Roundell Palmer, 1st Earl of Selborne
|The Right Honourable
The Earl of Selborne
15 October 1872 – 17 February 1874
|Prime Minister||William Ewart Gladstone|
|Preceded by||The Lord Hatherley|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Cairns|
28 April 1880 – 9 June 1885
|Prime Minister||William Ewart Gladstone|
|Preceded by||The Lord Cairns|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Halsbury|
|Born||27 November 1812
|Died||4 May 1895|
|Spouse(s)||Lady Laura Waldegrave
|Alma mater||University of Oxford|
Background and education
Selborne was born at Mixbury in Oxfordshire, where his father William Jocelyn Palmer was rector. His mother Dorothea was daughter of the Rev. William Roundell of Gledstone Hall, Yorkshire; and William Palmer and Edwin Palmer were his brothers. He was educated at Rugby School and Winchester College. He graduated in 1834 from Oxford after a brilliant career there, and received his master's degree in 1836. While at University he became a close friend of the hymn writer and theologian, Frederick William Faber. He soon became known for his keen and subtle mind and his vast learning. He was called to the bar in 1837.
Selborne entered parliament as a Conservative in 1847. He joined the Peelite Conservatives who were to eventually help create the Liberal party in 1859. He served under Lord Palmerston and Lord Russell as Solicitor General between 1861 and 1863 and as Attorney General between 1863 and 1866.
Under Gladstone, he became Lord Chancellor in 1872 and was created Baron Selborne, of Selborne in the County of Southampton. His first tenure in the office saw the passage of the Judicature Act of 1873, which completely reorganised the judiciary. He served in the same office in Gladstone's Second Cabinet (1880–1885), and was created Viscount Wolmer, of Blackmoor in the County of Southampton, and Earl of Selborne in 1882. He broke with Gladstone, however, over Irish Home Rule, in 1885, and joined the Liberal Unionists.
Selborne married Lady Laura, daughter of William Waldegrave, 8th Earl Waldegrave, in 1848. They had five children: four daughters followed by a son. Their eldest, Laura Elizabeth (1849–1939), was an author and social reformer, who in 1876 married George Ridding, the first bishop of Southwell, and became known as Lady Laura Ridding. Their second, Mary Dorothea (1850–1933), married her first cousin, the 9th Earl Waldegrave in 1874. Their third, Sophia Matilda (1852–1915) married the Comte de Franqueville in 1903. Their fourth, Sarah Wilfreda (1854–1910) married her second cousin George Tournay Biddulph, the son of Robert Biddulph, in 1883. Their youngest, William Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne, later became a prominent Unionist politician. Lady Selborne died in April 1885. Lord Selborne survived her by ten years and died in May 1895, aged 82.
- Palmer, Roundell (November 1886). A Defence of the Church of England Against Disestablishment (1 ed.). London. OCLC 57501388. 2nd ed. (London, December 1886), 3rd ed. (London, March 1887), 4th ed. (London, February 1888)
- Palmer, Roundell (1888). Ancient facts and fictions concerning churches and tithes. London ; New York: Macmillan. LCCN 03002193. OCLC 60714511.
- Selborne Memorials (London, 1896–98)
- Palmer, Roundell (1896). Memorials. Part 1, Family and personal, 1766–1865. I. London ; New York: Macmillan. OCLC 277580024.
- Palmer, Roundell (1896). Memorials. Part 1, Family and personal, 1766–1865. II. London ; New York: Macmillan. OCLC 277580029.
- Palmer, Roundell (1898). Memorials, Part II. Personal and Political I. London ; New York: Macmillan. OCLC 831400848.
- Palmer, Roundell (1898). Memorials, Part II. Personal and Political II. London ; New York: Macmillan. OCLC 277583879.
- "Palmer, William (1811-1879)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- "Lists of Royal Society Fellows 1660–2007". London: The Royal Society. Retrieved 14 July 2010.[dead link]
- Lady Laura Ridding (1919). Sophia Matilda Palmer, comtesse de Franqueville, 1852–1915: a memoir. John Murray. p. 5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Roundell Palmer, 1st Earl of Selborne.|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Selborne
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Papers at Lambeth Palace Library