founder of the Military Massage Service and the Cambridgeshire Battalion of The Suffolk Regiment, and treasurer of the League of Nations Union.

Background and education[edit]

Born in London on 14 March 1861, Paget was the sixth and youngest son of Lord Alfred Paget (the fifth son of the Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey) and Cecilia Wyndham.[1] His grandfather had commanded the British cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Educated at Harrow,[2] he was later made a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.[2]

Early life[edit]

Paget briefly worked for the Midland Railway, Derbyshire before emigrating to the United States in 1881. He established a cattle ranch at Le Mars, Iowa, where he became acquainted with Theodore Roosevelt. Later he relocated to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he was a real estate agent. Paget finally moved to New York City, where his brother Arthur introduced him to society. He lived in what is now Lubin House, Syracuse University's alumni centre."Miss Whitney's Engagement. The Daughter of the ex-Secretary of the Navy to Marry Almeric H. Paget, Son of Lord Alfred Paget". The New York Times. 25 July 1895. "Paget was still a resident of Saint Paul when his engagement to Pauline Payne Whitney was announced in July 1895." 

He joined Henry Melville Whitney in establishing the Dominion Coal Company Ltd. in 1893 and the Dominion Iron and Steel Company Ltd. in 1901 at Sydney, Nova Scotia. On 12 November 1895, he married Whitney's niece, the American heiress Pauline Payne Whitney. The marriage was solemnized at St. Thomas's Church in New York City, and among those attending was President Grover Cleveland. The Pagets were the parents of two daughters:

Election to Parliament[edit]

In 1901 the Pagets moved to England, ostensibly due to Pauline's poor health. The family initially settled in Brandon Park House, Suffolk,[3] and was appointed High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1909. Paget was a highly successful yachtsman, winning the first prize in the open handicap race from Cannes to Monte Carlo in 1902, and winning the Tsar's prize at Cowes Week in 1909. On his return to England from the US, he was appointed rear-commodore of the Royal Thames Yacht Club; later he was named commodore. The Belvidere Cup was named by Paget in 1913, in honour of a boat owned by his father which had competed for the cup the first time it was contested in 1845.

In 1906, Paget contested the Cambridge constituency, losing with 3,924 votes to 4,232 for Stanley Buckmaster. Paget was named president of the Eastern Provincial Division of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations in 1909. In January 1910 he narrowly won the seat with 4,667 votes to 4,080 for Buckmaster, holding the seat until his resignation in 1917.

First World War[edit]

Uniform of the Almeric Paget Military Massage Corps, 1916

In August 1914 Paget founded the Almeric Paget Massage Corps (renamed the Almeric Paget Military Massage Corps in December 1916, and the Military Massage Service in 1919).[4] Initially 50 masseuses were recruited, rapidly rising to over 100.[4] The corps established clinics in every hospital in the United Kingdom, with central direction from Paget's London townhouse at 39 Berkeley Square. After the war, clinics were continued in the poorer parts of London, with treatment provided for all who applied.

In November 1914 Paget founded the Massage and Electrical Outpatient Clinic, in premises at 55 Portland Place, London, loaned by Lady Alexander Paget. For the duration of the First World War the clinic treated an average of 200 wounded officers and soldiers per day.[4] In addition to the Massage Corps, following the outbreak of war Paget sponsored the formation of a Cambridgeshire Battalion formed of volunteers. Comprising approximately 1,350 volunteers, it became the 11th Battalion of The Suffolk Regiment, popularly known as the Cambs Suffolks.[5] The Battalion was initially posted within the UK, transferring to France in 1916; 970 members died during World War I including 190 on 1 July 1916, first day on the Somme.[6]

It was in the middle of the war that Pauline Paget died at Esher, Surrey, after a three weeks' illness on 22 November 1916.[7] She was buried at Hertingfordbury, Hertfordshire.[8]

Ennoblement and later career[edit]

Paget resigned his parliamentary seat in July 1917. On 18 January 1918 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Queenborough, of Queenborough in the County of Kent.[9] On 19 July 1921, in New York City, he married conspiracy theorist and anti-Mormon agitator[citation needed] Edith Starr Miller, daughter of a wealthy American couple, William Starr Miller and Edith Caroline (Warren) Miller. Edith Starr Miller was a granddaughter of George H. Warren, one of the founders of the Metropolitan Opera.[10] Edith Miller authored Common Sense in the Kitchen[11] and Occult Theocrasy.[12] After this marriage Paget moved to Camfield Place, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire.[13] The Pagets had three daughters:

  • Hon. Audrey Elizabeth (b. 4 May 1922 – d. 1991, aviatrix)
  • Hon. Enid Louise (b. 14 July 1923)
  • Hon. Cicilie Carol (b. 18 April 1928)

In 1920 he was appointed treasurer of the League of Nations Union, an office he held for sixteen years. He resigned in 1936 in protest at the League's recognition and admission of the Soviet Union. Lord Queensborough was created Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in 1926.

Lord Queenborough served as president of the Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico (Chihuahua and Pacific Railroad), chairman of Caxton Electrical Developments, chairman of Siemens Brothers & Co., and chairman of the Queenborough Port Development Company. He was also governor of Guy's Hospital, Southwark; president of Miller General Hospital, Greenwich; president of Preston Hall Hospital, Maidstone; member of the Council of the Zoological Society of London; a Knight of Justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (K.J.St.J.); and president of the Royal Society of St George.[14]

The Pagets later separated, and Edith sued in New York City for legal separation on 8 January 1932, citing cruelty.[15] She died in Paris a year later, on 16 January 1933.[16]

During the 1930s, Paget was a keen supporter of Francisco Franco[17] and Adolf Hitler,"All that we hold most dear". Saturday Review. 19 September 1936. "Paget described Hitler's régime as having "produced order from chaos"."  extolling the Führer as late as 1939.[18]

He was also a fanatical anti-Bolshevik campaigner, and in a 1935 article described a perceived plot between the Freemasons and the Communists to take over Europe.[19] His son-in-law, the third husband of Olive Cecilia, Sir Adrian William Maxwell Baillie, Bt., was Member of Parliament for Tonbridge from 1937 to 1945.[20]

Despite these sympathies, he was appointed President of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations between 1928–29, and again in 1940–41. He died at Hatfield on 22 September 1949, aged 88. With no male heirs, his title became extinct.[21][22]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (1999). Burke's Peerage and Baronetage 1 (100 ed.). Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd. p. 77. 
  2. ^ a b Who was Who. OUP. 2007. 
  3. ^ Tree & History Trail, Brandon Park. Ipswich: Suffolk County Council. 1999. 
  4. ^ a b c "Focus on Women in Uniform: The Almeric Paget Military Massage Corps". The National Archives. 2007. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  5. ^ Curme, Phil (2007-08-10). "The Cambs Suffolks: The Early Days". Walking the Battlefields. Archived from the original on 20 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  6. ^ Curme, Phil (2007-08-10). "The 11th Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)". Walking the Battlefields. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  7. ^ "Mrs. Almeric H. Paget Dies. Former Miss Pauline Whitney of New York Expires at Esher, Eng.". The New York Times. 23 November 1916. 
  8. ^ Mosley, op. cit.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30494. p. 1228. 25 January 1918.
  10. ^ "Lord Queenborough Weds Miss Miller. British Peer Quietly Marries Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Starr Miller". The New York Times. July 20, 1921. 
  11. ^ Miller, E. S. (1918). Common Sense in the Kitchen, Normal Rations for Normal Times. New York: Brentino's. 
  12. ^ Miller, Lady Queenborough (Edith Starr) (1933). Occult Theocrasy. Abbeville, France: F. Paillart. 
  13. ^ Sencourt, Robert (1949). Heirs of Tradition. Tributes of a New Zealander. London: Carroll & Nicholson. pp. 105–106n. 
  14. ^ Pine, Leslie Gilbert (1972). The New Extinct Peerage, 1884–1971. London:: Heraldry Today. pp. 222–223. 
  15. ^ "Separation Asked by Lady Paget Here". The New York Times. 9 January 1932. 
  16. ^ "Lady Queenborough Dies in Paris at 45". The New York Times. 17 January 193. 
  17. ^ Sencourt, p. 172.
  18. ^ Domville-Fyfe, Charles, ed. (1939). "Paget, Lord Queenborough". This is Germany. London: Seely Service & Co. Ltd. "It has been wisely said that, upon examination, few things prove wholly bad, and in view of the vital and urgent need for a better understanding between ourselves and Germany this work, which reveals so much that is sound and constructive and worthy of praise, should serve as a timely and excellent antidote to the over numerous publications designed solely to vilify and distort and denigrate the policy and achievements of the remarkable man who, after fifteen years of bitter struggle, became the leader of eighty millions of Germans." 
  19. ^ Paget, Lord Queenborough, Almeric H. (August 1935). "World Plan in Action". English Review. 
  20. ^ Haxey, Simon (1939). England's Money Lords, Tory M.P. New York: Harrison-Hilton Books. p. 131. 
  21. ^ "Former Cowpuncher Who Came to US With £5 in Youth and Made a Fortune Dies". The New York Times. 23 September 1949. 
  22. ^ "Lord Queenborough". The Illustrated London News. 1 October 1949. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Stanley Buckmaster
Member of Parliament for Cambridge
Jan. 1910 – 1917
Succeeded by
Sir Eric Geddes
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Queenborough
1918–1949
Extinct