Earl of Oxford and Asquith
Earl of Oxford and Asquith is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1925 for the Liberal politician H. H. Asquith. He was Home Secretary from 1892 to 1895, Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1905 to 1908, Leader of the Liberal Party from 1908 to 1926 and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916. Asquith was made Viscount Asquith, of Morley in the West Riding of the County of York, at the same time, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. This title is used as a courtesy title by the heir apparent to the earldom. Asquith had originally wanted to be created simply 'Earl of Oxford'. However, this greatly offended the relatives of the dormant earldom of Oxford, held for many centuries by the de Vere family, and in the face of opposition from them, another title had to be selected — the formal title 'Earl of Oxford and Asquith' was finally decided as a compromise, with it being abbreviated to 'Earl of Oxford' in everyday conversation and letters. The first Earl was succeeded in 1928 by his grandson, his eldest son Raymond Asquith having been killed in World War I. The second Earl was a diplomat and administrator and served as Governor of the Seychelles from 1962 to 1967. He died in 2011 and was succeeded by his son, the third Earl and current holder of the title. The current Lord Oxford and Asquith is a retired diplomat.
Several other members of the Asquith family have also gained distinction. Raymond Asquith, eldest son of the first Earl and father of the second, was a barrister and intellectual. The Hon. Herbert Asquith, second son of the first Earl, was a poet, novelist and lawyer. The Hon. Arthur Melland Asquith (1883–1939), third son of the first Earl, was a Brigadier-General in the Army. The Hon. Cyril Asquith, fourth son of the first Earl, was a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and was created a life peer as Baron Asquith of Bishopstone in 1951. Violet Asquith, better known under her married name of Violet Bonham Carter, was a Liberal politician and was created a life peer as Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury in 1964. Her eldest son the Hon. Mark Bonham Carter was a publisher and politician and was created a life peer as Baron Bonham-Carter in 1986. His daughter is the life peer Jane Bonham Carter, Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury.
The Hon. Raymond Bonham Carter, second son of Baroness Asquith of Yarnbury, was a banker and the father of the noted actress Helena Bonham Carter and of Edward Bonham Carter. Elizabeth Asquith (better known by her married name of Elizabeth Bibesco), the only daughter from the second marriage of the first Earl, was a writer. She married the Romanian lawyer, diplomat and writer Prince Antoine Bibesco in 1919. The Hon. Anthony Asquith, only son from the second marriage of the first Earl, became a successful film director. The Hon. Dominic Asquith, second son of the second Earl, is a prominent diplomat and served as British Ambassador to Iraq from 2006 to 2007. Margot Asquith (née Tennant), second wife of the first Earl, a socialite, author and wit, became the Countess of Oxford and Asquith upon her husband's becoming the first Earl.
Earls of Oxford and Asquith (1925)
- Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith (1852–1928)
- Raymond Asquith (1878–1916)
- Julian Edward George Asquith, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Asquith (1916-2011)
- Raymond Benedict Bartholomew Michael Asquith, 3rd Earl of Oxford and Asquith (b. 1952)
The heir apparent is the present holder's only son, Mark Julian Asquith, Viscount Asquith (b. 1979).