Bernard Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard

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The Earl of Granard

Master of the Horse
In office
MonarchGeorge V
Preceded byThe Marquess of Bath
Succeeded byThe Duke of Beaufort
In office
6 September 1907 – 25 May 1915
MonarchEdward VII
George V
Prime MinisterSir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
H. H. Asquith
Preceded byThe Earl of Sefton
Succeeded byThe Earl of Chesterfield
Personal details
Born(1874-09-17)17 September 1874
Died10 September 1948(1948-09-10) (aged 73)
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Beatrice Mills[1]

Bernard Arthur William Patrick Hastings Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard, KP, GCVO, PC (17 September 1874 – 10 September 1948), styled Viscount Forbes from 1874 to 1889, was an Anglo-Irish soldier and Liberal politician.


Engraved Arms of Forbes, Earl of Granard[2]

Granard was the son of George Forbes, 7th Earl of Granard, and the Honourable Mary Frances Petre, daughter of William Petre, 12th Baron Petre. At age 14, he succeeded as eighth Earl of Granard on the death of his father in 1889.

Political career[edit]

In 1895 Granard was able to take his seat in the House of Lords in right of his junior title of Baron Granard, which was in the Peerage of the United Kingdom (all his other titles were in the Peerage of Ireland). When the Liberals came to power in 1905 under Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Granard was appointed a Lord-in-waiting to Edward VII (government whip in the House of Lords)[3] and Assistant Postmaster-General, posts he held until 1907[4] and 1909 respectively. In 1907 he was admitted to the Privy Council[5] and appointed Master of the Horse,[6] an office he retained until 1915.

Grandard was also involved in Irish politics. He was a member of the Irish Food Convention, Food Controller for Ireland in 1918, in which year he was also admitted to the Irish Privy Council. He was a member of the short-lived Senate of Southern Ireland in 1921 and of the Senate of the Irish Free State from 1922 to 1934.[7] He was again Master of the Horse between February 1924 and 1936, but by this time this post had ceased being a political office. Granard also served as Vice-Admiral of Connaught, Lord Lieutenant of Longford. He was made a Knight of the Order of St Patrick in 1909.


In 1896, Granard was commissioned into the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, but on 29 November 1899 he transferred to a regular commission as a second lieutenant in the Scots Guards. Following the outbreak of the Second Boer War in late 1899, he was with the 2nd Battalion of his regiment as it left Southampton for South Africa on the SS Britannic in March 1900.[8] He served with the 1st Battalion in South Africa from 1900 to 1902, taking part in the Battle of Belfast (August 1900) and operations at Komatipoort.[9] While in South Africa, he was promoted to lieutenant on 20 July 1901.[10][11] Following the end of the war, Lord Granard left Cape Town for England on the SS Simla in late July 1902.[12] Promotion to captain followed in 1905. In 1908 he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel in the Post Office Rifles. He resigned his commissions in the Post Office Rifles in 1910 and the Scots Guards in 1911. In 1916 he was recalled to command the 5th Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment. He was later Military Secretary to the Commander-in-Chief of the Salonika Forces from 1917.

Apart from his political and military career, Granard was also on the board of Arsenal Football Club, and was club chairman from 1936 to 1939.


Beatrice, Countess of Granard, circa 1910.

Lord Granard married, in 1909, Beatrice Mills, daughter of the wealthy American businessman Ogden Mills from Staatsburg, New York. She was the twin sister of Gladys Mills Phipps. Her brother, Ogden L. Mills, was the 50th United States Secretary of the Treasury. They had four children, including Eileen Beatrice, the wife of the 5th Marquess of Bute.

Lord Granard died exactly one week before his 74th birthday. He was succeeded by his eldest son Arthur. Apart from his seat at Castleforbes, Newtownforbes, County Longford, Ireland, Lord Granard had a London residence at Forbes House, Halkin Street, and a residence at 73 Rue de Varenne, Paris.


  1. ^ Kiehna, Lauren. "Lady Granard's Diamonds". The Court Jeweler. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  2. ^ The Peerage of Ireland by John Lodge, Dublin, 1789.
  3. ^ "No. 27866". The London Gazette. 22 December 1905. p. 9171.
  4. ^ "No. 28074". The London Gazette. 1 November 1907. p. 7295.
  5. ^ "No. 28075". The London Gazette. 5 November 1907. p. 7388.
  6. ^ "No. 28061". The London Gazette. 20 September 1907. p. 6359.
  7. ^ "Bernard Forbes". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  8. ^ "The War - Embarcation of Troops". The Times (36091). London. 16 March 1900. p. 6.
  9. ^ Hart′s Army list, 1903
  10. ^ "No. 27380". The London Gazette. 26 November 1901. p. 8089.
  11. ^ "No. 27388". The London Gazette. 17 December 1901. p. 8917.
  12. ^ "The Army in South Africa - Return of Troops". The Times (36844). London. 12 August 1902. p. 10.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Kintore
Succeeded by
The Lord O'Hagan
Preceded by
The Earl of Sefton
Master of the Horse
Succeeded by
The Earl of Chesterfield
Court offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Bath
Master of the Horse
Succeeded by
The Duke of Beaufort
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Title last held by
The Earl of Longford
Lord Lieutenant of Longford
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Business positions
Preceded by
The Earl of Lonsdale
Arsenal chairman
Succeeded by
Viscount Castlereagh
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
George Forbes
Earl of Granard
Succeeded by
Arthur Patrick Hastings Forbes