Raymond Asquith, 3rd Earl of Oxford and Asquith

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The Earl of Oxford and Asquith

Oxford & Asquith Achievement.png
Asquith coat of arms
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
24 October 2014
Excepted hereditary peers
Preceded byThe Lord Methuen
Personal details
Raymond Benedict Bartholomew Michael

(1952-08-24) 24 August 1952 (age 67)
London, United Kingdom
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
Political partyLiberal Democrat
Spouse(s)Clare Asquith (née Pollen)
Parents2nd Earl of Oxford and Asquith (father)
Mells, Somerset
Alma materAmpleforth;
Balliol College, Oxford
Earl's coronet

Raymond Benedict Bartholomew Michael Asquith, 3rd Earl of Oxford and Asquith, OBE (born 24 August 1952) is a British former diplomat and hereditary peer. Styled Viscount Asquith until he succeeded to his father's peerage titles on 16 January 2011, the earldom of Oxford and Asquith was created for his paternal great-grandfather, H. H. Asquith, a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Early life[edit]

Lord Oxford (as he is now known) is the elder son of the Countess Anne and 2nd Earl of Oxford and Asquith. He was named after his paternal grandfather Raymond Asquith, a scholar and Army officer, who was killed in action during the First World War.

He was educated at Farleigh School and Ampleforth College, and subsequently obtained an MA degree at Balliol College, Oxford.


Raymond Asquith joined HM Diplomatic Service in 1980 as a career diplomat, serving until 1997. As well as postings in London at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and to the Cabinet Office, he served as First Secretary at the British Embassy in Moscow from 1983–85, and Counsellor at HM Embassy in Kiev from 1992–97. According to the Daily Telegraph, he was MI6 station commander in Moscow and was personally responsible for exfiltrating the KGB officer and British agent Oleg Gordievsky concealed in his car.[1]

Asquith was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for "diplomatic services" in 1992. Other family members who served as British diplomats include his father, his brother Sir Dominic Asquith (former British Ambassador to Iraq and Egypt),[2] and his maternal grandfather Sir Michael Palairet.

He is currently a company director of the Ukrainian corporation owned by Dmytro Firtash, and is also active in various organizations working for or promoting charitable activities in Ukraine.[3]

In October 2014, the Earl of Oxford and Asquith was elected in the House of Lords by-election to replace the late Lord Methuen (who died in July 2014) and to sit as a Liberal Democrat, alongside his cousin Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury on the government benches (as the LibDems were then part of a coalition government) in the House of Lords.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

In 1978, Asquith married the author and scholar Clare Pollen. The Earl and Countess of Oxford and Asquith have a son and four daughters.[6][7][8]

  • Mark Julian Asquith, Viscount Asquith (born 13 May 1979)
  • Lady Magdalen Katharine Asquith (born 30 December 1981)
  • Lady Frances Sophia Asquith (born 1984)
  • Lady Celia Rose Asquith (born 1989)
  • Lady Isabel Anne Asquith (born 1991)

The son, Mark Julian Asquith styled Viscount Asquith, is heir apparent to the family titles.

The senior branch of the Asquith family has been Roman Catholic since Katharine Asquith (mother of the 2nd Earl) converted after the death of her husband. Lord Oxford's mother was also a Catholic, as is his wife.


  1. ^ Obituary: Sir Christopher Curwen Daily Telegraph, 24 December 2013
  2. ^ The Hon Sir Dominic Asquith Debrett's People of Today Archived 23 October 2014 at Archive.today
  3. ^ www.reuters.com
  4. ^ [1] Liberal Democrats, 22 October 2014
  5. ^ "Whole-House Hereditary Peers' By-election, October 2014: Result" (PDF). Parliament of the United Kingdom (House of Lords. 22 October 2014.
  6. ^ [2] Article on Shakespeare's Catholic Code, by Clare Asquith
  7. ^ [3]. An interview with Clare Asquith (Countess of Oxford and Asquith)
  8. ^ The Peerage, entry for 3rd Earl of Oxford and Asquith

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Julian Asquith
Earl of Oxford and Asquith
Member of the House of Lords
Heir apparent:
Mark Asquith, Viscount Asquith
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Earl of Balfour
Peers Succeeded by
The Earl Jellicoe