Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery

Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, 1st Earl of Midlothian, KG, KT, PC, FRS, FBA (7 May 1847 – 21 May 1929) was a British Liberal politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from March 1894 to June 1895. Between the death of his father, in 1851, and the death of his grandfather, the 4th Earl of Rosebery, in 1868 he was known by the courtesy title of Lord Dalmeny.

Rosebery first came to national attention in 1879 by sponsoring the successful Midlothian campaign of William Ewart Gladstone. He briefly was in charge of Scottish affairs. His most successful performance in office came as chairman of the London County Council in 1889. He entered the cabinet in 1885 and served twice as foreign minister, paying special attention to French and German affairs. He succeeded Gladstone as prime minister and leader of the Liberal Party in 1894; the Liberals lost the 1895 election. He resigned the party leadership in 1896 and never again held political office.

Rosebery was widely known as a brilliant orator, an outstanding sportsman and marksman, a writer and historian, connoisseur and collector. All of these activities attracted him more than politics, which grew boring and unattractive. Furthermore, he drifted to the right of the Liberal party and became a bitter critic of its policies. Winston Churchill, observing that he never adapted to democratic electoral competition, quipped: "He would not stoop; he did not conquer."[1]

Rosebery was a Liberal Imperialist who favoured strong national defence and imperialism abroad and social reform at home, while being solidly anti-socialist. Historians judge him a failure as foreign minister[2] and as prime minister.[3][4]

The Earl of Rosebery

The Earl of Rosebery
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
5 March 1894 – 22 June 1895
Preceded byWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Succeeded byThe Marquess of Salisbury
Leader of the Opposition
In office
22 June 1895 – 6 October 1896
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byThe Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded bySir William Harcourt
Lord President of the Council
In office
10 March 1894 – 21 June 1895
Preceded byThe Earl of Kimberley
Succeeded byThe Duke of Devonshire
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
6 February 1886 – 3 August 1886
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byThe Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded byThe Earl of Iddesleigh
In office
18 August 1892 – 10 March 1894
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byThe Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded byThe Earl of Kimberley
First Commissioner of Works
In office
13 February 1885 – 9 June 1885
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byGeorge Shaw-Lefevre
Succeeded byDavid Plunket
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
In office
August 1881 – June 1883
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byLeonard Courtney
Succeeded byJ. T. Hibbert
Personal details
Archibald Philip Primrose

7 May 1847
Mayfair, Middlesex, England
Died21 May 1929 (aged 82)
Epsom, Surrey, England
Resting placeDalmeny Parish Church, Edinburgh, Scotland
Political partyLiberal
Hannah de Rothschild
(m. 1878; died 1890)
Children4, including Sybil, Harry, and Neil
ParentsArchibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny
Wilhelmina Powlett, Duchess of Cleveland
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford
Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery's signature
Shield of arms of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, KG, KT, PC, FRS, FBA
Garter encircled shield of arms of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, KG, as displayed on his Order of the Garter stall plate in St. George's Chapel, viz. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, vert three primroses within a double tressure flory counterflory or, for PRIMROSE; 2nd and 3rd, argent a lion rampant double-queued sable, for CRESSY.

Origins and early life

Archibald Philip Primrose was born on 7 May 1847 in his parents' house in Charles Street, Mayfair, London.[5] His father was Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny (1809–1851), son and heir apparent to Archibald Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery (1783–1868), whom he predeceased. Lord Dalmeny was a courtesy title used by the Earl's eldest son and heir apparent, during the Earl's lifetime, and was one of the Earl's lesser Scottish titles. Lord Dalmeny (died 1851) was MP for Stirling from 1832 to 1847 and served as First Lord of the Admiralty under Lord Melbourne.[6]

Rosebery's mother was Lady (Catherine Lucy) Wilhelmina Stanhope (1819–1901), a historian who later wrote under her second married name "the Duchess of Cleveland", a daughter of Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl Stanhope. Lord Dalmeny died on 23 January 1851, having predeceased his father, when the courtesy title passed to his son, the future Rosebery, as the new heir to the earldom.[7] In 1854 his mother remarried to Lord Harry Vane (later after 1864 known as Harry Powlett, 4th Duke of Cleveland).[8] The relationship between mother and son was very poor. His elder and favourite sister Lady Leconfield was the wife of Henry Wyndham, 2nd Baron Leconfield.[9]

Education and youth

Dalmeny attended preparatory schools in Hertfordshire and Brighton and then Eton which he attended between 1860 and 1863; he then went to Brighton College between 1863 and 1865. His remarkable intellect, displayed in debates, attracted the attention of William Johnson Cory. Dalmeny proceeded to Christ Church, Oxford, through the years 1865 until 1869. Remarkably the three Prime Ministers from 1880 to 1902, namely Gladstone, Salisbury and Rosebery, all attended both Eton and Christ Church. Whilst at Christ Church, in 1868 Dalmeny bought a horse named Ladas, although a rule banned undergraduates from owning horses. When he was found out, he was offered a choice: to sell the horse or to give up his studies. He chose the latter, and subsequently was a prominent figure in British horseracing for 40 years.

Rosebery toured the United States in 1873, 1874 and 1876. He was pressed to marry Marie Fox, the sixteen-year-old adopted daughter of Henry Fox, 4th Baron Holland. She declined him and later married Prince Louis of Liechtenstein.

Succession to earldom

When his grandfather died in 1868, Dalmeny became 5th Earl of Rosebery. The earldom did not however entitle Archibald Primrose to sit in the House of Lords, nor disqualify him from sitting in the House of Commons, 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 Rosebery in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which did entitle Rosebery to sit in the Lords like all peers of the United Kingdom, and barred him from a career in the House of Commons.


Rosebery is reputed to have said that he had three aims in life: to win the Derby, to marry an heiress, and to become Prime Minister.[10] He managed all three.

Early political career

At Eton, Rosebery notably attacked Charles I of England for his despotism, and went on to praise his Whig forebears – his ancestor, James Stanhope, 1st Earl Stanhope, was a minister to George I of Great Britain. Benjamin Disraeli often met with Rosebery in the 1870s to try to recruit him for his party, but this proved futile. Disraeli's major rival, William Ewart Gladstone, also pursued Rosebery, with considerable success.

As part of the Liberal plan to get Gladstone to be MP for Midlothian, Rosebery sponsored and largely ran the Midlothian Campaign of 1879. He based this on what he had observed in elections in the United States. Gladstone spoke from open-deck trains, and gathered mass support. In 1880, he was duly elected Member for Midlothian and returned to the premiership.[11][12]

Rosebery served as Foreign Secretary in Gladstone's brief third ministry in 1886. He served as the first chairman of the London County Council, set up by the Conservatives in 1889. Rosebery Avenue in Clerkenwell is named after him.[13][14]

He served as President of the first day of the 1890 Co-operative Congress.[15]

Rosebery's second period as Foreign Secretary, 1892–1894, predominantly involved quarrels with France over 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 helped Gladstone's Second Home Rule Bill in the House of Lords; nevertheless it was defeated overwhelmingly in the autumn of 1893.[16] The first bill had been defeated in the House of Commons in 1886.[17]

Prime Minister

Rosebery became a leader of the Liberal Imperialist faction of the Liberal Party and when Gladstone retired, in 1894, Rosebery succeeded him as Prime Minister, much to the disgust of Sir William Harcourt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the more left-wing Liberals. Rosebery's selection was largely because Queen Victoria disliked most of the other leading Liberals. Rosebery was in the Lords, but Harcourt controlled the Commons, where he often undercut the prime minister. Rosebery was the only one of the ten Prime Ministers to serve during Queen Victoria's reign who was born after her accession to the throne in 1837.

Rosebery's government was largely unsuccessful, as in the Armenian crisis of 1895–96. He spoke out for a strongly pro-Armenian and anti-Turkish policy.[18] Gladstone, a prime minister in retirement, called on Britain to intervene alone. The added pressure weakened Rosebery.[19]

His designs in foreign policy, such as expansion of the fleet, were defeated by disagreements within the Liberal Party. He angered all the European powers.[20]

The Unionist-dominated House of Lords stopped the whole of the Liberals' domestic legislation. The strongest figure in the cabinet was Rosebery's rival, Harcourt. He and his son Lewis were perennial critics of Rosebery's policies. There were two future prime ministers in the Cabinet, Home Secretary H. H. Asquith, and Secretary of State for War Henry Campbell-Bannerman. Rosebery rapidly lost interest in running the government. In the last year of his premiership, he was increasingly haggard: he suffered insomnia due to the continual dissension in his Cabinet.

On 21 June 1895, the government lost a vote in committee on army supply by just seven votes. While this might have been treated merely as a vote of no confidence in Secretary for War Campbell-Bannerman, Rosebery chose to treat it as a vote of censure on his government. On 22 June, he and his ministers tendered their resignations to the Queen, who invited the Unionist leader, Lord Salisbury, to form a government. The following month, the Unionists won a crushing victory in the 1895 general election, and held power for ten years (1895–1905) under Salisbury and Arthur Balfour. Rosebery remained the Liberal leader for another year, then permanently retired from politics.

Lord Rosebery's government, March 1894 – June 1895


  • 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.

Later life

Earl of Rosebery Vanity Fair 14 March 1901
Rosebery caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1901

Liberal Imperialists

Rosebery resigned as leader of the Liberal Party on 6 October 1896, to be succeeded by Harcourt and gradually moved further and further from the mainstream of the party. With the Liberals in opposition divided over the Boer War which started in 1899, Rosebery, although officially politically inactive, emerged as the head of the “Liberal Imperialists” faction of the party, opposed to Irish Home rule. He supported the war, and brought along many nonconformists likewise.[21][22] However the war was opposed by a younger faction of Liberals, including David Lloyd George and the party leader Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman.[23] Rosebery’s acolytes, including H H Asquith and Edward Grey, regularly implored him to return as party leader and even Campbell-Bannerman said he would serve under Rosebery, if he accepted fundamental Liberal party doctrine.[24] In a much trailed speech to the Chesterfield Liberal Association in December 1901, Rosebery was widely expected to announce his return but instead delivered what Harcourt's son and private secretary Loulou described as, “an insult to the whole past of the Liberal party,” by telling the party to, “clean its slate.”[25][26] In 1902 Rosebery was installed as president of the newly formed “Liberal League” which superseded the Liberal Imperialist League and counted amongst its vice presidents Asquith and Grey.[27]

1905 onwards

Rosebery's positions made it impossible to join the Liberal government that returned to power in 1905. 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 rare 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"[28] was a lonely one, conducted from the crossbenches in the Lords. He joined the die-hard unionist peers in attacking Lloyd George's redistributive People's Budget in 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,[29] 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.[30]

Death and burial

Durdans (1) (geograph 2742620)
Durdans, Woodcote End, Epsom, Surrey, England was the place of Rosebery's demise in 1929, shown in 2011. Its gardens are smaller than when engraved by John Hassell in 1816.

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, and at the last of almost blindness". John Buchan remembered him in his last month of life, "crushed by bodily weakness" and "sunk in sad and silent meditations".[31]

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.

His estate was probated at £1,500,122 3s. 6d.; (equivalent to £89,573,000 in 2018) and he was thus the richest prime minister ever, followed by Salisbury, then by Palmerston.


Hannah de Rothschild, portrait by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton

On 20 March 1878 in the Board of Guardians in Mount Street, London, at the age of 31 Rosebery married the 27-year-old Hannah de Rothschild (1851–1890), only child and sole heiress of the Jewish banker Mayer Amschel de Rothschild, and the wealthiest British heiress of her day. Her father had died four years previously in 1874, and bequeathed to her the bulk of his estate. Later on the same day the marriage was blessed in a Christian ceremony in Christ Church, Down Street, Piccadilly.

In January 1878 Rosebery had told 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 Cambridge attended the ceremony. Hannah's death in 1890 from typhoid, compounded by Bright's disease, left him distraught.

Following his wife's death it was speculated that Rosebery intended to marry the widowed Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany, widow of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, 4th son of Queen Victoria.[32]

It was also speculated that Rosebery was homosexual or bisexual. Like Oscar Wilde, he was hounded by John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry, for his association with Francis Douglas, Viscount Drumlanrig, one of Queensberry's sons[33] — who was his private secretary.

On 18 October 1894, sixteen months after his ennoblement, Drumlanrig died from injuries received during a shooting party. The inquest returned a verdict of "accidental death", but his death was rumoured potentially to be suicide or murder.[34] It was speculated at the time, and indeed evidence suggests,[35] that Drumlanrig may have had a romantic or sexual relationship with Rosebery. The suggestion was that Queensberry had threatened to expose the Prime Minister if his government did not vigorously prosecute Wilde for Wilde's relationship with Drumlanrig's younger brother, Lord Alfred Douglas. Queensberry believed, as he put it in a letter, that "Snob Queers like Rosebery" had corrupted his sons, and he held Rosebery indirectly responsible for Drumlanrig's death.[36]


By his wife Hannah de Rothschild, Rosebery had two sons and two daughters, with whom, according to Margot Asquith, he loved to play:

Sporting interests

Horse racing

As a result of his marriage to Hannah de Rothschild, Rosebery acquired the Mentmore Towers estate and Mentmore stud near Leighton Buzzard which had been built by Mayer Amschel de Rothschild. Rosebery built another stable and stud near Mentmore Towers at Crafton, Buckinghamshire, called Crafton Stud.

Rosebery won several of the five English Classic Races. His most famous horses were Ladas who won the 1894 Derby, Sir Visto who did it again in 1895 (Rosebery was Prime Minister on both occasions), and Cicero in 1905.


Rosebery became the first president of the London Scottish Rugby Football Club in 1878, also developed a keen 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 Football Association. The competition lasted over 60 years and raised thousands of pounds for charities in the Edinburgh area.

Rosebery also became Honorary President of the national Scottish Football Association, with the representative Scotland national team and Honorary President of Heart of Midlothian FC. The national team occasionally forsook 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 Championship match against England, which the Scots won 4–1. These colours were used for the away kit of the Scottish national team in 2014 and were Heart of Midlothian's away colours for season 2016/17.

Literary interests

He was a keen collector of fine books and amassed an excellent library. It was sold on 29 October 2009 at Sothebys, New Bond Street. Rosebery unveiled the statue of Robert Burns in Dumfries on 6 April 1882.[38]


Dalmenyhouse lighter
Dalmeny House was the ancestral seat of the Earls of Rosebery and the setting for Lord and Lady Rosebery's political houseparties.
Mentmore Towers from angle
Mentmore Towers
Napoli - Villa Rosebery2
Villa Delahente now Villa Rosebery

Rosebery was the owner of twelve houses. By marriage, he acquired:

With his fortune, he bought:

As Earl of Rosebery, he was laird of:

He rented:

Place-name tributes

The Oatlands area in the South Side of Glasgow was laid out in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, contemporary with Rosebery's most prominent period. Several of the street names have an association with him or areas around his estate to the northwest of Edinburgh: Rosebery Street, Dalmeny Street, Queensferry Street, Granton Street and Cramond Street.[39]

Rosebery, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney, is named after him. A major street, Dalmeny Avenue, runs through the area. Rosebery, Tasmania is also named after him, via the name of a mining company. Dalmeny, New South Wales, a suburb on the New South Wales South Coast, is named after him. Roseberry Avenue in the suburb of South Perth, Western Australia, is also named after him. The former township of Rosebery in South Australia (now part of Collinswood) was named for him, as was modern-day Rosebery Lane in Collinswood.[40]

Rosebery House, Epsom College, in Epsom, is named after him.

In October 1895, Lord Rosebery opened the new Liberal Club on Westborough, in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, only months after being Prime Minister. The building now houses a Wetherspoons, which is named in his honour.


See also



  1. ^ Lawrence, Jon (2009). Electing Our Masters : The Hustings in British Politics from Hogarth to Blair. Oxford UP. p. 1. ISBN 9780191567766.
  2. ^ Martel, Gordon (1986). Imperial Diplomacy: Rosebery and the Failure of Foreign Policy. McGill-Queen's UP. ISBN 9780773504424.
  3. ^ Peter Stansky, Ambitions and Strategies: The Struggle for the Leadership of the Liberal Party in the 1890s (1964)
  4. ^ Robert Rhodes James, Rosebery: a biography of Archibald Philip, fifth earl of Rosebery (1963)
  5. ^ James, Robert Rhodes (1963). Rosebery (Paperback 1995 ed.). London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. p. 9. ISBN 978-1857992199.
  6. ^ Rhodes James (paperback) p4
  7. ^ Rhodes James (paperback) p10-11
  8. ^ Rhodes James (paperback) p11-12
  9. ^ Footprints in Time. John Colville. 1976. Chapter 2, Lord Roseberys lamb.
  10. ^ "Papers Past — Observer — 5 May 1894 — CAP AND JACKET". Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  11. ^ David Brooks, "Gladstone and Midlothian: The Background to the First Campaign," Scottish Historical Review (1985) 64#1 pp 42–67
  12. ^ Robert Kelley, "Midlothian: A Study In Politics and Ideas," Victorian Studies (1960) 4#2, pp. 119–40.
  13. ^ Dick, David (1998). Who Was Who in Durban Street Names. Clerkington Pub. Co. pp. 150–151. ISBN 978-0620200349. ROSEBERY Avenue, off High Ridge Road, is named after Archibald Philip Primrose, 5"1 Earl of Rosebery who (...)
  14. ^ Turcotte, Bobbi (26 August 1982). "Former English PM's name, title still in use". Ottawa Citizen: 2. Retrieved 30 May 2016. But Primrose Avenue is named after Archibald Philip Primrose, fifth Earl of Roserbery (1847–1929), who was primse minister of England in 1894–95.
  15. ^ "Congress Presidents 1869–2002" (PDF). February 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
  16. ^ McKinstry, Leo (2006). Rosebery – Statesman in turmoil (Paperback ed.). Great Britain: John Murray. pp. 265–6. ISBN 978-0719565861.
  17. ^ McKinstry paperback p159
  18. ^ Haniamp, M. Sukru (1995). The Young Turks in Opposition. Oxford UP. pp. 61–62. ISBN 9780195358025.
  19. ^ R.C.K. Ensor. England: 1870 – 1914 (1936) pp 238–39
  20. ^ Gordon Martel (1986). Imperial Diplomacy: Rosebery and the Failure of Foreign Policy. McGill-Queen's UP. ISBN 9780773504424.
  21. ^ Élie Halévy, Imperialism and the Rise of Labour, 1895–1905 (1951) pp 99–110.
  22. ^ John S. Galbraith, "The pamphlet campaign on the Boer war." Journal of Modern History (1952): 111–126.
  23. ^ Wilson, John (1973). CB – A life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1st ed.). London: Constable and Company Limited. pp. 301–2. ISBN 978-0094589506.
  24. ^ Wilson p381
  25. ^ Rhodes James (paperback) p433
  26. ^ Jenkins, Roy (1964). Asquith (1994 paperback ed.). London: Pan Macmillan Publishers Limited. p. 130. ISBN 978-0333618196.
  27. ^ Wilson p387
  28. ^ The Times, 16 February 1910
  29. ^ R. R. James, Rosebery: a biography of Archibald Philip, fifth earl of Rosebery (1963), p. 469.
  30. ^ R. O. A. Crewe-Milnes, Lord Rosebery, (1931), vol. 2. p. 51.
  31. ^ Rhodes James, p. 485.
  32. ^ Lord Rosebery to marry a Princess?, New York Times, 11 July 1901.
  33. ^ Murray, Douglas Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas ISBN 0-340-76770-7
  34. ^ The Complete Peerage, Volume XIII – Peerage Creations 1901–1938. St Catherine's Press. 1949. p. 187.
  35. ^ McKenna, Neil: "The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde" (2003)
  36. ^ ^ Lord Queensberry to Alfred Montgomery, 1 November 1894. Quoted in Murray, Douglas (2000). Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-76770-2.
  37. ^ Englefield, Dermot; Seaton, Janet; White, Isobel: Facts about the British prime ministers. A compilation of biographical and historical information. London: Mansell, 1995.
  38. ^ "National Burns Collection - Burns Statue, Dumfries with Tam O'Shanter…".
  39. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 April 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  40. ^ Rodney Cockburn, What's in Name? Nomenclature of South Australia,Ferguson, 1984
  41. ^ J. Davis, "Primrose, Archibald Philip, fifth earl of Rosebery and first earl of Midlothian (1847–1929)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
  42. ^ Venn and Venn, "Dalmeny, Lord Archibald", Alumni Cantabrigenses ; J. Davis, "Primrose, Archibald Philip, fifth earl of Rosebery and first earl of Midlothian (1847–1929)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
  43. ^ "Dalmeny, Lord Archibald", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  44. ^ Venn and Venn, "Primrose, Archibald John (Lord Dalmeny)", Alumni Cantabrigenses ; she was the first wife; Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny, was born in 1809, during this marriage (see Venn and Venn, "Dalmeny, Lord Archibald", Alumni Cantabrigenses).
  45. ^ a b c Venn and Venn, "Dalmeny, Lord Archibald", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  46. ^ a b Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 415
  47. ^ a b Venn and Venn, "Primrose, Archibald John (Lord Dalmeny)", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  48. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 416 ; Venn and Venn, "Primrose, Archibald John (Lord Dalmeny)", Alumni Cantabrigenses
  49. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 416
  50. ^ a b Lodge, British Peerage, 1832, p. 353
  51. ^ W.P. Courtney, "Stanhope, Charles", Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 54.
  52. ^ Cokayne and Gibbs, Complete Peerage, 2nd ed., vol. 3, 1913, p. 63
  53. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 415 ; she was sister of the fourth Duke of Argyll and daughter of Hon. John Campbell and Elizabeth, daughter of John Elphinstone, eighth Lord Elphinstone.
  54. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, p. 415
  55. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 415 ; she was the daughter of Lt-Gen. Thomas Howard.
  56. ^ Complete Peerage, p. 416
  57. ^ S. Farrell, "Bouverie, Hon. Bartholomew (1753–1835), of 21 Edward Street, Portman Square, Mdx.", History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820–1832 ; she was the daughter of John Alleyne of Four Hills, Barbados.
  58. ^ Cokayne, Complete Peerage, vol. 6, 1895, p. 416 ; Lodge, British Peerage, 1832, p. 24 ; he was the third son of Henry Arundell, sixth Lord Arundell.
  59. ^ Lodge, British Peerage, 1832, p. 24 ; she was the daughter of John Wyndham of Ashcombe, Wiltshire.
  60. ^ W.P. Courtney, "Stanhope, Charles", Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 54 ; she was a daughter of Charles Hamilton, Lord Binning, and sister to Thomas Hamilton, seventh Earl of Haddington.
  61. ^ W.P. Courtney, "Stanhope, Charles", Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 54 ; he was a younger brother of the Earl Temple.
  62. ^ Burke and Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, 1841, pp. 34–35 ; M.M. Drummond, "Grenville, Henry (1717–84), of Shrub Hill, Dorking, Surr.", The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754–1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964 ; Daughter of Sir Joseph Banks of Revesby Abbey, Lincolnshire.
  63. ^ A.F. Pollard, "Smith, Robert (1752–1838)", Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 53
  64. ^ A.F. Pollard, "Smith, Robert (1752–1838)", Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 53 ; daughter of Thomas Bird of Barton, Warwickshire.
  65. ^ Cokayne and Gibbs, Complete Peerage, 2nd ed., vol. 3, 1913, p. 63 ; of Cave Castle, Yorkshire.
  66. ^ Cokayne and Gibbs, Complete Peerage, 2nd ed., vol. 3, 1913, p. 63 ; she was the daughter of William Popplewell of Monk Hill, near Pontefract.


  • Leonard, Dick. Nineteenth-Century British Premiers: Pitt to Rosebery (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
  • McKinstry, Leo. Rosebery: Statesman in Turmoil (2005) ISBN 0-7195-5879-4.
  • Raymond, E.T. The Life of Lord Rosebery (1923) online

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Preceded by
The Earl of Kimberley
Leader of the Liberals in the House of Lords
Succeeded by
The Earl of Kimberley
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Hopetoun
Lord Lieutenant of Linlithgowshire
(West Lothian after 1921)

Succeeded by
The Marquess of Linlithgow
Preceded by
The Duke of Buccleuch
Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian
Succeeded by
The Earl of Rosebery
Preceded by
The Marquess of Salisbury
Oldest living Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Preceded by
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Oldest living Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
The Earl of Balfour
Academic offices
Preceded by
William Edward Forster
Rector of the University of Aberdeen
Succeeded by
Alexander Bain
Preceded by
Marquess of Hartington
Rector of the University of Edinburgh
Succeeded by
Sir Stafford Northcote, Bt
Preceded by
Joseph Chamberlain
Rector of the University of Glasgow
Succeeded by
George Wyndham
Preceded by
The Earl of Kimberley
Chancellor of the University of London
Succeeded by
The Earl Beauchamp
Preceded by
The Lord Kelvin
Chancellor of the University of Glasgow
Succeeded by
Sir Donald MacAlister, Bt
Preceded by
The Lord Avebury
Rector of the University of St Andrews
Succeeded by
The Earl of Aberdeen
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Archibald Primrose
Earl of Rosebery
Succeeded by
Harry Primrose
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl of Midlothian
Succeeded by
Harry Primrose
Preceded by
Archibald Primrose
Baron Rosebery
Member of the House of Lords
1894 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1894 in the United Kingdom.

Archibald Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery

Archibald John Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery, KT, PC, FRS (14 October 1783 – 4 March 1868), styled Viscount Primrose until 1814, was a British politician.

He was the eldest son of Neil Primrose, 3rd Earl of Rosebery, and his second wife, Mary Vincent. Primrose was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, gaining his MA in 1804. He was Member of Parliament for Helston from 1805 to 1806 and Cashel from 1806 to 1807.

He succeeded to the earldom in 1814, and was created Baron Rosebery, of Rosebery in the County of Edinburgh, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, in 1828. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1831 and a Knight of the Thistle in 1840. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society.

He was the grandfather of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1894 to 1895.

Archibald Primrose, Lord Carrington

Sir Archibald Primrose, 1st Baronet, Lord Carrington (16 May 1616 – 27 November 1679) was a notable Scottish lawyer, judge, and Cavalier.

The son of James Primrose (d. 1641) by Catherine, daughter of Richard Lawson of Boghall, he succeeded his father, who had held the office for upwards of forty years, as Clerk to the Privy Council on 2 September 1641.

Following the victory of Kilsyth he joined Montrose, was taken prisoner at Philiphaugh on 13 September 1645, he was tried by the Parliament of St. Andrews the following year, and being found guilty of treason only saved his life through the intercession of the Marquess of Argyll. Following his release at the end of 1646, he was knighted by King Charles I. Subsequently, he joined Charles II and was made a Baronet, of Carrington in the County of Selkirk, dated 1 August 1651, at Woodhouse, during the march to Worcester.

As a consequence of his loyalty to the Crown his estate was sequestrated and his debtors prohibited from paying what they owed to him. He was also deprived of his office by the Act of Classes, the decree against him being sealed on 10 March 1649. Upon the repeal of this Act, and having given testimony of the satisfaction afforded by him to The Church, he was declared capable again of office on 10 January 1651, and was appointed Clerk to the Committee of Estates on 6 June following.

At the Restoration he was appointed Lord Clerk Register by Letters Patent dated 7 August 1660, and on 14 February 1661 was nominated a Lord of Session with the judicial title Lord Carrington. At the same time he was appointed a Lord of Exchequer, and a Privy Counsellor. He was the principal author of the Rescissory Act 1661, which ended Presbyterianism until the Act of 1690 re-established it again.

The enmity of the Duke of Lauderdale forced him to resign as Lord of Exchequer and Lord Clerk Register on 11 June 1676, in exchange for the far less lucrative one of Lord Justice General. He was deprived of this office in 1678.

Primrose died in November 1679, and was buried within Dalmeny church. He and his father between them had served the Crown successively for a hundred years all but one.

He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son William, whose son James was created Viscount of Primrose in 1703. Primrose's fourth son and namesake Archibald was created Earl of Rosebery in 1703 and was the ancestor of among others Prime Minister Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery.

Archibald Primrose (disambiguation)

Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery (1847–1929) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Archibald Primrose may also refer to:

Archibald Primrose, Lord Carrington (1616–1679), notable Scottish lawyer, judge, and Cavalier

Archibald Primrose, 2nd Viscount of Primrose (died 1716), Viscount of Primrose

Archibald Primrose, 1st Earl of Rosebery (1661–1723), Scottish politician

Archibald Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery (1783–1868), British politician

Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny (1809–1851), Scottish Liberal politician

Archie Primrose, Lord Dalmeny (1910–1931), English-born Scottish cricketer

Bouverie Francis Primrose

The Hon Bouverie Francis Primrose FRSE CB (1813–1898) was a 19th-century British landowner and administrator.

Charles Wood, 3rd Earl of Halifax

Charles Edward Peter Neil Wood, 3rd Earl of Halifax, (born 14 March 1944), is a British peer and Conservative politician.

Henry Wyndham, 2nd Baron Leconfield

Henry Wyndham, 2nd Baron Leconfield (31 July 1830 – 6 January 1901), was a British peer and Conservative Member of Parliament.

A direct descendant of Sir John Wyndham, Leconfield was the eldest son of George Wyndham, 1st Baron Leconfield, and Mary Fanny Blunt. His father was the eldest natural son and adopted heir of George O'Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, and had succeeded to the Egremont estates on the death of his cousin the fourth Earl of Egremont in 1845. George Wyndham was his nephew. Leconfield was elected to the House of Commons for West Sussex in 1854, a seat he held until he succeeded his father as second Baron in 1869 and entered the House of Lords.

Lord Leconfield married Lady Constance Primrose, daughter of Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny, and sister of Prime Minister Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, in 1867. They had six sons and three daughters. One of his sons, the Hon. William Reginald Wyndham, was killed on the Western Front in 1914 and is buried at Zillebeke Churchyard Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Belgium.

Lord Leconfield died in January 1901, aged 70, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest surviving son Charles. Lady Leconfield died in 1939. His daughter Maud Evelyn Wyndham was the mother of Henry Vincent Yorke, better known as the novelist Henry Green.

Lady Sybil Grant

Lady Sybil Myra Caroline Grant (née Primrose; 1879–1955) was a British writer and artist. She was the eldest child of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery and his wife Hannah de Rothschild.

Apart from her artistic work, in later life she became notable as an eccentric.

Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian

This is a list of people who have served as Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian (also known as Edinburghshire).

Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch 17 March 1794 – 11 January 1812

Charles Montagu-Scott, 4th Duke of Buccleuch 25 January 1812 – 20 April 1819

William Kerr, 6th Marquess of Lothian 8 June 1819 – 27 April 1824

George Douglas, 16th Earl of Morton 2 June 1824 – 17 July 1827

Walter Montagu-Douglas-Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch 3 January 1828 – 16 April 1884

Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery 17 May 1884 – 21 May 1929

Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery 8 October 1929 – 1964

Sir Maxwell Inglis, 9th Baronet 4 June 1964 – 1972

Sir John Dutton Clerk, 10th Baronet 11 July 1972 – 1992

Capt. George Burnett† 31 January 1992 – 2003

Patrick Prenter 23 August 2003 – 18 October 2013

Sir Robert Maxwell Clerk, Bt. 18 October 2013 – present (Vice Lord-Lieutenant from 2011)† Known as Lord-Lieutenant in Lothian Region (Midlothian District) until 1996.

Lord Lieutenant of West Lothian

This is a list of people who have served as Lord Lieutenant of West Lothian. The office was known as the Lord Lieutenant of Linlithgowshire until 1921.

James Hope-Johnstone, 3rd Earl of Hopetoun 17 March 1794 – 29 May 1816

John Hope, 4th Earl of Hopetoun 25 June 1816 – 27 August 1823


John Hope, 5th Earl of Hopetoun 23 November 1824 – 8 April 1843

Archibald Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery 20 April 1843 – 1863

John Alexander Hope, 6th Earl of Hopetoun 1 October 1863 – 2 April 1873

Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery 5 June 1873 – 21 May 1929

Victor Hope, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow 8 October 1929 – 5 January 1952

Henry Moubray Cadell 28 May 1952 – 1964

Charles Hope, 3rd Marquess of Linlithgow 14 October 1964 – 1985

John Douglas, 21st Earl of Morton 27 June 1985 – 2002

Isobel Gunning Brydie 11 June 2002 – 20 Sep 2017

Moira Niven 20 Sep 2017–

Mary Innes-Ker, Duchess of Roxburghe

Mary Innes-Ker, Duchess of Roxburghe (23 March 1915 – 2 July 2014), previously Lady Mary Evelyn Hungerford Crewe-Milnes, was a daughter of Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe, by his marriage to Lady Margaret Etienne Hannah (Peggy) Primrose, daughter of Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery, and Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery.

A goddaughter of King George V, she was the first wife of George Innes-Ker, 9th Duke of Roxburghe. They were married on 24 October 1935, at Westminster Abbey, but divorced in 1953. According to The Daily Telegraph, she was best known for resisting the attempts of her husband to evict her from the family home, Floors Castle.In 1967 her mother died and left the Duchess an estate at West Horsley, Surrey, including West Horsley Place, a large country house dating from the 16th century. On her own death, this was inherited by her grandnephew Bamber Gascoigne, the grandson of her much older half-sister Lady Annabel Hungerford Crewe-Milnes. In her will, the Duchess also bequeathed her family's collection of over 7500 books, including major and hitherto unknown works of English and French literature, to the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, where both her father and grandfather had studied. Among the books was discovered a first edition of The Faerie Queene, which had been inscribed by Charles I during his imprisonment.

Mentmore and Crafton Studs

Mentmore Stud and Crafton Stud were thoroughbred horse breeding operations that were part of the Mentmore Towers estate on the Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire borders, England.

The Crafton stud farm is located at Crafton, Buckinghamshire, approximately one mile from Mentmore Towers and was founded circa 1850 by Baron Mayer de Rothschild. The most notable horses from this era included Rothschild's founding stallion King Tom and his offspring Favonius and Hannah who between them won the Epsom Derby, 1,000 Guineas, Oaks, and St Leger in 1871.

Mentmore Stud was built between 1913 and 1914 by Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery to complement his nearby stud farm at Crafton which he had acquired through his 1878 marriage to Baron Mayer de Rothschild's daughter Hannah. The first two stallions to stand at Mentmore were Cicero and Neil Gow. The 5th Earl won The Derby three times with Crafton-bred horses at Ladas, Sir Visto, and Cicero.

In 1929 both Crafton and Mentmore studs were inherited by Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery who subsequently bred numerous winners; two of the most notable stallions bred at Mentmore were Epsom Derby winners Blue Peter (1939) and Ocean Swell (1944).

Neil Primrose, 7th Earl of Rosebery

Neil Archibald Primrose, 7th Earl of Rosebery and 3rd Earl of Midlothian (born 11 February 1929), styled Lord Primrose between 1931 and 1974, is a Scottish nobleman.

Rosebery Charity Cup

The Rosebery Charity Cup was a football competition organised for senior clubs from the East of Scotland.

Ruth Wood, Countess of Halifax

Ruth Alice Hannah Mary Wood, Countess of Halifax (née Primrose, 18 April 1916 – 31 August 1989) was a British racehorse owner. She was one of the first three women to be elected as a member of the Jockey Club in December 1977, alongside her half-sister Priscilla Hastings and Helen Johnson Houghton.

She was the only child of Neil Primrose, son of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, and Lady Victoria Stanley, the third child of Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby. Her parents were married on 7 April 1915, but her father died in Palestine in 1917. Her widowed mother was remarried in 1919, to Malcolm Bullock, who was a Conservative MP from 1923 to 1953 and became a baronet in 1954. Her half-sister Priscilla was born in 1920, but Lady Victoria Bullock was killed in an accident while hunting with the Quorn 1927.

She married Charles Wood in 1936 and became Countess of Halifax after the death of her father-in-law in 1959, when her husband inherited the title of 2nd Earl of Halifax.

They had three children:

Lady Caroline Victoria Wood (10 September 1937 – 15 November 2014), who married Joe Feilden, the eldest son of Major General Sir Randle Feilden in 1958; they later divorced and she remarried John Gosling in 1970

Lady Susan Diana Wood (born 22 September 1938), who married Brigadier Ian Darsie Watson in 1959.

Charles Edward Peter Neil Wood, 3rd Earl of Halifax (born 14 March 1944).She won The Derby with Shirley Heights in 1978

Her husband was master of the Middleton Foxhounds for more than 30 seasons. He died in 1980.

Sandwich (horse)

Sandwich (1928-?) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse that won the classic St Leger Stakes at Doncaster Racecourse in 1931, for owner Earl of Rosebery. By 1931, Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery had died, making this a win for his son, Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery. Sandwich was a half-brother to Manna, winner of the 1925 Epsom Derby, and as well as his 1931 St Leger success also won the Chester Vase and King Edward VII Stakes.

The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries

The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries is an 1812 painting by Jacques-Louis David. It shows French Emperor Napoleon I in uniform in his study at the Tuileries Palace. Despite the detail, it is unlikely that Napoleon posed for the portrait.It was a private commission from the Scottish nobleman and admirer of Napoleon, Alexander Hamilton, 10th Duke of Hamilton in 1811 and completed in 1812. Originally shown at Hamilton Palace, it was sold to Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery in 1882, from whom it was bought by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in 1954, which deposited it in Washington D.C.'s National Gallery of Art, where it now hangs.

Wilhelmina Powlett, Duchess of Cleveland

Catherine Lucy Wilhelmina Powlett, Duchess of Cleveland (née Stanhope; 1 June 1819 – 18 May 1901), also known as Lady Dalmeny and Lady Harry Vane, was an English historian and genealogist, best known for her 1889 work The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. She was the mother of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, who was Queen Victoria's prime minister for 15 months from March 1894. In 1837 at the time of Victoria's accession, Lady Wilhelmina was reputedly the most beautiful woman at court. She was a Maid of Honour at the Queen's coronation, and served as a bridesmaid at her wedding to Prince Albert.

Ancestors of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery
16. Rt. Hon. James Primrose, second Earl of Rosebery[46]
8. Rt. Hon. Neil Primrose, third Earl of Rosebery[46][47]
17. Mary Campbell[53]
4. Rt. Hon. Archibald John Primrose, fourth Earl of Rosebery[43]
18. Sir Francis Vincent, seventh Baronet[54]
9. Mary Vincent[47]
19. Mary Howard[55]
2. Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny[41]
20. Rt. Hon. William Bouverie, first Earl of Radnor[56]
10. Hon. Bartholomew Bouverie[48]
21. Rebecca Alleyne[57]
5. Harriet Bouverie[44]
22. Hon. James Everard Arundell[58]
11. Mary Wyndham Arundell[49]
23. Anne Wyndham[59]
1. Rt. Hon. Archibald Philip Primrose, fifth Earl of Rosebery
24. Rt. Hon. Philip Stanhope, second Earl Stanhope[50]
12. Rt. Hon. Charles Stanhope, third Earl Stanhope[50]
25. Grizel Hamilton[60]
6. Rt. Hon. Philip Henry Stanhope, fourth Earl Stanhope[45]
26. Hon. Henry Grenville[61]
13. Louisa Grenville[51]
27. Margaret Eleanor Banks[62]
3. Lady Catherine Lucy Wilhelmina Stanhope[42]
28. Abel Smith[63]
14. Rt. Hon. Robert Smith, first Baron Carrington of Upton[45]
29. Mary Bird[64]
7. Hon. Catherine Lucy Smith[45]
30. Lewyns Boldero-Barnard[65]
15. Anne Barnard[52]
31. Anne Popplewell[66]
Archibald Primrose navigation boxes

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