Edward Villiers, 5th Earl of Clarendon

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Clarendon
Edward Hyde Villiers, Vanity Fair, 1901-01-10.jpg
"The Lord Chamberlain". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1901.
Lord Chamberlain of the Household
In office
21 September 1900 – 4 December 1905
Monarch Victoria
Edward VII
Prime Minister The Marquess of Salisbury
Arthur Balfour
Preceded by The Earl of Hopetoun
Succeeded by The Viscount Althorp
Personal details
Born 11 February 1846
Died 2 October 1914 (1914-10-03) (aged 68)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Unionist
Spouse(s) (1) Lady Caroline Agar
(d. 1894)
(2) Emma Hatch
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Edward Hyde Villiers, 5th Earl of Clarendon, GCB, GCVO, PC (11 February 1846 – 2 October 1914), styled Lord Hyde between 1846 and 1870, was a British Liberal Unionist politician from the Villiers family. He served as Lord Chamberlain of the Household between 1900 and 1905.

Background and education[edit]

Clarendon was the second but eldest surviving son of the prominent Liberal statesman George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon and his wife Lady Katherine Grimston, daughter of James Grimston, 1st Earl of Verulam. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge.[1]

Political career[edit]

Portrait of Clarendon in his uniform as Lord Chamberlain, c.1901.

Clarendon was elected to Parliament for Brecon in 1869, a seat he retained until the following year, when he succeeded his father in the earldom and took his seat in the House of Lords. In 1895 he was appointed a Lord-in-Waiting in the Unionist administration of Lord Salisbury, a position he held until 1900, when he was promoted to Lord Chamberlain of the Household and admitted to the Privy Council. He retained this office also when Arthur Balfour became Prime Minister in 1902. The government fell in December 1905 and Clarendon was never to return to office.

Apart from his political career Lord Clarendon was also Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire from 1893 to 1914.

Sporting career[edit]

Clarendon made one known appearance in first-class cricket for Cambridge University in 1865.[2] He was a right-handed batsman (RHB) and a roundarm fast bowler. Four of his uncles James, Edward, Robert and Francis Grimston all played first-class cricket, as did his cousin Walter Grimston. Between 1890 and 1896, Lord Clarendon was a member of the Football Committee at West Hertfordshire Sports Club, chairing some of the meetings. During this period the club won three Herts Senior Cups in four years, not entering it in the other year. This football team was later to become known as Watford Football Club.[3]


Lord Clarendon married firstly, Lady Caroline Agar, daughter of James Agar, 3rd Earl of Normanton, on 6 September 1876. After his first wife's death in 1894 he married secondly, Emma Hatch, on 5 August 1908. By his first marriage he had two children:

Lord Clarendon died in October 1914, aged 68, and was succeeded in the earldom by his only son George.

Artistic Recognition[edit]

He was sculpted by Mary Pownall c.1900.[4]

Honours and styles of address[edit]


British honours
Foreign honours

Styles of address[edit]

  • 1846: The Honourable Edward H. Villiers
  • 1846–1869: Lord Hyde
  • 1869–1870: Lord Hyde MP
  • 1870–1900: The Right Honourable The Earl of Clarendon
  • 1900–1902: The Right Honourable The Earl of Clarendon PC
  • 1902–1905: The Right Honourable The Earl of Clarendon GCB PC
  • 1905–1914: The Right Honourable The Earl of Clarendon GCB GCVO PC


  1. ^ "Hyde (Edward Hyde Villiers), Lord (HD862)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Arthur Haygarth, Scores & Biographies, Volume 9 (1865-1866), Lillywhite, 1867
  3. ^ Phillips, Ollie (1991). The Official Centenary History of Watford FC. Watford Football Club. p. 176. ISBN 0-9509601-6-0. 
  4. ^ "Bonhams : Mary Pownall Bromet, British (exh. 1889-1932): A bronze figure of Edward Hyde Villiers, 5th Earl of Clarendon". 
  5. ^ "No. 27453". The London Gazette. 11 July 1902. p. 4441. 
  6. ^ "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5. 
  7. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36068). London. 17 February 1900. p. 11. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Howel Gwyn
Member of Parliament for Brecon
Succeeded by
James Gwynne-Holford
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Acton
Succeeded by
The Earl Howe
Court offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Hopetoun
Lord Chamberlain of the Household
Succeeded by
The Viscount Althorp
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Verulam
Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire
Succeeded by
The Viscount Hampden
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Villiers
Earl of Clarendon
Succeeded by
George Villiers