Neil Primrose (politician)

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For other people of the same name, see Neil Primrose (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
Neil Primrose
Neil Primrose.jpg
Neil Primrose
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
with Lord Edmund Talbot
In office
14 December 1916 – 2 March 1917
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Lord Edmund Talbot
John Gulland
Succeeded by Lord Edmund Talbot
Hon. Frederick Guest
Personal details
Born 14 December 1882
Dalmeny House, Dalmeny, Midlothian
Died 15 November 1917
Gezer, Palestine
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Lady Victoria Stanley
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1909–1917
Rank Captain
Unit Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars
Battles/wars First World War
Awards Military Cross

Captain The Honourable Neil James Archibald Primrose PC, MC (14 December 1882 – 15 November 1917) was a British Liberal politician and soldier. The second son of Prime Minister Lord Rosebery, he represented Wisbech in parliament from 1910 to 1917 and served as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in 1915 and as joint-Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury from 1916 to 1917. He died from wounds received in action in Palestine in 1917.


Primrose was born at Dalmeny House, Dalmeny, Midlothian, the second son of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1894 to 1895, by Hannah de Rothschild, daughter of Mayer Amschel de Rothschild. He was the brother of Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery and writer Lady Sybil Grant.[1] He was educated at Eton and Oxford and played No.1 for the Oxford Polo team in 1904 and 1905.[2] While at Oxford he was also a keen steeple- chase rider.[3]

Political career[edit]

Primrose entered the House of Commons at the December 1910 general election as Member of Parliament (MP) for Wisbech.[4][5] In 1913 he became a member of the Anglo-American Peace Centenary Committee.[6] In February 1915 he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in H. H. Asquith's Liberal administration, but was not offered a post when the coalition government was formed in May of the same year. When David Lloyd George became prime minister in December 1916, Primrose returned to the government as joint-Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (government chief whip) alongside Conservative Lord Edmund Talbot, a post he only held until March of the following year. In June 1917 he was sworn of the Privy Council.[7]

Military career[edit]

Primrose was commissioned into the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars in 1909. Promoted Captain in 1915, he was awarded the Military Cross in June 1916.[8] He died in November 1917 from wounds received in action at Gezer during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign while leading his squadron against Turkish positions on the Abu Shusheh ridge during the Third Battle of Gaza. He is buried in the Ramleh Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery at Ramla, in Israel.[9][10]


Primrose married Lady Victoria Stanley, daughter of Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, on 7 April 1915. They had one daughter: Ruth Alice Hannah Mary Primrose (18 April 1916 – 1989), who married Charles Wood, 2nd Earl of Halifax, on 25 April 1936. Lady Victoria married as her second husband Malcolm Bullock, and had one daughter, Priscilla, by him. Lady Victoria died in a hunting accident in November 1927, aged 35.[1]


  1. ^ a b Captain Rt. Hon. Neil James Archibald Primrose
  2. ^ "Oxford Polo Club Archive". Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Polo Monthly". 1917. p. 246. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28338. p. 1029. 11 February 1910.
  5. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 4)[self-published source][better source needed]
  6. ^ "Delegates from England and British Colonies Officially Welcomed by Gaynor.". New York Times. 6 May 1913. Retrieved 3 August 2010. The delegates from Great Britain and the British Colonies, who have come to the United States to arrange with the American committee for the celebration in 1913 of 100 years of peace among English-Speaking peoples, were formally welcomed to New York by Mayor Gaynor yesterday morning. 
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30131. p. 5867. 15 June 1917.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 29608. p. 5570. 2 June 1916.
  9. ^ CWGC entry
  10. ^ According to Vladimir Jabotinsky's "The Story of the Jewish Legion", Primrose came very close to joining the Jewish Legion but did not because of a miscommunication.

External links[edit]

Headstone on Capt. Primrose's grave, Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Cecil Beck
Member of Parliament for Wisbech
Succeeded by
Colin Reith Coote
Political offices
Preceded by
Francis Dyke Acland
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
February–May 1915
Succeeded by
Lord Robert Cecil
Preceded by
Lord Edmund Talbot
John Gulland
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
with Lord Edmund Talbot

Succeeded by
Lord Edmund Talbot
Hon. Frederick Guest