James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury
Background and education
Born in London, Salisbury was the eldest son of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, who served as British Prime Minister, by his wife Georgina (née Alderson). The Right Reverend Lord William Cecil, Lord Cecil of Chelwood and Lord Quickswood were his younger brothers and Prime Minister Arthur Balfour his first cousin. He was educated at Eton and University College, Oxford, graduating BA in 1885.
Lord Cranborne sat as Conservative Member of Parliament for Darwen then called North-East Lancashire from 1885 to 1892. He lost his seat at the General Election. In a by-election in 1893, he was elected for Rochester where he was the MP until 1903, when he succeeded his father and was elevated to the House of Lords.
Lord Cranborne was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 4th (Militia) battalion Bedfordshire Regiment (formerly the Hertfordshire Militia) on 29 October 1892, and was in command when the battalion saw active service in South Africa from March to November 1900, during the Second Boer War. The battalion, numbering 24 officers and 483 men, left Queenstown on 27 February in the transport Goorkha, with Lord Cranborne as the senior officer in command, arriving in Cape Town the following month. He received the Queen's South Africa Medal and was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) for his service during the war. In July 1902 he received the Honorary Freedom of the borough of Hertford in recognition of his service during the war. Following the death of his father, he was promoted to colonel of the battalion. He was also a colonel of the Hertfordshire Volunteer Regiment and of the 4th battalion Essex Regiment. Lord Salisbury was ADC to Edward VII, and George V until 1929.
He served under his father and then his cousin Arthur Balfour as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from 1900 to 1903, under Balfour as Lord Privy Seal from 1903 to 1905, and as Lord President of the Board of Trade in 1905. In 1903 he was sworn of the Privy Council. In December 1908, he was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Hertfordshire. And from 1906, followed his uncle, as Chairman of the Canterbury House of Laymen.
Salisbury played a leading role in opposing David Lloyd George's People's Budget and the Parliament Bill of 1911. In 1917 he was made a Knight of the Garter. He returned to the government in the 1920s and served under Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 1922 to 1923, as Lord President of the Council from 1922 to 1924, as Lord Privy Seal from 1924 to 1929 and as Leader of the House of Lords from 1925 to 1929 in successive Conservative governments of Bonar Law and Baldwin. He resigned as leader of the Conservative peers in June 1931 and became one of the most prominent opponents of Indian Home Rule in the Lords, supporting the campaign against the legislation waged in the House of Commons by Winston Churchill.
Lord Salisbury was a committed and eager member of the Territorial Army. Honorary Colonel of 86th East Anglians, and the Hertfordshire Yeomanry Brigade. He was also Honorary Colonel of Royal Field Artillery in the Territorial Detachment and the 48th South Midland Division Royal Engineers (TA).
Salisbury was part of two parliamentary deputations which called on the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Neville Chamberlain, in the autumn of 1936 to remonstrate with them about the slow pace of British rearmament in the face of the growing threat from Nazi Germany. The delegation was led by Sir Austen Chamberlain, a former Foreign Secretary and its most prominent speakers included Winston Churchill, Leo Amery and Roger Keyes. The Marquess of Salisbury was Lord High Steward at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.
Styles of address
- 1861–1865: Master James Edward Hubert Gascoyne-Cecil
- 1865–1868: The Honourable James Edward Hubert Gascoyne-Cecil
- 1868–1885: Viscount Cranborne
- 1885–1892: Viscount Cranborne MP
- 1892–1893: Viscount Cranborne
- 1893–1900: Viscount Cranborne MP
- 1900–1903: Viscount Cranborne CB MP
- 1903: The Most Honourable The Marquess of Salisbury CB
- 1903–1908: The Most Honourable The Marquess of Salisbury CB PC
- 1908–1909: The Most Honourable The Marquess of Salisbury CB PC DL
- 1909–1917: The Most Honourable The Marquess of Salisbury GCVO CB PC DL
- 1917–1947: The Most Honourable The Marquess of Salisbury KG GCVO CB PC DL
Marriage and children
Lord Salisbury married Lady Cicely Alice Gore (born 15 July 1867, died 5 February 1955), second daughter of Arthur Gore, 5th Earl of Arran, on 17 May 1887 at St. Margaret's Church, Westminster. She was appointed a JP for Hertfordshire. In 1907, she was made a Lady Bedchamber to Queen Alexandra, an Officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.
They had four children:
- Lady Beatrice Edith Mildred Gascoyne-Cecil (born 10 Aug 1891, died 1980), married William Ormsby-Gore, 4th Baron Harlech.
- Robert Arthur James Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury (born 27 August 1893, died 23 February 1972).
- Lady Mary Alice Gascoyne-Cecil (born 29 July 1895, died 24 December 1988), married Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire.
- Lord Edward Christian David Gascoyne-Cecil, CH (known as Lord David Cecil) (born 9 April 1902, died 1 January 1986).
He was the grandfather of actor Jonathan Cecil by his youngest son, David.
|Ancestors of James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury|
- "Marriage of Viscount Cranborne". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. British Newspaper Archive. 18 May 1887. Retrieved 21 March 2016. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "MARQUESS OF SALISBURY DEATH OF GREAT FIGURE". Western Morning News. British Newspaper Archive. 5 April 1947. Retrieved 28 March 2016. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "The War - The Militia". The Times (36077). London. 28 February 1900. p. 6.
- "Court Circular". The Times (36812). London. 5 July 1902. p. 8.
- "THE PEER PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE". Western Times. British Newspaper Archive. 15 March 1905. Retrieved 28 March 2016. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "THE NEW MINISTRY AND THE OLD". Stamford Mercury. British Newspaper Archive. 29 December 1905. Retrieved 28 March 2016. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "No. 28211". The London Gazette. 1 January 1909. p. 33.
- "LORD SALISBURY RETIRES FROM LEADERSHIP". Western Daily Press. British Newspaper Archive. 17 June 1931. Retrieved 21 March 2016. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "No. 34453". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 November 1937. p. 7051.
- The Peerage, entry for 4th Marquess of Salisbury
- Burke's Peerage & Baronetage (106th ed.) (Salisbury)
- Profile, leighrayment.com; accessed 3 April 2016.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Marquess of Salisbury
- Portraits of James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury at the National Portrait Gallery, London
- "Archival material relating to James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury". UK National Archives.