William Brodrick, 8th Viscount Midleton

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Viscount Midleton - Steward

William Brodrick, 8th Viscount Midleton (6 January 1830 – 18 April 1907), was a British peer and Conservative politician.


Midleton was the son of Reverend William John Brodrick, 7th Viscount Midleton, Dean of Exeter and Chaplain to Queen Victoria, son of the Right Reverend the Hon. Charles Brodrick, Archbishop of Cashel. His mother was Harriett, daughter of George Brodrick, 4th Viscount Midleton. He was educated at Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford.[1] His brother, the Honourable George Charles Brodrick, was for many years warden of Merton College, Oxford

Public life[edit]

Midleton contested the East Surrey parliamentary seat in 1865 but was unsuccessful.[2] Midleton was returned to Parliament as one of two representatives for Surrey Mid in 1868.[2]

He vacated his seat in the commons two years later when he succeeded his father in the viscountcy.[2] He served on two commissions, the Noxious Vapours Commission (1875) and the Sale of Exchange of Livings (1877) although his blindness limited his ability to do more in public life. For some time he was president of the National Protestant Church Union, and Midleton served as Lord Lieutenant of Surrey between 1896 and 1905.[2]

Midleton's son later wrote of him:

My father, whose courage and self-denial were conspicuous, suffered from serious defects of sight and hearing, partly due to an accident, but mainly to his father and mother having been first cousins, from which source a disability affected several of my grandfather's family in different ways. The calamity of partial blindness came upon my father early in his married life, and deprived him of a rising practice at the Bar. Although he fought his way with splendid energy into Parliament, his infirmities robbed him of the full scope which his ability and untiring work would have commanded.[3]


Grave in Peper Harow, Surrey

Lord Midleton married the Hon. Augusta Mary, daughter of Thomas Fremantle, 1st Baron Cottesloe, in 1853. They had three sons and five daughters. Lady Midleton died on 1 June 1903 aged 75 at Peper Harow.[4] Lord Brodrick survived her by four years and died on 18 April 1907, aged 77 at Peper Harow.[2] He was succeeded by his eldest son, St John, who was a prominent Conservative politician and was created Earl of Midleton in 1920.[5]

His daughter Augusta Louisa married in 1884 Sir Cuthbert Edgar Peek, 2nd Baronet.[6] His daughter, Edith Mary Gell, was a published author of books such as The Cloud of Witness and her autobiography Under Three Reigns. The youngest daughter, Marian Cecilia, married Sir James Beethom Whitehead, a diplomat, and was the mother of seven children including Sir Edgar Whitehead.[7]


  1. ^ ‘MIDLETON’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016
  2. ^ a b c d e "Viscount Midleton." Times [London, England] 19 Apr. 1907: 10. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2014.
  3. ^ The Earl of Midleton, Records & Reactions 1856-1939 (London, John Murray, 1939), at pages 1-2
  4. ^ "Obituary." Times [London, England] 2 June 1903: 7. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2014.
  5. ^ Matthew, H. C. G. "Brodrick, (William) St John Fremantle". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32085. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. ^ McConnell, Anita. "Peek, Sir Cuthbert Edgar". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35449. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ Lowry, Donal. "Whitehead, Sir Edgar Cuthbert Fremantle". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31828. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Surrey Mid
With: Henry Peek
Succeeded by
Henry Peek
Sir Richard Baggallay
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Hon. Francis Egerton
Lord Lieutenant of Surrey
Succeeded by
Hon. Henry Cubitt
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
William John Brodrick
Viscount Midleton
Succeeded by
St John Brodrick