Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury


Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury

:"Lord Salisbury" redirects here. For other holders of the title, see Marquess of Salisbury.

Infobox Prime Minister
honorific-prefix = The Most Honourable
name = The Marquess of Salisbury
honorific-suffix =
KG, GCVO, PC


imagesize = 225px
order =Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
term_start =25 June 1895
term_end =11 July 1902
monarch =Victoria
Edward VII
predecessor =The Earl of Rosebery
successor =Arthur Balfour
term_start2 =25 July 1886
term_end2 =11 August 1892
monarch2 =Victoria
predecessor2 =William Ewart Gladstone
successor2 =William Ewart Gladstone
term_start3 =23 June 1885
term_end3 =28 January 1886
monarch3 =Victoria
predecessor3 =William Ewart Gladstone
successor3 =William Ewart Gladstone
order4=Foreign Secretary
term_start4=2 April 1878
term_end4=28 April 1880
monarch4=Victoria
primeminister4=The Earl of Beaconsfield
predecessor4=The Earl of Derby
successor4=The Earl Granville
term_start5=24 June 1885
term_end5=6 February 1886
monarch5=Victoria
primeminister5="Himself"
predecessor5=The Earl Granville
successor5=The Earl of Rosebery
term_start6=14 January 1887
term_end6=11 August 1892
monarch6=Victoria
primeminister6="Himself"
predecessor6=The Earl of Iddesleigh
successor6=The Earl of Rosebery
term_start7=29 June 1895
term_end7=12 November 1900
monarch7=Victoria
primeminister7="Himself"
predecessor7=The Earl of Kimberley
successor7=The Marquess of Lansdowne
birth_date =birth date|1830|2|3|df=y
birth_place =Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
death_date =death date and age|1903|8|22|1830|2|3|df=y
death_place =Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
alma_mater =Christ Church, Oxford, United Kingdom
spouse =Georgina Alderson
party =Conservative
religion =Anglican

Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, KG, GCVO, PC (3 February 1830 – 22 August 1903), known as Lord Robert Cecil before 1865 and as Viscount Cranborne from 1865 until 1868, was a British statesman and thrice Prime Minister, serving for a total of over 13 years. He was the first British Prime Minister of the 20th century and the last Prime Minister to head his full administration from the House of Lords.

Life

Lord Robert Cecil was the second son of the 2nd Marquess of Salisbury. After an unhappy childhood, in which he was sent to Eton College, he went up to Christ Church, Oxford, and on taking his degree was elected a Fellow of All Souls College. He entered the House of Commons as a Conservative in 1853, as MP for Stamford in Lincolnshire. He retained this seat until entering the peerage.

In 1866 Lord Robert, now Viscount Cranborne after the death of his older brother, entered the third government of Lord Derby as Secretary of State for India. He resigned the next year over the Reform Bill, which he opposed.

In 1868, on the death of his father, he inherited the Marquessate of Salisbury, thereby becoming a member of the House of Lords. From 1868 and 1871, he was chairman of the Great Eastern Railway, which was then experiencing losses. During his tenure, the company was taken out of chancery, and paid out a small dividend on its ordinary shares.

He returned to government in 1874, serving once again as India Secretary in the government of Benjamin Disraeli. Salisbury gradually developed a good relationship with Disraeli, whom he had previously disliked and distrusted. In 1878, Salisbury succeeded Lord Derby (son of the former Prime Minister) as Foreign Secretary in time to help lead Britain to "peace with honour" at the Congress of Berlin. For this he was rewarded with the Order of the Garter.

Following Disraeli's death in 1881, the Conservatives entered a period of turmoil. Salisbury became the leader of the Conservative members of the House of Lords, though the overall leadership of the party was not formally allocated. So he struggled with the Commons leader Sir Stafford Northcote, a struggle in which Salisbury eventually emerged as the leading figure. He became Prime Minister of a minority administration from 1885 to 1886. Although unable to accomplish much due to his lack of a parliamentary majority, the split of the Liberals over Irish Home Rule in 1886 enabled him to return to power with a majority, and, excepting a Liberal minority government (1892–1895), to serve as Prime Minister from 1886 to 1902.

In 1889 Salisbury set up the London County Council and then in 1890 allowed it to build houses. However he came to regret this, saying in November 1894 that the LCC, "is the place where collectivist and socialistic experiments are tried. It is the place where a new revolutionary spirit finds its instruments and collects its arms". [Andrew Roberts, "Salisbury: Victorian Titan" (Phoenix, 2000), p. 501.]

Also in 1889 Salisbury's Government passed the Naval Defence Act 1889 which facilitated the spending of an extra £20 million on the Royal Navy over the following four years. This was the biggest ever expansion of the navy in peacetime: ten new battleships, thirty-eight new cruisers, eighteen new torpedo boats and four new fast gunboats. Traditionally (since the Battle of Trafalgar) Britain had possessed a navy one-third larger than their nearest naval rival but now the Royal Navy was set to the Two-Power Standard; that it would be maintained "to a standard of strength equivalent to that of the combined forces of the next two biggest navies in the world". [Ibid, p. 540.] This was aimed at France and Russia.

Salisbury's expertise was in foreign affairs. For most of his time as Prime Minister he served not as First Lord of the Treasury, the traditional position held by the Prime Minister, but as Foreign Secretary. In that capacity, he skillfully managed Britain's foreign affairs, famously pursuing a policy of "Splendid Isolation". Among the important events of his premierships was the Partition of Africa, culminating in the Fashoda Crisis and the Second Boer War. At home he sought to "fight Home Rule with kindness" by launching a land reform programme which helped hundreds of thousands of Irish peasants gain land ownership.

On 11 July 1902, in failing health and broken hearted over the death of his wife, Salisbury resigned. He was succeeded by his nephew, Arthur James Balfour. Salisbury was offered a dukedom by Queen Victoria in 1886 and 1892, but declined both offers, citing the prohibitive cost of the lifestyle dukes were expected to maintain.

When Salisbury died his estate was probated at 310,336 pounds sterling. In 1900 Salisbury was worth £6.56 million, about £374 million in 2005.Fact|date=February 2007

Legacy

Salisbury is seen as an icon of traditional, aristocratic conservatism. The academic quarterly "Salisbury Review" was named in his honour upon its founding in 1982.

Clement Attlee (Labour Party Prime Minister, 1945-1951) believed Salisbury to be the best Prime Minister of his lifetime. [Ibid, p. 836.]

While Secretary of State for India in 1875, Salisbury remarked that the British public would not accept a "black man", such as the Indian Dadabhai Naoroji as an MPFact|date=July 2008.

The British phrase 'Bob's your uncle' is thought to have derived from Robert Cecil's appointment of his nephew, Arthur Balfour, as Minister for Ireland .

Family

Lord Salisbury was the second son of the 2nd Marquess of Salisbury, a minor Tory politician. In 1857, he defied his father and married Georgina Alderson. She was the daughter of Sir Edward Alderson, a moderately notable jurist and so of much lower social standing than the Cecils. The marriage proved a happy one. Robert and Georgina had eight children, all but one of whom survived infancy.

*Lady Beatrix Cecil († 27 April 1950), married the 2nd Earl of Selborne
*Lady Gwendolen Cecil († 28 September 1945), author, and biographer of her father; she never married.
*Lady Fanny Cecil († 24 April 1867), died as an infant
*James, Viscount Cranborne (23 October 1861–4 April 1947), later 4th Marquess of Salisbury
*Lord William Cecil (9 March 1863–23 June 1936)
*Lord Robert Cecil (14 September 1864–24 November 1958), later 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood
*Lord Edward Cecil (12 July 1867–13 December 1918)
*Lord Hugh Cecil (14 October 1869–10 December 1956), later 1st Baron Quickswood

Beliefs

Salisbury believed the role of government was to maintain and extend individual freedom, but to avoid interfering in social and economic affairs. He also advocated self help: 'No men ever rise to any permanent improvement in their condition of body or of mind except by relying upon their own personal efforts'.

Lord Salisbury's First Government, July 1885–February 1886

*Lord Salisbury – Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Leader of the House of Lords
*Lord Iddesleigh – First Lord of the Treasury
*Lord Halsbury – Lord Chancellor
*Lord Cranbrook – Lord President of the Council
*Lord Harrowby – Lord Privy Seal
*Sir Richard Cross – Secretary of State for the Home Department
*Sir Frederick Stanley – Secretary of State for the Colonies
*William Henry Smith – Secretary of State for War
*Lord Randolph Churchill – Secretary of State for India
*Lord George Hamilton – First Lord of the Admiralty
*Sir Michael Hicks Beach – Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons
*The Duke of Richmond – President of the Board of Trade
*Lord John Manners – Postmaster-General
*Lord Carnarvon – Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
*Lord Ashbourne – Lord Chancellor of Ireland
*Edward Stanhope – Vice President of the Council

Changes

*August 1885 – The Duke of Richmond becomes Secretary for Scotland. Edward Stanhope succeeds him at the Board of Trade. Stanhope's successor as Vice President of the Council is not in the Cabinet.
*January, 1886 – The Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland is put into commission. William Henry Smith becomes Chief Secretary for Ireland. Lord Cranbrook succeeds him as Secretary for War, while remaining Lord President.

Lord Salisbury's Second Government, August 1886–August 1892

*Lord Salisbury – First Lord of the Treasury and Leader of the House of Lords
*Lord Halsbury – Lord Chancellor
*Lord Cranbrook – Lord President of the Council
*Lord Cadogan – Lord Privy Seal
*Henry Matthews – Secretary of State for the Home Department
*Lord Iddesleigh – Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
*Edward Stanhope – Secretary of State for the Colonies
*William Henry Smith – Secretary of State for War
*Lord Cross – Secretary of State for India
*Lord George Hamilton – First Lord of the Admiralty
*Lord Randolph Churchill – Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons
*Lord Stanley of Preston – President of the Board of Trade
*Lord John Manners – Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
*Sir Michael Hicks Beach – Chief Secretary for Ireland
*Arthur James Balfour – Secretary for Scotland

Cabinet after the reorganisation of January 1887

*Lord Salisbury – Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Leader of the House of Lords
*William Henry Smith – First Lord of the Treasury and Leader of the House of Commons
*Lord Halsbury – Lord Chancellor
*Lord Cranbrook – Lord President of the Council
*Lord Cadogan – Lord Privy Seal
*Henry Matthews – Secretary of State for the Home Department
*Sir Henry Holland – Secretary of State for the Colonies
*Edward Stanhope – Secretary of State for War
*Lord Cross – Secretary of State for India
*Lord George Hamilton – First Lord of the Admiralty
*George Goschen – Chancellor of the Exchequer
*Lord Stanley of Preston – President of the Board of Trade
*Lord John Manners – Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
*Arthur James Balfour – Chief Secretary for Ireland
*Charles Thomson Ritchie – President of the Local Government Board
*Sir Michael Hicks Beach – Minister without Portfolio

Further Changes

*February 1888 – Sir Michael Hicks Beach succeeds Lord Stanley of Preston as President of the Board of Trade
*1889 – Henry Chaplin enters the Cabinet as President of the Board of Agriculture.
*October 1891 – Arthur James Balfour succeeds William Henry Smith (deceased) as First Lord of the Treasury and Leader of the House of Commons. William Lawies Jackson succeeds him as Irish Secretary.

Lord Salisbury's Third Government, June 1895–July 1902

*Lord Salisbury – Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Leader of the House of Lords
*Arthur James Balfour – First Lord of the Treasury and Leader of the House of Commons
*Lord Halsbury – Lord Chancellor
*The Duke of Devonshire – Lord President of the Council
*Lord Cross – Lord Privy Seal
*Sir Matthew White Ridley – Secretary of State for the Home Department
*Joseph Chamberlain – Secretary of State for the Colonies
*Lord Lansdowne – Secretary of State for War
*Lord George Hamilton – Secretary of State for India
*George Joachim Goschen – First Lord of the Admiralty
*Sir Michael Hicks Beach – Chancellor of the Exchequer
*Charles Thomson Ritchie – President of the Board of Trade
*Henry Chaplin – President of the Local Government Board
*Lord James of Hereford – Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
*Aretas Akers-Douglas – First Commissioner of Works
*Lord Cadogan – Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland
*Lord Ashbourne – Lord Chancellor of Ireland
*Lord Balfour of Burleigh – Secretary for Scotland
*Walter Hume Long – President of the Board of Agriculture

Changes

November 1900 – Complete reorganisation of the ministry:
*Lord Salisbury – Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords
*Arthur James Balfour – First Lord of the Treasury and Leader of the House of Commons
*Lord Halsbury – Lord Chancellor
*The Duke of Devonshire – Lord President of the Council
*Charles Thomson Ritchie – Secretary of State for the Home Department
*Lord Lansdowne – Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
*Joseph Chamberlain – Secretary of State for the Colonies
*William St John Brodrick – Secretary of State for War
*Lord George Hamilton – Secretary of State for India
*Lord Selborne – First Lord of the Admiralty
*Sir Michael Hicks Beach – Chancellor of the Exchequer
*Gerald William Balfour – President of the Board of Trade
*Walter Hume Long – President of the Local Government Board
*Lord James of Hereford – Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
*Aretas Akers-Douglas – First Commissioner of Works
*Lord Cadogan – Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland
*Lord Ashbourne – Lord Chancellor of Ireland
*Lord Balfour of Burleigh – Secretary for Scotland
*Robert William Hanbury – President of the Board of Agriculture

Notes

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Further reading

* A. L. Kennedy, "Salisbury 1830-1903: Portrait of a Statesman" (1953)
* Andrew Roberts "Salisbury: Victorian Titan" (1999)
* M. Bentley, "Lord Salisbury's World. Conservative Environments in Late-Victorian Britain" (Cambridge, 2001).

* [http://pm.gov.uk/output/Page144.asp More about Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury] on the Downing street website.


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