George Goschen, 2nd Viscount Goschen

George Joachim Goschen, 2nd Viscount Goschen, GCSI, GCIE, CBE, VD, PC (15 October 1866 – 24 July 1952), was a British politician who served as Member of Parliament for East Grinstead from 1895 to 1906 and as Governor of Madras from 1924 to 1929. In 1929 he was appointed the Viceroy of India.

The Viscount Goschen
Governor of Madras Presidency
In office
14 April 1924  29 June 1929
Governors-GeneralThe Marquess of Reading
The Earl of Halifax
PremierRaja of Panagal,
P. Subbarayan
Preceded bySir Charles Todhunter
Succeeded bySir Norman Majoribanks
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries
In office
26 March 1918  18 June 1918
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterDavid Lloyd George
Preceded byThe Duke of Marlborough
Succeeded byThe Lord Clinton
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
7 February 1907  24 July 1952
as a hereditary peer
Preceded byThe 1st Viscount Goschen
Succeeded byThe 3rd Viscount Goschen
Member of Parliament
for East Grinstead
In office
18 July 1895  25 January 1906
Preceded byAlfred Hardy
Succeeded byCharles Corbett
Personal details
Born(1866-10-15)15 October 1866
Hawkhurst, United Kingdom
Died24 July 1952(1952-07-24) (aged 85)
United Kingdom
Political partyConservative
SpouseLady Margaret Evelyn Gathorne-Hardy

George Joachim Goschen, 2nd Viscount, was the son of prominent Conservative (formerly Liberal and Liberal Unionist) politician and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Goschen, 1st Viscount Goschen. He had his early education in the United Kingdom and served as Secretary to Victor Child Villiers, 7th Earl of Jersey,[1] the Governor of New South Wales in Australia from 1890 to 1892. In 1895 and 1900, he was elected to the House of Commons from East Grinstead and served as a Member of Parliament from 1895 to 1906 and as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries from March to June 1918. In 1924 he was appointed Governor of Madras, India, and served from 1924 to 1929, and acted as the Viceroy of India from 1929 to 1931. He died in 1952 at the age of 85.

Goschen was knighted the grace of Order of Saint John[1] in 1921 and made a GCSI in March 1924. He was also a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

Early life

George Joachim Goschen was born to George Goschen, 1st Viscount Goschen, and his wife Lucy née Dalley on 15 October 1866.[2] His ancestors had moved to the United Kingdom from Germany.[3] He was education at Rugby School, and Balliol College, Oxford.[1]

Goschen fell in love with Lady Margaret Evelyn Gathorne-Hardy, the youngest of five daughters of Gathorne Hardy, 1st Earl of Cranbrook, who was eight years older than he was and desired to marry her.[4] His father, the 1st Viscount, was, however, strongly opposed to their marriage and used his influence to get an appointment for his son as a Private Secretary to Lord Jersey, the Governor of New South Wales in Australia.[4] Goschen calmly obeyed his father's orders and worked in Australia from 1890 to 1892.[4] On his return from Australia, however, he married Margaret on 26 January 1893.[2][4]

He was a Major in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), and from February 1901 served as an extra Aide de camp (unpaid) to Lord Roberts, Commander-in-Chief.[5]

Member of Parliament for East Grinstead

Goschen entered politics early in life. In 1895, he was elected to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom as a Conservative for the then East Grinstead constituency in Sussex and served as a member of parliament for two terms from 18 July 1895 to 25 January 1906.[6] In July 1913, he was elected Chairman of the Council of the Corporation of Foreign Bondholders which comprised some of the leading financiers in England.[7] Goschen served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries from March to June 1918.[8][9]

Goschen succeeded his father as Viscount Goschen on the latter's death on 7 February 1907.[10] In December 1910, he was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Kent.[11]

Tenure as Governor of Madras

Goschen was appointed Governor of Madras in 1924 and he arrived at Madras in May 1924 to take charge.[12] Goschen was awarded the GCSI in March 1924.

The Madras Presidency Radio Club started a radio transmission service in Madras, the first in the city, in 1924, under Goschen's patronage. This service lasted from 1924 to 1927. Goschen was also involved in the early stages of the Loyola College, Chennai, and presided over its first college day in 1928.[13] The Children's Hospital at Mangalore was refurbished and renamed as Lady Goschen Hospital while the SPG College, Trichinopoly, was renamed as Bishop Heber College and Goschen presided over its diamond jubilee celebrations in 1926.[14]

In November 1926, the Pykara hydroelectric project across the Moyar river was conceived by Lord Goschen.[15]

Goschen maintained friendly relations with the Raja of Panagal who was the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency. However, in the 1926 elections to the Madras Legislative Assembly, the Justice Party, to which the Raja belonged, was reduced to a minority winning only 21 out of 98 seats in the assembly.[16] The Raja stepped down as Chief Minister and handed over his resignation to the Governor.[16] Goschen invited S. Srinivasa Iyengar, the leader of the Swarajya Party which had won a majority, to form the government, but he refused as the acceptance of public posts would defeat the very purpose of the Swarajists to disrupt the working of the dyarchy.[16] Goschen, therefore, made an independent, P. Subbarayan, the Chief Minister, and nominated 34 members to the council to support him.[17] As the government was set up by Goschen and all the members nominated by him, it functioned more or less like a puppet government.[17]

Subbarayan's government was the subject of much controversy and survived a no-confidence motion on 23 August 1927.[18] Its position became more precarious when the Simon Commission arrived in India in 1928.[18] The Swarajya Party moved a resolution exhorting a boycott of the commission and the Justice Party supported them. The motion was passed 65 to 50 with both of Subbarayan's ministers in favour of a boycott.[19] Subbarayan responded by resigning his post.[19] Goschen, however, mediated a settlement with the Raja of Panagal and appointed a Justice Party nominee, Krishnan Nair to the Executive Council.[19] The Justice Party, immediately, withdrew their support to the resolution[19] and welcomed the commission.[20] Just before his retirement from active politics in 1925, the Justice Party insisted upon a gift of land to their leader Theagaroya Chetty from the Madras government but Goschen staunchly refused to make the grant.[21] A block named "Goschen Block" was constructed in the Govt Estate (presently Omandurar Estate) in Mount Road. This had a number of houses allotted to Govt officials and later to MLAs (Mr P. Kakkan, Minister in the Kamaraj Govt, lived in one). Goschen Block was demolished when construction of the new Assembly building (now a hospital) started.

During his tenure, the Yanam-Neelapalli bridge was constructed. Yanam was then a French colony. He laid the foundation stone for the bridge on 10 December 1927.

As Acting Viceroy of India

Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India, left for London on leave from July 1929. He appointed Goschen to act as the Viceroy during his absence.[22] George Goschen's father, the 1st Viscount, had been offered the Viceroyalty of India by British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone in 1880 but had declined the offer.

Later life

In 1933, a group which called itself the Union of Britain and India was formed in London.[23] This group was in favour of an Indian federation.[23] Goschen served as the first President of the union.[23] Goschen also wrote a chapter titled "Provincial Autonomy" in the 1934 book India from a Back Bench where he criticized the dyarchy system regarding it as a failure based on his experience as an administrator in India.[24]

From this point of view, the result has been disappointing; for Diarchy has inculcated a spirit of irresponsibility than responsibility. The Ministers have to rely for support on the official bloc in the Councils (about a quarter of the whole number of members), and for this reason their sense of responsibility to the elected members is "blurred", and the elected members regard them as to some extent suspect.
The Ministers are not responsible for "Law and Order" or Finance. In other words, they have not to find the money for their departments and are consequently handicapped in starting new schemes: and they are not responsible for the effect of their administration. They thus stand to lose their credit and escape the blame that fuller responsible would award them.[24]

Personal life

Goschen married Lady Margaret Evelyn-Gathorne Hardy (d. 11 July 1943), daughter of the Earl of Cranbrook.[1] Lady Goschen gave her name to the Viscountess Goschen Government Girls (Muslim) High School in Tharanallur, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.

They had three children:[2]

  • Lt. Hon. George Joachim, 7th Btn E Kent Regiment (18 November 1893 – 16 January 1916) died of wounds received in action at the Siege of Kut
  • Hon. Phyllis Evelyn, Lady-in-Waiting to Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal 1948–1965 (5 August 1895 – 27 May 1976), married Lt Col. Francis Cecil Campbell Balfour
  • Hon. Cicely Winifred (29 April 1899 – 1980), married Maj. Melville Edward Bertram Portal, son of Sir Bertram Percy Portal

Goschen died on 25 July 1952 at the age of 85. His title passed to his nephew John Goschen.[25]


  1. Hesilrige 1921, p. 411.
  2. Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke’s Peerage & Gentry. pp. 1607–1608. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  3. J. Spinner, Thomas (1973). George Joachim Goschen: The Transformation of a Victorian Liberal. Cambridge University Press Archive. p. 1. ISBN 0521202108, ISBN 978-0-521-20210-7.
  4. J. Spinner, Thomas (1973). George Joachim Goschen: The Transformation of a Victorian Liberal. Cambridge University Press Archive. p. 175. ISBN 0521202108, ISBN 978-0-521-20210-7.
  5. "No. 27430". The London Gazette. 2 May 1902. p. 2937.
  6. "The House of Comkons Constituencies beginning with "E"". Members of the United Kingdom House of Commons. Leigh Rayment. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. "Goschen Chairman" (PDF). The New York Times. 20 July 1913.
  8. "Hon. George Goschen". Hansard Millibanks. UK Parliament.
  9. Dod's Parliamentary Companion. Whittake & Co. 1920. p. 58.
  10. "Lord Goschen dead" (PDF). The New York Times. 8 February 1907.
  11. "No. 28443". The London Gazette. 2 December 1910. p. 9044.
  12. "75 Years Ago: New Madras Governor". The Tribune. 24 May 1999.
  13. "Milestones in the story of Loyola". Loyola College, Chennai. Archived from the original on 31 December 2008.
  14. "College profile". Bishop Heber College. Archived from the original on 31 July 2008.
  15. "Big power project in India will harness Pykara river". The New York Times. 14 November 1926.
  16. Encyclopedia of Political Parties, p. 189.
  17. Encyclopedia of Political Parties, p. 190.
  18. Encyclopedia of Political Parties, p. 191.
  19. Encyclopedia of Political Parties, p. 192.
  20. Encyclopedia of Political Parties, p. 194.
  21. Kumar, Dharma; Tapan Raychaudhuri; Meghnad Desai; Irfan Habib (1983). The Cambridge Economic History of India: C. 1757 - C. 1970. Cambridge University Press Archive. p. 215. ISBN 0521228026, ISBN 978-0-521-22802-2.
  22. Birkenhead, Frederick Winston Furneaux Smith (1966). Halifax: The Life of Lord Halifax. Houghton Mifflin. p. 270.
  23. F. Riddick, John (2006). The History of British India: A Chronology. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 11. ISBN 0313322805, ISBN 978-0-313-32280-8.
  24. Baillies, Sir Adrian (1934). India from a Back Bench. pp. 45–46.
  25. "Viscount Goschen". The New York Times. 25 July 1952.


  • Ralhan, O. P. (2002). Encyclopaedia of Political Parties. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. ISBN 978-81-7488-865-5.

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