James Harris, 3rd Earl of Malmesbury

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Malmesbury
GCB PC
3rd Earl of Malmesbury.jpg
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
27 February 1852 – 28 December 1852
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Earl of Derby
Preceded by The Earl Granville
Succeeded by Lord John Russell
In office
26 February 1858 – 18 June 1859
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Earl of Derby
Preceded by The Earl of Clarendon
Succeeded by Lord John Russell
Personal details
Born 25 March 1807 (2014-04-17UTC04:10:53)
Died 17 May 1889 (2014-04-17UTC04:10:54)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative)
Spouse(s) (1) Lady Corisande Emma Bennet (d. 1876)
(2) Susan Hamilton (d. 1935)
Alma mater Oriel College, Oxford

James Howard Harris, 3rd Earl of Malmesbury GCB, PC (25 March 1807 – 17 May 1889), styled Viscount FitzHarris from 1820 to 1841, was a British statesman of the Victorian era.

Background and education[edit]

The eldest son of James Edward Harris, 2nd Earl of Malmesbury, he was educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford. He spent several years travelling and making acquaintance with famous people, including the future Napoleon III of France.

Political career[edit]

In 1841 he had only just been elected to the House of Commons for Wilton as a Conservative, when his father died and he succeeded to the peerage. Malmesbury served as Foreign Secretary under the Earl of Derby in 1852 and again from 1858 to 1859 and was also Lord Privy Seal under Derby and Benjamin Disraeli between 1866 and 1868 and under Disraeli between 1874 and 1876. In 1852 he was admitted to the Privy Council. He was regarded as an influential Tory of the old school in the House of Lords at a time when Lord Derby and Disraeli were, in their different ways, moulding the Conservatism of the period.

In his two brief terms as foreign secretary, Malmesbury pursued a cautious, Conservative policy. His friendship with the exiled Louis Napoleon helped lead to quick British acquiescence in the Prince-President's decision to restore the Empire in 1852, but did not prevent Malmesbury from pursuing a policy relatively sympathetic to Austria during the crisis leading up to the Italian War of 1859. Malmesbury was particularly horrified by the behavior of Cavour, and at the fact that a small country like Piedmont was able so easily to threaten the European peace.

His long life, and the publication of his Memoirs of an Ex-Minister in 1884, contributed to his reputation. The Memoirs, charmingly written, full of anecdote, and containing much interesting material for the history of the time, remain his chief title to remembrance. Lord Malmesbury also edited his grandfather’s Diaries and Correspondence (1844), and in 1870 published The First Lord Malmesbury and His Friends.

Personal life[edit]

Lord Malmesbury died childless in May 1889, aged 82, and was succeeded in the earldom by his nephew, Edward Harris.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Baker
Member of Parliament for Wilton
1841
Succeeded by
Viscount Somerton
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl Granville
Foreign Secretary
1852
Succeeded by
The Lord John Russell
Preceded by
The Earl of Clarendon
Foreign Secretary
1858–1859
Succeeded by
The Lord John Russell
Preceded by
The Duke of Argyll
Lord Privy Seal
1866–1868
Succeeded by
The Earl of Kimberley
Preceded by
The Earl of Derby
Leader of the House of Lords
1868
Succeeded by
The Earl Granville
Preceded by
The Viscount Halifax
Lord Privy Seal
1874–1876
Succeeded by
The Earl of Beaconsfield
Party political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Derby
Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords
1868–1869
Succeeded by
The Lord Cairns
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
James Harris
Earl of Malmesbury
1841–1889
Succeeded by
Edward James Harris