Rowland Baring, 3rd Earl of Cromer

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The Earl of Cromer

Rowland Baring 3rd Earl of Cromer.jpg
British Ambassador to the United States
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
PresidentRichard Nixon
Gerald R. Ford
Prime MinisterTed Heath
Harold Wilson
Preceded byJohn Freeman
Succeeded bySir Peter Ramsbotham
Governor of the Bank of England
In office
Preceded byThe Lord Cobbold
Succeeded bySir Leslie O'Brien
Personal details
George Rowland Stanley Baring

(1918-07-28)28 July 1918
Died16 March 1991(1991-03-16) (aged 72)
London, England
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
OccupationBanker, diplomat
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceBritish Army
Years of service1938–1948
UnitGrenadier Guards
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsKnight of the Order of the Garter
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Member of the Order of the British Empire
Garter-encircled arms of Rowland Baring, 3rd Earl of Cromer, KG, as displayed on his Order of the Garter stall plate in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Lieutenant-Colonel George Rowland Stanley Baring, 3rd Earl of Cromer, KG GCMG MBE PC (28 July 1918 – 16 March 1991), styled Viscount Errington before 1953, was a British banker and diplomat. After serving during the Second World War, he was Governor of the Bank of England (1961–1966) and British Ambassador to the United States (1971–1974).

Early life and military career[edit]

A member of the Baring family and the eldest son of the 2nd Earl of Cromer and his wife Ruby Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, he was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he left after a year. He served with the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, where he gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and became a Member of the Order of the British Empire.[1]

Banking and diplomatic career[edit]

After serving as private secretary to the Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon in 1938, he joined Barings Bank, founded by his ancestor Sir Francis Baring, as a clerk. After military service during the war, he was managing director of Barings between 1949 and 1959 He then served as Economic Minister at the British Embassy in Washington as well as holding executive directorships at the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Finance Corporation.

In 1961, he was appointed Governor of the Bank of England, a position he held until 1966. During his governorship, he clashed with the incoming Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, over Cromer's desire to see government spending contained, which may have contributed to his decision not to seek a second term. He was subsequently appointed to the Privy Council. He was responsible for the Cromer Report[clarification needed] into Lloyd's of London.

From 1971 to 1974 he served as British Ambassador to the United States. Following his appointment he became a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George,[2] and was raised to the rank of Knight Grand Cross in 1974.[3] He was a Governor of the pro-NATO Atlantic Institute, and a member of the Pilgrims Society executive committee.

In 1977, he was made a Knight of the Garter.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Cromer married Hon. Esmé Mary Gabriel Harmsworth (1922–2011) in 1942, daughter of Esmond Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere. At their wedding, she walked barefoot down the aisle to avoid appearing taller than the best man.[5] They had three children:

  • Lady Lana Mary Gabriel (1943–1974)
  • Evelyn Rowland Esmond (born 1946), who succeeded as 4th Earl of Cromer
  • Hon. Vivian John Rowland (born 1950), married his second cousin Lavinia Baring.

Both the Countess of Cromer and her daughter-in-law were royal attendants. Esme Harmsworth was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II, while Lavinia Baring was a Lady-in-Waiting to Diana, Princess of Wales.[6]

In 1964, during the period he was at the Bank of England, Cromer purchased a Fairey Huntsman 28 sports cruiser from Fairey Marine, Hamble. Bearing the name Le Reve, the vessel was taken to France. The boat still exists and details can be seen on the Fairey Owners Club[7] website.

The 3rd Earl died on 16 March 1991 in London. Esme remarried in 1993 to Gerrit van der Woude.


  1. ^ "No. 36917". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 January 1945. p. 673.
  2. ^ "No. 45308". The London Gazette. 19 February 1971. p. 1527.
  3. ^ "No. 46162". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1973. p. 3.
  4. ^ "No. 47207". The London Gazette. 26 April 1977. p. 5631.
  5. ^ should cite her biography From This Day Forward, 1991, p. 4, which was incorrectly quoted in the daily mail article.Wilkes, David (9 June 2011). "Esme, Dowager Countess of Cromer, dies". Daily Mail. London.
  6. ^ "Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Diana, Princess of Wales' Ladies-in-Waiting". Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Huntsman 28 - The Fairey Marine Hull Production Archive". 29 June 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2016.


External links[edit]

Court offices
Preceded by
Jock Colville
Page of Honour
Succeeded by
George Seymour
Government offices
Preceded by
The Lord Cobbold
Governor of the Bank of England
Succeeded by
Sir Leslie O'Brien
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John Freeman
British Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Ramsbotham
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Rowland Baring
Earl of Cromer
Succeeded by
Evelyn Baring