- Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery
Infobox Prime Minister
name= The Earl of Rosebery
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
term_start =5 March 1894
term_end =22 June 1895
William Ewart Gladstone
successor =The Marquess of Salisbury
term_end2=3 August 1886
William Ewart Gladstone
predecessor2=The Marquess of Salisbury
successor2=The Earl of Iddesleigh
term_start3=18 August 1892
term_end3=11 March 1894
William Ewart Gladstone
predecessor3=The Marquess of Salisbury
successor3=The Earl of Kimberley
birth_date =birth date|1847|5|7|df=y
Berkeley Square, London
death_date =death date and age|1929|5|21|1847|5|7|df=y
Christ Church, Oxford
spouse =Hannah de Rothschild
Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, KG, PC (7 May 1847 – 21 May 1929) was a British Liberal
statesmanand Prime Minister, also known as Archibald Primrose (1847–1851) and Lord Dalmeny (1851–1868).
Rosebery was born in his parents' house in Charles Street,
London, on 7 May 1847. At the time of his birth he was styled "Archibald Philip Primrose". His father was Lord Dalmeny, heir to The 4th Earl. Lord Dalmeny was MP for Stirlingfrom 1832 to 1847 and served as First Lord of the Admiraltyunder Lord Melbourne. Rosebery's mother was Catherine, a daughter of The Earl Stanhope. His father died on 23 January 1851 and from then on he was styled "Lord Dalmeny". In 1854 his mother married The Duke of Cleveland. The relationship between mother and son was very poor. Dalmeny attended preparatory schools in Hertfordshireand Brighton.
Dalmeny attended Eton between 1860 and 1865. Whilst there, he participated in debates and attracted the attention of
William Johnson Cory, not just because of his remarkable intellect but in a sexual way also.. [Michael Matthew Kaylor, "Secreted Desires: The Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater and Wilde" (2006)]
This meant that for nearly a quarter of a century, from 1880 until 1902, the three Prime Ministers of that period – Gladstone, Salisbury and Rosebery – all went to both Eton and Christ Church. All in all, 19 Prime Ministers (38%) have gone to Eton, and 14 (28%) to Christ Church.
A prominent figure on the turf for 40 years, Dalmeny bought a horse, Ladas, in 1868. A rule banned undergraduates from owning horses, and when he was found out, he was offered a choice: sell the horse or give up his studies. He chose the latter.
His grandfather having died in 1868, Dalmeny became
Earl of Rosebery. This did not entitle him to sit in the House of Lords, as the title is part of the old Peerage of Scotland, from which 16 members ( representative peers) were elected to sit in the Lords for each session of Parliament. However, in 1828 Rosebery's grandfather had been created 1st Baron Roseberyin the Peerage of the United Kingdom; this did entitle Rosebery to sit in the Lords like all peers of the United Kingdom.
Rosebery toured the
United Statesin 1873. He was pressed to marry Mary Fox, the illegitimate daughter of Baron Holland by a French maid; Baroness Holland, a daughter of the Earl of Coventry, adopted Mary. However, Mary, who was only sixteen, declined and later married a Prince of Liechtenstein.
His three aims
Personal life after 1878
Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton] In 1878, Rosebery married Hannah, only child of the Jewish banker Baron Mayer de Rothschild, and the greatest English heiress of her day. Her father had died in 1874 and she had inherited the bulk of his estate.
The couple were introduced by Mrs. Disraeli in 1875, at
They were married in the Board of Guardians in Mount Street, London, on 20 March 1878, when he was 31 and she 27. Later that day, the marriage was blessed in a Christian ceremony in Christ Church, Down Street,
Piccadilly. In January, Rosebery had said to a friend that he found Hannah "very simple, very unspoilt, very clever, very warm-hearted and very shy...I never knew such a beautiful character." Both Queen Victoria's son the Prince of Wales and her cousin, the army commander George, Duke of Cambridgeattended the ceremony. Hannah's death in 1890 from typhoid, compounded by Bright's disease, left him distraught.
It was speculated that he intended to marry the widowed
Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany, who was married to Queen Victoria's 4th son, Prince Leopold. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=950CE6D71139EF32A25752C1A9619C946097D6CF Lord Rosebery to marry a Princess?] , "New York Times", 11 July 1901.]
It was also speculated that he was
bisexual. Like Oscar Wilde, he was hounded by John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberryfor his association with one of Queensberry's sons — Francis Douglas, Viscount Drumlanrig.
Rosebery had four children with Hannah:
*Sybil Myra Caroline (1879–1955), married Sir Charles Grant (1877–1950).
*Margaret, known as Peggy, (b. 1881), who in 1899 married The Marquess of Crewe (1858–1945). Such was her father's popularity that London came to a standstill for the wedding.
Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery(Albert Edward Harry Meyer Archibald) (January 1882 – 1974), served as Scottish Secretary in 1945.
*Neil James Archibald (December 1882 – 1917). Killed in action in
Palestine. Married Lady Victoria Stanley; father of Ruth, Countess of Halifax. Margot Asquithsaid that Rosebery loved to play with his children.
Dalmeny Housewas the ancestral seat of the Earls of Rosebery and the setting for Lord and Lady Rosebery's political houseparties.] Rosebery was the owner of twelve houses.By marriage, he acquired:
Mentmore Towersin Buckinghamshire, a huge neo-Renaissance stately home, sold in the 1970s.
*Mentmore Stud in
Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
*Another stud in
*Number 40, Piccadilly, in London. With his fortune, he bought:
*A shooting lodge at Carrington in
*A Georgian villa at Postwick in
*In 1897 he bought Villa Delahante in Posillipo, overlooking the
Bay of Naples, currently residence of President of Italian Republic, still known as "Villa Rosebery".
*38 Berkeley Square, London.
Epsom, where he died in 1929.As Earl of Rosebery, he was laird of:
Dalmeny Houseon the banks of the Firth of Forth(pictured)
*Barnbougle Castle in the grounds of Dalmeny Estate, used by Rosebery (an insomniac) for privacy.He rented:
*A home in Randolph Crescent,
Edinburgh, during World War I.
Lansdowne House, in London, from the Marquess of Lansdowne.
Earlier political career
Early Whig leanings
Benjamin Disraelioften met with Rosebery in the 1870s to attract him to his party, but this proved futile.
Disraeli's major rival,
William Ewart Gladstone, also pursued Rosebery, with considerable success.
The Midlothian campaign
As part of the Liberal plan to get Gladstone to be MP for Midlothian, Rosebery sponsored and largely ran the
Midlothian Campaignof 1879. He based this on seeing a presidential election in the USA. Gladstone spoke from open-deck trains, and gathered mass support. In 1880 he was duly elected Member for Midlothian and returned to the Premiership.
First period in office (1886)
Rosebery helped Gladstone's perpetual Home Rule Bill in the House of Lords; nevertheless it failed.
He served as President of the first day of the 1890
Co-operative Congress.Citation | title = Congress Presidents 1869-2002| url =http://archive.co-op.ac.uk/downloadFiles/congressPresidentstable.pdf|date=February 2002| accessdate =2008-05-10]
econd period in office (1892–1894)
Rosebery's second period as Foreign Secretary predominantly involved quarrels with
Franceover Uganda. To quote his hero Napoleon, Rosebery thought that "the Master of Egypt is the Master of India"; thus he pursued the policy of expansion in Africa.
Rosebery became a leader of the Liberal Imperialist faction of the Liberal Party, and in Gladstone's third (February to July 1886) and fourth (August 1892 to March 1894) administrations, Rosebery served as Foreign Secretary. When Gladstone retired in 1894, Rosebery became his successor as Prime Minister, much to the disgust of Sir William Harcourt, the
Chancellor of the Exchequerand leader of the more left-wing Liberals. His selection was largely the consequence of Queen Victoria's dislike for most of the leading Liberals of the day.
Rosebery's government was largely unsuccessful. His designs in foreign policy, such as expansion of the fleet, were defeated by disagreements within the Liberal Party, while the Unionist-dominated House of Lords stopped the whole of the Liberals' domestic legislation. On 21 June 1895, Rosebery resigned after a minor defeat in the House of Commons, and a Unionist government under Lord Salisbury took his place.
According to his biographer
Robert Rhodes JamesRosebery rapidly lost interest in running the government that he found Gladstone had basically dumped on him. The strongest figure in the Cabinet was Sir William Harcourtand Harcourt and his son Lewis Harcourtwere perennially critical of Rosebery's policies. Towards the last year of the Premiership, Rosebery was increasingly haggard, due to insomnia brought about by the difficulties in his official government family. Interestingly enough there was a future Prime Minister in the Cabinet, Herbert Asquithwho was Attorney-General. However Asquith was in no real position to assist his chief.
The "defeat" that led to his resignation caught everyone by surprise. It was on a bill forthe an increase of the government budget for the purchase of
corditefor explosives. It was defeated by a relatively small number of votes, and without any warning Rosebey announced it to be a vote of no confidence, much to the surprise of the Conservative Party. Rosebery's resignation led to a period of ten years (1895-1905) of Tory Party Governments under Lord Salisburyand Arthur Balfour.
Rosebery resigned as leader of the Liberal Party on 8 October 1896, to be succeeded by Harcourt, and gradually moved further and further from the mainstream of the party, supporting the Boer War and opposing Irish
Home Rule, a position that prevented him from participating in the Liberal government that returned to power in 1905. In his later years, Rosebery turned to writing, including biographies of Lord Chatham, Pitt the Younger, Napoleon, and Lord Randolph Churchill. Another one of his passionate interests was the collecting of books.
The last years of his political life saw Rosebery become a purely negative critic of the Liberal governments of Campbell-Bannerman and Asquith. His crusade "for freedom as against bureaucracy, for freedom as against democratic tyranny, for freedom as against class legislation, and … for freedom as against Socialism" ["The Times", 16 February 1910] was a lonely one, conducted from the cross-benches in the Lords. He did join the die-hard unionist peers in attacking Lloyd George's redistributive
People's Budgetin 1909, but stopped short of voting against the measure for fear of bringing retribution upon the Lords. The crisis provoked by the Lords' rejection of the budget encouraged him to reintroduce his resolutions for Lords reform, but they were lost with the dissolution of parliament in December 1910. After assaulting the "ill-judged, revolutionary and partisan" terms of the 1911 Parliament Bill, [R. R. James, "Rosebery: a biography of Archibald Philip, fifth earl of Rosebery" (1963), p. 469.] which proposed to curb the Lords' veto, he voted with the government in what proved to be his last appearance in the House of Lords. This was effectively the end of his public life, though he made several public appearances to support the war effort after 1914 and sponsored a "bantam battalion" in 1915. Though Lloyd George offered him "a high post not involving departmental labour" to augment his 1916 coalition, Rosebery declined to serve. [R. O. A. Crewe-Milnes, "Lord Rosebery", (1931), vol. 2. p. 51.]
The last year of the war was clouded by two personal tragedies—his son Neil's death in Palestine in November 1917 and Rosebery's own stroke a few days before the armistice. He regained his mental powers, but his movement, hearing, and sight remained impaired for the rest of his life. His sister, Constance, described his last years as a "life of weariness, of total inactivity, & at the last of almost blindness";
John Buchanremembered him in his last month of life, "crushed by bodily weakness" and "sunk in sad and silent meditations". [Rhodes James, p. 485.] Rosebery died at The Durdans, Epsom, Surrey, on 21 May 1929, to the accompaniment—as he had requested—of a gramophone recording of the Eton boating song. Survived by three of his four children, he was buried in the small church at Dalmeny.
When Rosebery died in 1929 his estate was probated at £1,500,122 3"s". 6"d".; ( £62,693,299.71 ) he was thus the richest Prime Minister ever, followed by Salisbury, then by Palmerston.
A southern suburb of
Sydney, Australia, is named Rosebery, after the Earl. A major street, Dalmeny Avenue, runs through the area.
Involvement in professional sport
Thoroughbred horse racing
As a result of his marriage to Hannah de Rothschild, Rosebery acquired Mentmore Towers and Mentmore
studnear Leighton Buzzardthat had been built by Mayer Amschel de Rothschild. Rosbery would build another stable and stud near Mentmore Towers at Crafton, Buckinghamshire, called Crafton Stud.
Rosebery's horses won at least one of each of the five English Classic Races. Among the most famous were Ladas who won the 1894
Epsom Derby, Sir Vistowho did it again in 1895, and Cicero in 1905.
Rosebery also developed a keen in interest in association football and was an early patron of the sport in Scotland. In 1882 he donated a trophy, the
Rosebery Charity Cup, to be competed for by clubs under the jurisdiction of the East of Scotland FA. The competition lasted over 60 years and raised thousands of pounds for charities in the Edinburgharea.
Rosebery also became Honorary President of the national
Scottish Football Association, with the representative Scotland national team occasionally forsaking their traditional dark blue shirts for his traditional racing colours of primrose and pink. This occurred 9 times during Rosebery's lifetime, most notably for the 1900 British Home Championshipmatch against England, which the Scots won 4–1.
Lord Rosebery's government, March 1894 – June 1895
*Lord Rosebery –
First Lord of the Treasury, Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Lords
*Lord Herschell –
*Lord Tweedmouth –
Lord Privy Seal
Herbert Henry Asquith– Secretary of State for the Home Department
*Lord Kimberley –
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
*Lord Ripon –
Secretary of State for the Colonies
Henry Campbell-Bannerman– Secretary of State for War
*Sir Henry Hartley Fowler –
Secretary of State for India
*Sir William Harcourt –
Chancellor of the Exchequerand Leader of the House of Commons
*Lord Spencer –
First Lord of the Admiralty
Anthony John Mundella– President of the Board of Trade
Arnold Morley– Postmaster-General
*George John Shaw-Lefevre –
President of the Local Government Board
*James Bryce –
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
John Morley– Chief Secretary for Ireland
George Otto Trevelyan– Secretary for Scotland
Arthur Herbert Dyke Acland– Vice President of the Council
*May 1894: James Bryce succeeds A.J. Mundella at the Board of Trade. Lord Tweedmouth succeeds Bryce at the Duchy of Lancaster, remaining also Lord Privy Seal.
Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery
*In his fraudulent memoirs,
Sir Edmund Backhouse, 2nd Baronetclaimed to be Rosebery's lover.
*Rosebery: Statesman in Turmoil by
Leo McKinstryISBN 0-7195-5879-4
* [http://www.liberalhistory.org.uk/record.jsp?type=page&ID=13&liberalbiographies=liberalbiographies Earl Of Rosebery 1847–1929] biography from the Liberal Democrat History Group
* [http://pm.gov.uk/output/Page143.asp More about The Earl of Roseberry] on the Downing street website.
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