George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan

George FitzRoy Henry Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan, GBE, CB (18 September 1857 24 October 1921), styled The Honourable George Somerset until 1884, was a British soldier and Conservative politician. He served as Under-Secretary of State for War from 1900 to 1902 and was Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man from 1902 to 1919.

The Lord Raglan
Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man
In office
MonarchsEdward VII, George V
Preceded byThe Lord Henniker
Succeeded bySir William Fry
Under-Secretary of State for War
In office
13 November 1900  8 August 1902
MonarchsVictoria, Edward VII
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byGeorge Wyndham
Succeeded byThe Earl of Hardwicke
Personal details
Born18 September 1857 (1857-09-18)
Died24 October 1921 (1921-10-25) (aged 64)
SpouseEthel Jemima Ponsonby
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service British Army
Years of service1870–c.1880
Battles/warsSecond Anglo-Afghan War

Background and education

A member of the Somerset family headed by the Duke of Beaufort, Somerset was the son of Richard Somerset, 2nd Baron Raglan, by his first wife Lady Georgina Lygon, third daughter of Henry Lygon, 4th Earl Beauchamp. He was a godchild of George V of Hanover, Somerset became a Page of Honour to Queen Victoria in 1868, which he remained until 1874.[1] He was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.

Military and political career

In 1870 Somerset joined the Grenadier Guards. He fought in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, reaching the rank of captain.[2] He served as Under-Secretary of State for War in the Unionist Government headed by Lord Salisbury from 1900 to 1902.[3]

In September 1902 Lord Raglan was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man.[4] He arrived on the island on 18 October and was sworn in at Castletown on 21 October.[5] During his tenure as Lieutenant Governor he became the Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons in the Isle of Man from 1912 to 1919 and had the Lord Raglan Lodge No 3685 named in his honour.

Described as "autocratic" and "unpopular",[6] he opposed campaigns by Manx trade unions for direct taxation to fund an old-age pension and in 1918 ordered the removal of flour subsidies which increased the price of bread 15% above that in England. These actions had a direct effect in generating the July 1918 general strike on the island, which resulted in the passing of an act on direct taxation, reduction in bread prices and the introduction of pensions.[7]:291–94

Lord Raglan resigned as Governor on 17 December 1918, citing ill-health.[8]


Lord Raglan married Lady Ethel Jemima Ponsonby,[9] daughter of Walter Ponsonby, 7th Earl of Bessborough, on 28 February 1883. Lady Raglan was a one-time President of the Monmouthshire branch of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families' Association, and died in 1940.[10] They had six children.[11] He died on 24 October 1921, aged 64, and was succeeded in the barony by his son, Fitzroy.


  1. "No. 23398". The London Gazette. 7 July 1868. p. 3805.
  2. Armorial families: a directory of gentlemen of coat-armour (Volume 2) by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies
  3. Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: The Clarence Volume, Volume 1 By Melville Henry Massue Ruvigny et Raineval (marquis de)
  4. "No. 27472". The London Gazette. 9 September 1902. p. 5811.
  5. "Lord Raglan in the Isle of Man". The Times. No. 36905. London. 22 October 1902. p. 9.
  6. Richardson, Matthew (3 July 2018). "The Manx General Strike of 1918". Isle of Man Museum. Retrieved 8 November 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. Belchem, John. (2001). A New History of the Isle of Man : Vol. 5, The Modern Period, 1830-1999. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 9781846313653. OCLC 437241520.
  8. "The Manx General Strike 1918 | Transceltic - Home of the Celtic nations". 25 May 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  9. Cracroft's Peerage Archived 5 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association". The Times. No. 36881. London. 24 September 1902. p. 4.
  11. The
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