Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Rosebery
KG PC
Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery - 1890s.jpg
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
5 March 1894 – 22 June 1895
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by William Ewart Gladstone
Succeeded by The Marquess of Salisbury
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
6 February 1886 – 3 August 1886
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Preceded by The Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded by The Earl of Iddesleigh
In office
18 August 1892 – 10 March 1894
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Preceded by The Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded by The Earl of Kimberley
Lord President of the Council
In office
10 March 1894 – 21 June 1895
Prime Minister Himself
Preceded by The Earl of Kimberley
Succeeded by The Duke of Devonshire
Leader of the Opposition
In office
22 June 1895 – 6 October 1896
Preceded by The Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded by Sir William Harcourt
Personal details
Born Archibald Philip Primrose
(1847-05-07)7 May 1847
Berkeley Square, London
Died 21 May 1929(1929-05-21) (aged 82)
Epsom, Surrey
Resting place Dalmeny Parish Church, Edinburgh
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Hannah de Rothschild (1878-1890; her death)
Children 4
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Religion Anglican[1]
Signature

Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, 1st Earl of Midlothian, KG, PC (7 May 1847 – 21 May 1929) was a British Liberal statesman and Prime Minister. Between the death of his father, in 1851, and the death of his grandfather, the 4th Earl, in 1868, he was known by the courtesy title of Lord Dalmeny.

He was the first to coin the term the Commonwealth of Nations, which led to the British Empire evolving into such.[citation needed]

Rosebery was a Liberal Imperialist who favoured strong national defence and imperialism abroad and social reform at home, while being solidly anti-socialist. His parents were Scottish and his earldom title was part of the peerage of Scotland. Rosebery married Hannah de Rothschild, the heiress of Mayer Amschel de Rothschild.

Early life[edit]

Archibald Philip Primrose was born in his parents' house in Charles Street, London, on 7 May 1847. His father, who, as heir to the 4th Earl of Rosebery, was known by the courtesy title of Lord Dalmeny, was MP for Stirling from 1832 to 1847 and served as First Lord of the Admiralty under Lord Melbourne. His mother, Wilhemina, was a daughter of Earl Stanhope. Lord Dalmeny died on 23 January 1851, the courtesy title passing to his son as the new heir to the earldom. In 1854, his mother married the Duke of Cleveland. The relationship between mother and son was very poor. His elder and favorite sister became Lady Leconfield.[2] Dalmeny attended preparatory schools in Hertfordshire and Brighton.

Dalmeny attended Eton between 1860 and 1865. His remarkable intellect, displayed in debates, attracted the attention of William Johnson Cory. Michael Matthew Kaylor's Secreted Desires: The Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater and Wilde (2006) explores their personal relationship.

Dalmeny was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, through the years 1865 until 1869. The three Prime Ministers from 1880 to 1902 – Gladstone, Salisbury and Rosebery – all went to both Eton and Christ Church. A prominent figure on the turf for 40 years, Dalmeny bought a horse, Ladas, in 1868, though a rule banned undergraduates from owning horses. When he was found out, he was offered a choice: sell the horse or give up his studies. He chose the latter.

When his grandfather died, in 1868, Dalmeny became Earl of Rosebery. This did not entitle Archibald Primrose to sit in the House of Lords, as the title is part of the old Peerage of Scotland, from which 16 members (representative peers) were elected to sit in the Lords for each session of Parliament. However, in 1828, Rosebery's grandfather had been created 1st Baron Rosebery in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which did entitle Rosebery to sit in the Lords like all peers of the United Kingdom.

Rosebery toured the United States in 1873, 1874 and 1876. He was pressed to marry Marie Fox, the adopted daughter of Lord Holland. However, Fox, who was only sixteen, declined and later married Prince Louis of Liechtenstein.

Rosebery is reputed to have said that he had three aims in life: to win the Derby, to marry an heiress, and to become Prime Minister.[3] He managed all three.

Personal life after 1878[edit]

Marriage[edit]

In 1878, Rosebery married Hannah, only child of the Jewish banker Baron Mayer de Rothschild, and the greatest British heiress of her day. Her father had died in 1874, leaving her the bulk of his estate. They were married in the Board of Guardians in Mount Street, London, on 20 March 1878, when he was 31 and she 27. Later that day, the marriage was blessed in a Christian ceremony in Christ Church, Down Street, Piccadilly. In January, Rosebery had said to a friend that he found Hannah "very simple, very unspoilt, very clever, very warm-hearted and very shy ... I never knew such a beautiful character." Both Queen Victoria's son the Prince of Wales and her cousin, the army commander George, Duke of Cambridge attended the ceremony. Hannah's death in 1890 from typhoid, compounded by Bright's disease, left him distraught.

Later, it was speculated that Rosebery intended to marry the widowed Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany, who had been married to Queen Victoria's fourth son, Prince Leopold.[4]

It was also speculated that Rosebery was bisexual. Like Oscar Wilde, he was hounded by John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry, for his association with one of Queensberry's sons — Francis Douglas, Viscount Drumlanrig[5] — who was his private secretary.

Children[edit]

Rosebery had four children with Hannah:

Margot Asquith said that Rosebery loved to play with his children.

Homes[edit]

Dalmeny House was the ancestral seat of the Earls of Rosebery and the setting for Lord and Lady Rosebery's political houseparties.

Rosebery was the owner of twelve houses. By marriage, he acquired:

With his fortune, he bought:

  • a shooting lodge at Carrington in Midlothian
  • a Georgian villa at Postwick in Norfolk
  • In 1897, he bought Villa Delahante in Posillipo, overlooking the Bay of Naples, currently residence of the President of the Italian Republic, still known as "Villa Rosebery"
  • 38 Berkeley Square, London
  • The Durdans, Epsom, where he died in 1929.

As Earl of Rosebery, he was laird of:

He rented:

Additionally, he rented Holland House for a period before its owner, Henry Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland, reached adulthood.[7][dubious ]

Ancestry[edit]

Early political career[edit]

At Eton, Rosebery notably attacked Charles I of England for his despotism, and went on to praise his Whig forebears - his ancestor, James Stanhope, 1st Earl Stanhope, was a minister to George I of Great Britain.

Benjamin Disraeli often met with Rosebery in the 1870s to try to recruit him for his party, but this proved futile. Disraeli's major rival, William Ewart Gladstone, also pursued Rosebery, with considerable success.

As part of the Liberal plan to get Gladstone to be MP for Midlothian, Rosebery sponsored and largely ran the Midlothian Campaign of 1879. He based this on what he had observed in elections in the United States. Gladstone spoke from open-deck trains, and gathered mass support. In 1880, he was duly elected Member for Midlothian and returned to the premiership.[39][40]

Rosebery served as Foreign Secretary in Gladstone's brief third ministry, 1886. He served as the first chairman of the London County Council, set up by the Conservatives in 1889. Rosebery Avenue in Clerkenwell is named after him.

He served as President of the first day of the 1890 Co-operative Congress.[41]

Rosebery's second period as Foreign Secretary, 1892-1894, predominantly involved quarrels with France over Uganda. To quote his hero Napoleon, Rosebery thought that "the Master of Egypt is the Master of India"; thus he pursued the policy of expansion in Africa.

Rosebery helped Gladstone's Second Home Rule Bill in the House of Lords; nevertheless it was defeated overwhelmingly in the autumn of 1893. The first bill, in 1886, had been defeated in the House of Commons.

Prime Minister[edit]

Rosebery became a leader of the Liberal Imperialist faction of the Liberal Party and when Gladstone retired, in 1894, Rosebery succeeded him as Prime Minister, much to the disgust of Sir William Harcourt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the more left-wing Liberals. Rosebery's selection was largely because Queen Victoria disliked most of the other leading Liberals.

Rosebery's government was largely unsuccessful. His designs in foreign policy, such as expansion of the fleet, were defeated by disagreements within the Liberal Party, while the Unionist-dominated House of Lords stopped the whole of the Liberals' domestic legislation. The strongest figure in the cabinet was Rosebery's rival, Harcourt. He and his son Lewis were perennial critics of Rosebery's policies.

According to his biographer, Robert Rhodes James, Rosebery rapidly lost interest in running the government. In the last year of his premiership, he was increasingly haggard: he suffered insomnia due to the continual dissension in his Cabinet. There were two future prime ministers in the Cabinet, Home Secretary Herbert Asquith, and Secretary of State for War Henry Campbell-Bannerman.

On 21 June 1895, the government lost a vote in committee on army supply by just seven votes. While this might have been treated merely as a vote of no confidence in Secretary for War Campbell-Bannerman, Rosebery chose to treat it as a vote of censure on his government. On 22 June, he and his ministers tendered their resignations to the Queen, who invited the Unionist leader, Lord Salisbury, to form a government. The following month, the Unionists won a crushing victory in the 1895 general election, and held power for ten years (1895–1905) under Salisbury and Arthur Balfour.

Later life[edit]

Rosebery caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1901

Rosebery resigned as leader of the Liberal Party on 6 October 1896, to be succeeded by Harcourt and gradually moved further and further from the mainstream of the party, but a much-trailed speech at Chesterfield in 1900 was expected to mark his return to active politics. He supported the Boer War and opposed Irish Home Rule, a position that prevented him from participating in the Liberal government that returned to power in 1905. In his later years, Rosebery turned to writing, including biographies of Lord Chatham, Pitt the Younger, Napoleon, and Lord Randolph Churchill. Another one of his passionate interests was the collecting of books.

The last years of his political life saw Rosebery become a purely negative critic of the Liberal governments of Campbell-Bannerman and Asquith. His crusade "for freedom as against bureaucracy, for freedom as against democratic tyranny, for freedom as against class legislation, and... for freedom as against Socialism"[42] was a lonely one, conducted from the crossbenches in the Lords. He joined the die-hard unionist peers in attacking Lloyd George's redistributive People's Budget in 1909 but stopped short of voting against the measure for fear of bringing retribution upon the Lords. The crisis provoked by the Lords' rejection of the budget encouraged him to reintroduce his resolutions for Lords reform, but they were lost with the dissolution of parliament in December 1910.

After assaulting the "ill-judged, revolutionary and partisan" terms of the 1911 Parliament Bill,[43] which proposed to curb the Lords' veto, he voted with the government in what proved to be his last appearance in the House of Lords. This was effectively the end of his public life, though he made several public appearances to support the war effort after 1914 and sponsored a "bantam battalion" in 1915. Though Lloyd George offered him "a high post not involving departmental labour" to augment his 1916 coalition, Rosebery declined to serve.[44]

The last year of the war was clouded by two personal tragedies: his son Neil's death in Palestine in November 1917 and Rosebery's own stroke a few days before the armistice. He regained his mental powers, but his movement, hearing, and sight remained impaired for the rest of his life. His sister, Constance, described his last years as a "life of weariness, of total inactivity, & at the last of almost blindness"; John Buchan remembered him in his last month of life, "crushed by bodily weakness" and "sunk in sad and silent meditations".[45] Rosebery died at The Durdans, Epsom, Surrey, on 21 May 1929, to the accompaniment, as he had requested, of a gramophone recording of the Eton Boating Song. Survived by three of his four children, he was buried in the small church at Dalmeny.

When Rosebery died in 1929 his estate was probated at £1,500,122 3s. 6d.; (equivalent of £63 million now) he was thus the richest Prime Minister ever, followed by Salisbury, then by Palmerston.

Sport Interests[edit]

Thoroughbred horse racing[edit]

As a result of his marriage to Hannah de Rothschild, Rosebery acquired Mentmore Towers and Mentmore stud near Leighton Buzzard that had been built by Mayer Amschel de Rothschild. Rosebery built another stable and stud near Mentmore Towers at Crafton, Buckinghamshire, called Crafton Stud.

Rosebery's horses won at least one of each of the five English Classic Races. Among the most famous were Ladas who won the 1894 Epsom Derby, Sir Visto who did it again in 1895 (Rosebery was Prime Minister on both occasions), and Cicero in 1905.

Football[edit]

Rosebery became the first president of the London Scottish Rugby Football Club in 1878, also developed a keen in interest in association football and was an early patron of the sport in Scotland. In 1882 he donated a trophy, the Rosebery Charity Cup, to be competed for by clubs under the jurisdiction of the East of Scotland FA. The competition lasted over 60 years and raised thousands of pounds for charities in the Edinburgh area.

Rosebery also became Honorary President of the national Scottish Football Association, with the representative Scotland national team occasionally forsaking their traditional dark blue shirts for his traditional racing colours of primrose and pink. This occurred 9 times during Rosebery's lifetime, most notably for the 1900 British Home Championship match against England, which the Scots won 4–1.

Culture[edit]

Rosebery unveiled the statue of Robert Burns in Dumfries on 6 April 1882.[46]

A keen collector of fine books, his library was sold on 29 October 2009 at Sothebys, New Bond Street.

Tributes[edit]

The Oatlands area in the South Side of Glasgow was laid out in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, contemporary with Rosebery's most prominent period. Several of the street names have an association with him or areas around his estate to the North-West of Edinburgh: Rosebery Street, Dalmeny Street, Queensferry Street, Granton Street and Cramond Street.[47]

Rosebery, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, is named after him. A major street, Dalmeny Avenue, runs through the area. Rosebery, Tasmania is also named after him, via the name of a mining company.

Lord Rosebery's government, March 1894 – June 1895[edit]

Changes[edit]

  • May 1894: James Bryce succeeds A.J. Mundella at the Board of Trade. Lord Tweedmouth succeeds Bryce at the Duchy of Lancaster, remaining also Lord Privy Seal.

See also[edit]


References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.oxforddnb.com/templates/article.jsp?articleid=35612&back=
  2. ^ Footprints in Time. John Colville. 1976. Chapter 2, Lord Roseberys lamb.
  3. ^ http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=TO18940505.2.25&srpos=13&e=01-05-1894-10-05-1894--10--11----0Ladas--
  4. ^ Lord Rosebery to marry a Princess?, New York Times, 11 July 1901.
  5. ^ Murray, Douglas Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas ISBN 0-340-76770-7
  6. ^ Englefield, Dermot; Seaton, Janet; White, Isobel: Facts about the British prime ministers. A compilation of biographical and historical information. London: Mansell, 1995.
  7. ^ Princess Marie Liechtenstein (1875). "II, Sir Stephen Fox and the First Lord Holland". Holland House (3 ed.). London: Macmillan. p. 50. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  8. ^ J. Davis, "Primrose, Archibald Philip, fifth earl of Rosebery and first earl of Midlothian (1847–1929)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
  9. ^ "Dalmeny, Lord Archibald", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  10. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 415
  11. ^ Venn and Venn, "Primrose, Archibald John (Lord Dalmeny)", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  12. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 415
  13. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 415 ; she was sister of the fourth Duke of Argyll and daughter of Hon. John Campbell and Elizabeth, daughter of John Elphinstone, eighth Lord Elphinstone.
  14. ^ Venn and Venn, "Primrose, Archibald John (Lord Dalmeny)", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  15. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, p. 415
  16. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 415 ; she was the daughter of Lt-Gen. Thomas Howard.
  17. ^ Venn and Venn, "Primrose, Archibald John (Lord Dalmeny)", Alumni Cantabrigenses ; she was the first wife; Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny, was born in 1809, during this marriage (see Venn and Venn, "Dalmeny, Lord Archibald", Alumni Cantabrigenses).
  18. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 416 ; Venn and Venn, "Primrose, Archibald John (Lord Dalmeny)", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  19. ^ Complete Peerage, p. 416
  20. ^ S. Farrell, "Bouverie, Hon. Bartholomew (1753-1835), of 21 Edward Street, Portman Square, Mdx.", History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832 ; she was the daughter of John Alleyne of Four Hills, Barbados.
  21. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 416
  22. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 416 ; Lodge, British Peerage, 1832, p. 24 ; he was the third son of Henry Arundell, sixth Lord Arundell.
  23. ^ Lodge, British Peerage, 1832, p. 24 ; she was the daughter of John Wyndham of Ashcombe, Wiltshire.
  24. ^ Venn and Venn, "Dalmeny, Lord Archibald", Alumni Cantabrigenses ; J. Davis, "Primrose, Archibald Philip, fifth earl of Rosebery and first earl of Midlothian (1847–1929)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
  25. ^ Venn and Venn, "Dalmeny, Lord Archibald", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  26. ^ Lodge, British Peerage, 1832, p. 353
  27. ^ Lodge, British Peerage, 1832, p. 353
  28. ^ W.P. Courtney, "Stanhope, Charles", Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 54 ; she was a daughter of Charles Hamilton, Lord Binning, and sister to Thomas Hamilton, seventh Earl of Haddington.
  29. ^ W.P. Courtney, "Stanhope, Charles", Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 54.
  30. ^ W.P. Courtney, "Stanhope, Charles", Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 54 ; he was a younger brother of the Earl Temple.
  31. ^ Burke and Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, 1841, pp. 34-35 ; M.M. Drummond, "Grenville, Henry (1717-84), of Shrub Hill, Dorking, Surr.", The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964 ; Daughter of Sir Joseph Banks of Revesby Abbey, Lincolnshire.
  32. ^ Venn and Venn, "Dalmeny, Lord Archibald", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  33. ^ Venn and Venn, "Dalmeny, Lord Archibald", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  34. ^ A.F. Pollard, "Smith, Robert (1752-1838)", Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 53
  35. ^ A.F. Pollard, "Smith, Robert (1752-1838)", Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 53 ; daughter of Thomas Bird of Barton, Warwickshire.
  36. ^ Cokayne and Gibbs, Complete Peerage, 2nd ed., vol. 3, 1913, p. 63
  37. ^ Cokayne and Gibbs, Complete Peerage, 2nd ed., vol. 3, 1913, p. 63 ; of Cave Castle, Yorkshire.
  38. ^ Cokayne and Gibbs, Complete Peerage, 2nd ed., vol. 3, 1913, p. 63 ; she was the daughter of William Popplewell of Monk Hill, near Pontefract.
  39. ^ David Brooks, "Gladstone and Midlothian: The Background to the First Campaign," Scottish Historical Review (1985) 64#1 pp 42-67
  40. ^ Robert Kelley, "Midlothian: A Study In Politics and Ideas," Victorian Studies (1960) 4#2 pp 119-140.
  41. ^ "Congress Presidents 1869-2002". February 2002. Archived from the original on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-10 
  42. ^ The Times, 16 February 1910
  43. ^ R. R. James, Rosebery: a biography of Archibald Philip, fifth earl of Rosebery (1963), p. 469.
  44. ^ R. O. A. Crewe-Milnes, Lord Rosebery, (1931), vol. 2. p. 51.
  45. ^ Rhodes James, p. 485.
  46. ^ http://www.burnsscotland.com/000-000-135-599-C
  47. ^ http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6347

Bibliography[edit]

  • Leo McKinstry, Rosebery: Statesman in Turmoil ISBN 0-7195-5879-4.
  • Dick Leonard, Nineteenth-Century British Premiers: Pitt to Rosebery (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

External links[edit]

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1885
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1885
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1886
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1873–1929
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1884–1929
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Academic offices
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1910–1913
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Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Archibald Primrose
Earl of Rosebery
1868–1929
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Harry Primrose
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl of Midlothian
1911–1929
Succeeded by
Harry Primrose
Preceded by
Archibald Primrose
Baron Rosebery
1868–1929
Member of the House of Lords
(1868–1929)