Julian Asquith, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Asquith

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Julian Edward George Asquith, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Asquith KCMG (22 April 1916 – 16 January 2011) was a British colonial administrator and hereditary peer.

Background and education[edit]

Asquith was the only son of Raymond Asquith, a barrister, by his wife the former Katharine Horner. He was the grandson of H. H. Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, British Prime Minister from 1908 until 1916. Lord Oxford's two older sisters both predeceased him; the younger of these was Lady Perdita Rose Mary Asquith, later Lady Hylton (1910–1996),[1] who was married to William Jolliffe, 4th Baron Hylton and became the grandmother of the actress Anna Chancellor.

He inherited the earldom in 1928 on the death of his grandfather, since his father had been killed in the First World War. He was raised as a Roman Catholic after his mother's conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1923 and was educated at St Ronan's School and Ampleforth College. He then became a scholar at Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts. In 1941, Asquith was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and from 1942 to 1948 he was an Assistant District Commissioner in Palestine.


Lord Oxford was Deputy chairman Secretary of the British Administration Tripolitania from 1949 to 1950, Director of Interior Tripolitania in 1951 and Advisor to the Prime Minister of Libya in 1952. In 1955 he was Administrative Secretary of Zanzibar and from 1958 to 1962 was the Administrator of Saint Lucia. He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1961. Oxford was the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Seychelles from 1962 to 1967, and the Commander of the British Indian Ocean Territory from 1965 to 1967. In 1964, he was advanced as Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George. He also held the posts of Constitutional Commander of the Cayman Islands in 1971, and Turks and Caicos Islands from 1973 to 1974.

Marriage and children[edit]

Lord Oxford married Anne Mary Celestine Palairet (14 November 1916 Paris – 19 August 1998[2] at Frome, Somerset), daughter of Sir Michael Palairet (1882–1956)[3] by his wife Mary de Vere Studd,[4] on 28 August 1947 at the Brompton Oratory. Anne Oxford was also a Roman Catholic via her parents' conversions.

Lord and Lady Oxford had five children: two sons, both diplomats, and three daughters (the middle married to another diplomat):[5]

Lord Oxford inherited the estate of Mells from his mother Katharine Asquith, younger daughter of Sir John Horner, of Mells and his wife Frances Graham.

The Countess of Oxford and Asquith died in 1998. The Earl died, aged 94, on 16 January 2011.[9] He was succeeded in his peerage titles, which he had held for over eighty years, by his elder son, Raymond (b. 1952), a former British diplomat and elected hereditary member of the House of Lords.


  1. ^ Lady Perdita Asquith
  2. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "p. 1149 § 11483 : Anne Mary Celestine Palairet". The Peerage. [unreliable source]
  3. ^ His parents were Charles Harvey Palairet and Emily Henry, not Nora Hamilton Martin as listed by Paul Theroff. Nora Hamilton Martin married Palairet only in 1888. See Descendants of King Henry VII of England: Part Two for details.
  4. ^ Lady Palairet (1895–1977) was a remarkable beauty painted by Augustus John. See Lundy, Darryl. "The Peerage: Mary de Vere Studd". The Peerage. [unreliable source] for her dates.
  5. ^ The Peerage, entry for 2nd Earl of Oxford and Asquith
  6. ^ L. G. Pine, The New Extinct Peerage 1884–1971: Containing Extinct, Abeyant, Dormant and Suspended Peerages with Genealogies and Arms (London: Heraldry Today, 1972), pp. 16, 276
  7. ^ Charles V Kidd, David Williamson, eds., Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (Debrett's Peerage Ltd, 1990, ISBN 0312046405), p. 950
  8. ^ Burke's Peerage, volume 2 (2003), p. 3,036
  9. ^ "Obituaries – The Earl of Oxford and Asquith". The Daily Telegraph. 17 January 2011. 


Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John Thorp
as Commissioner of Saint Lucia
Administrator of Saint Lucia
Succeeded by
Gerald Jackson Bryan
Preceded by
Sir John Thorp
Governor of the Seychelles
Succeeded by
Sir Hugh Norman-Walker
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Herbert Henry Asquith
Earl of Oxford and Asquith
Succeeded by
Raymond Asquith