Frederick Smith, 2nd Earl of Birkenhead

Frederick Winston Furneaux Smith, 2nd Earl of Birkenhead (7 December 1907 – 10 June 1975) was a British historian. He is best known for writing a controversial biography of Rudyard Kipling that was suppressed by the Kipling family for many years, and which he never lived to see in print. The son of F. E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead, he was known as Viscount Furneaux from 1922, when his father, then 1st Viscount Birkenhead, was created Earl of Birkenhead. Lord Furneaux was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford and inherited his father's peerages in 1930.

In 1935 he married The Hon Sheila Berry (1913-1992), second daughter of the 1st Viscount Camrose. The couple had a son, Frederick William Robin Smith, 3rd Earl of Birkenhead, in 1936 and a daughter, Lady Juliet Margaret Smith (later Lady Juliet Townsend), in 1941. Lady Juliet served as Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret from 1965 to 2002; her daughter Eleanor Townsend is a god-child of the Princess.[1] Lady Juliet was made a Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (DCVO) in the 2014 Birthday Honours having previously received the LVO in 1981 and was Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire from 1998 to 2014.[2] She died on 29 November 2014.[3]

For the first three years of the Second War, Lord Birkenhead served with a Territorial Army Anti-Tank unit. Following a course at the Staff College, Camberley, Major 'Freddy' Birkenhead was assigned to the Foreign Office's Political Intelligence Department, popularly known as the Political Warfare Executive, or PWE for short. He saw action in Croatia, as second-in-command of a sub-mission headed by Randolph Churchill, under Brigadier Fitzroy Maclean's 37th Military Mission, which included Evelyn Waugh. As a result, he plays a prominent role in Waugh's diaries.

Lord Birkenhead served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Halifax (1938–39), and as Lord-in-waiting to King George VI (1938–40 and 1951–52) and Queen Elizabeth II (1952–55).


  • F.E.: The Life of F.E. Smith, first Earl of Birkenhead" (London, Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1960).
  • Furneaux-Smith, F. (1961). The Professor and the Prime Minister: The Official Life of Professor F. A. Lindemann Viscount Cherwell. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • Frederick Edwin Earl of Birkenhead (1933 and 1936)
  • Strafford (Hutchinson & Co. Ltd, 1938)
  • Lady Eleanor Smith: a memoir (1953)
  • Life of Lord Halifax (1965)
  • The life of Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (1969)
  • Rudyard Kipling (1978)


  1. ^ Genealogy site,; accessed 3 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Birthday Honours lists 2014". Honours. HM Government. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  3. ^ The Daily Telegraph, Obituary, 4 December 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Munster
1938 – 1940
Succeeded by
New government
Preceded by
New government
1951 – 1955
Succeeded by
The Lord Chesham
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
F. E. Smith
Earl of Birkenhead
1930 – 1975
Succeeded by
Frederick Smith
Eleanor Smith (writer)

Lady Eleanor Furneaux Smith (1902, Birkenhead – October 20, 1945, Westminster) was an active member of the Bright Young Things and an English writer.

Lady Juliet Townsend

Lady Juliet Margaret Townsend, DCVO (née Smith; 9 September 1941 – 29 November 2014) was a British writer and Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, the first woman to hold the position.

List of University of Oxford people in academic disciplines

This is a list of people from the University of Oxford in academic disciplines. Many were students at one (or more) of the colleges of the University, and others held fellowships at a college.

This list forms part of a series of lists of people associated with the University of Oxford; for other lists, please see the main article List of University of Oxford people.

Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars

The Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars was the designated name of a Yeomanry regiment of the British Army formed in 1794. It saw service in the Second Boer War with 40 and 59 Companies of the Imperial Yeomanry and also served in Belgium and France during the Great War. In 1922, the regiment became part of the Royal Artillery. The lineage is maintained by 142 (Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars) Vehicle Squadron Royal Logistic Corps.

Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( RUD-yərd; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He was born in India, which inspired much of his work.

Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888). His poems include "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" (1919), "The White Man's Burden" (1899), and "If—" (1910). He is regarded as a major innovator in the art of the short story; his children's books are classics of children's literature, and one critic described his work as exhibiting "a versatile and luminous narrative gift".Kipling was one of the most popular writers in the United Kingdom, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Henry James said: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius, as distinct from fine intelligence, that I have ever known." In 1907, at the age of 41, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English-language writer to receive the prize and its youngest recipient to date. He was also sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, both of which he declined.Kipling's subsequent reputation has changed according to the political and social climate of the age and the resulting contrasting views about him continued for much of the 20th century. George Orwell saw Kipling as "a jingo imperialist", who was "morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting".

Literary critic Douglas Kerr wrote: "[Kipling] is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognised as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with."

SS Princess Alice (1911)

SS Princess Alice was a passenger vessel in the coastal service fleet of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) during the first half of the 20th century.

This ship was called a "pocket liner" because she offered amenities like a great ocean liner, but on a smaller scale. The ship was part of the CPR "Princess fleet," which was composed of ships having names which began with the title "Princess". Along with the SS Princess Adelaide the SS Princess Mary and the SS Princess Sophia, the SS Princess Alice was one of four similar ships built for CPR during 1910-1911.

Vladimir Rosing

Vladimir Sergeyevich Rosing (Russian: Владимир Серге́евич Розинг) (January 23 [O.S. January 11] 1890 – November 24, 1963), aka Val Rosing, was a Russian-born operatic tenor and stage director who spent most of his professional career in England and the United States. In his formative years he experienced the last years of the "golden age" of opera, and he dedicated himself through his singing and directing into breathing new life into opera's outworn mannerisms and methods.

Rosing was considered by many to rank as a singer and performer of the quality of Feodor Chaliapin. In The Perfect Wagnerite, George Bernard Shaw called Chaliapin and Vladimir Rosing "the two most extraordinary singers of the 20th century."Vladimir Rosing's best known recordings are his performances of Russian art songs by composers such as Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Tcherepnin, Alexander Gretchaninov, Alexander Borodin and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. He was the first singer to record a song by Igor Stravinsky: Akahito from Three Japanese Songs.As a stage director, Rosing championed opera in English, and he attempted to build permanent national opera companies in the United States and England. He directed opera performances "with such acumen and freshness of approach that some writers were tempted to speak of him as a second Reinhardt."Rosing created his own system of stage movement and acting for singers. It proved very effective in his own productions and he taught it to a new generation of performers.

Winston Churchill in politics, 1900–1939

This article documents the career of Winston Churchill in Parliament from its beginning in 1900 to the start of his term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in World War II.

Churchill entered Parliament as member for Oldham in 1900 as a Conservative. He changed parties in 1904 after increasing disagreement with the mainstream Conservative policy of protectionist tariffs preferentially favouring trade with the British Empire, joining the Liberals and winning the seat of Manchester North West. His political ascent was rapid; he became, successively, Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty, all before he was 40 years old.

His career suffered a severe check in 1915, after his support for the failed Dardanelles Campaign during World War I, and the subsequent formation of the first Coalition. Temporarily leaving politics, he served on the Western Front before rejoining the Government after David Lloyd George had replaced H. H. Asquith as prime minister. He served as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, and Secretary of State for the Colonies before the downfall of the Coalition in 1922 when he also lost his seat in Parliament.

After contesting two seats unsuccessfully as an independent, he was elected to Epping in 1924 with the backing of local Conservatives, officially rejoining the Conservative Party the following year. He immediately became Chancellor of the Exchequer, retaining the post until the fall of the Conservative government in 1929, and presided over the return of the United Kingdom to the Gold Standard exchange rate system. In opposition after 1929, Churchill became isolated, opposing Indian independence, advocating the unpopular policy of rearmament in the face of a resurgent Germany, and supporting King Edward VIII in the abdication crisis. By 1939, he had been out of Cabinet for ten years, and his career seemed all but over.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.