John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley

John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley KG KP PC DL (7 January 1826  8 April 1902), known as the Lord Wodehouse from 1846 to 1866, was a British Liberal politician. He held office in every Liberal administration from 1852 to 1895, notably as Secretary of State for the Colonies and as Foreign Secretary.

The Earl of Kimberley
Carte de visite showing the Earl of Kimberley, ca. 1868.
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
10 March 1894  21 June 1895
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Rosebery
Preceded byThe Earl of Rosebery
Succeeded byThe Marquess of Salisbury
Leader of the House of Lords
Lord President of the Council
In office
18 August 1892  5 March 1894
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byThe Marquess of Salisbury
(Leader of Lords)
The Earl of Cranbrook
(President of Council)
Succeeded byThe Earl of Rosebery
Secretary of State for India
In office
18 August 1892  10 March 1894
MonarchVictoria
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byThe Viscount Cross
Succeeded byHenry Fowler
In office
6 February 1886  20 July 1886
MonarchVictoria
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byLord Randolph Churchill
Succeeded byThe Viscount Cross
In office
16 December 1882  9 June 1885
MonarchVictoria
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byMarquess of Hartington
Succeeded byLord Randolph Churchill
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
25 July 1882  28 December 1882
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byJohn Bright
Succeeded byJohn George Dodson
Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
21 April 1880  16 December 1882
MonarchVictoria
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded bySir Michael Hicks Beach, Bt.
Succeeded byThe Earl of Derby
In office
6 July 1870  17 February 1874
MonarchVictoria
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byThe Earl Granville
Succeeded byThe Earl of Carnarvon
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
In office
9 December 1868  6 July 1870
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
Preceded byThe Earl of Malmesbury
Succeeded byThe Viscount Halifax
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
In office
1 November 1864  13 July 1866
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterThe Earl Russell
Preceded byThe Earl of Carlisle
Succeeded byThe Marquess of Abercorn
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for India
In office
25 April 1864  16 November 1864
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterThe Viscount Palmerston
Preceded byHon. Thomas Baring
Succeeded byLord Dufferin and Clandeboye
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
19 June 1859  15 August 1861
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Aberdeen
The Viscount Palmerston
Preceded byWilliam Vesey-FitzGerald
Succeeded byAusten Henry Layard
In office
28 December 1852  5 July 1856
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Aberdeen
The Viscount Palmerston
Preceded byLord Stanley
Succeeded byThe Earl of Shelburne
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
8 January 1847  8 April 1902
Hereditary Peerage
Preceded byThe 2nd Lord Wodehouse
Succeeded byThe 2nd Earl of Kimberley
Personal details
Born(1826-01-07)7 January 1826
Wymondham
Died8 April 1902(1902-04-08) (aged 76)
London
NationalityBritish
Political partyLiberal Party
Spouse(s)Lady Florence FitzGibbon
(d. 1895)
Children3
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford

Early life and education

Kimberley was born in 1826 in Wymondham, Norfolk, the eldest son of the Hon. Henry Wodehouse (1799–1834) and grandson of John Wodehouse, 2nd Baron Wodehouse.[1] His mother was Anne Gurdon (d. 1880), daughter of Theophilus Thornhagh Gurdon. In 1846 he succeeded his grandfather as third Baron Wodehouse. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he took a first-class degree in classics in 1847.[1][2]

Early career (1852–1874)

He was by inheritance a Liberal in politics, and in 1852–1856 and 1859–1861 he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Lord Aberdeen's and Lord Palmerston's ministries. In the interval (1856–1858) he had been envoy-extraordinary to Russia; and in 1863 he was sent on a special mission to Copenhagen in the hope of finding a solution to the Schleswig-Holstein question. However, the mission was a failure.[1]

In 1864 Kimberley became Under-Secretary of State for India, but towards the end of the year was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In that capacity, he had to grapple with the first manifestations of Fenianism, and in recognition of his services, he was created Earl of Kimberley in 1866. In July 1866 he vacated his office with the fall of Lord Russell's ministry, but in 1868 he became Lord Privy Seal in Gladstone's cabinet, and in July 1870 was transferred from that post to be Secretary of State for the Colonies. It was the moment of the great diamond discoveries in southern Africa, and the town of Kimberley in the Cape Colony was named after him.[1] Lord Kimberley has been credited with the change in British policy towards the independent Malay states that led to the signing of the Pangkor Treaty of 1874, after which British political agents known as Residents were placed in the Malay states as advisors to the rulers.[3]

Later career (1875–1902)

Lord Kimberley, ca. 1897.

After an interval in opposition from 1874 to 1880, Lord Kimberley returned to the Colonial Office in Gladstone's next ministry. He was in that office when responsible government was granted to Cape Colony, British Columbia was added to the Dominion of Canada and during the First Boer War. At the end of 1882 he exchanged this office first for that of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and then for the secretaryship of state for India, a post he retained during the remainder of Gladstone's tenure of power (1882–1885, 1886, 1892–1894), though in 1892–1894 he combined with it that of the lord presidency of the council.[1]

In Lord Rosebery's cabinet (1894–1895) he was Foreign Secretary. During this time he signed the landmark Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation. Sir Edward Grey who served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary under Kimberley at the Foreign Office portrays him unfavourably as prolix and prone to irrelevant digressions in conversation although concise, definite and clear on paper.[4] However, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, "As leader of the Liberal party in the House of Lords he acted with undeviating dignity, and in opposition, he was a courteous antagonist and a critic of weight and experience".[5]

Other public positions

On 5 April 1850, he joined the Canterbury Association, formed to establish a colony (in the later Canterbury Region) on the South Island of New Zealand.

Lord Kimberley took interest in education, and after being for many years a member of the senate of the University of London, he became its chancellor in 1899.[1]

Family

Lord Kimberley married Lady Florence FitzGibbon (d. 1895), daughter of Richard FitzGibbon, 3rd Earl of Clare, on 16 August 1847.[2] They had three children:

  • John Wodehouse, 2nd Earl of Kimberley (10 Dec 1848 – 7 Jan 1932)
  • Lady Alice Wodehouse (17 Dec 1850 – 8 Jan 1937) married Hussey Packe, son of George Hussey Packe on 14 August 1872. They had two children, Sir Edward, and Florence the wife of Lt.-Col. Cuthbert James.
  • Hon. Armine Wodehouse (24 Sep 1860 – 1 May 1901)

He died at 35 Lowndes Square in London (now the High Commission of Pakistan) on 8 April 1902,[2] aged 76, and was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son, John.[1] His more distant relations include the writer P. G. Wodehouse.

Ancestry

Memorials

The following places were named after the 1st Earl of Kimberley:

Notes

  1. Chisholm 1911, pp. 798–799.
  2. Bain 2007, p. 92.
  3. Swettenham, Frank (1941). Footprints in Malaya. London, New York, Melbourne: Hutchinson & Co. p. 32.
  4. Viscount Grey, Twenty Five Years, 1892–1916 (London, 1925) p.18.
  5. Chisholm 1911, p. 799.
  6. Cokayne (1892) p. 337
  7. Cokayne (1892), p. 336
  8. Cokayne (1892), p. 336 ; daughter of Sir Edmund Bacon, 6th Bart.
  9. Cokayne, (1892), p. 336 ; daughter of Col. John West.
  10. Wroth (1895), p. 137.
  11. Cokayne (1892), p. 337 ; of Witton Park and Witchingham, Norfolk.
  12. Wroth (1895), p. 137 ; founder of the Norrisian Professorship at Cambridge.
  13. Wroth (1895), p. 137 ; only gives surname.
  14. Burke (1858), p. 182 ; daughter of Thomas Carthew, JP, of Benacre Hall and Woodbridge Abbey.
  15. Collins (1779), p. 49 ; daughter of "Brigadier-General Price".
  16. Wright (1836), p. 252 ; daughter of Major-General John Price (died 1747 at Breda) and his wife, a daughter of Matthew Martin of Wivenhoe.
  17. Burke and Burke (1847), p. 515 ; died 1783.
  18. Burke and Burke (1847), p. 515 ; later Brampton Gurdon Dillingham ; Sheriff of Norfolk in 1789, died in 1820.
  19. Burke and Burke (1847), p. 515 ; daughter of Theophilus Dillingham of Shelton, Buckinghamshire.
  20. Burke and Burke (1847), p. 515 ; of Ditchingham.
  21. Burke and Burke (1847), p. 515 ; his first wife.
  22. Crisp (1911), p. 116 ; daughter of Sir Edmund Bacon of Gillingham, Norfolk, Baronet.
  23. Foster (1895), p. 978 ; of Doncaster and Blythe ; son of Samuel Mellish of Doncaster, JP and DL for Yorkshire.
  24. Burke and Burke (1847), p. 514
  25. Foster (1895), p. 978 ; daughter of Sir William Gore, Alderman of London and Lord Mayor.
  26. "Biography of William Mellish (1708-1791)", nottingham.ac.uk – The University of Nottingham. (Accessed 4 September 2014).
  27. Familiae Minorum Gentium, p. 978 ; son of Sir William Gore.
  28. Hunter (1895), p. 978
  29. Crisp (1911), p. 116 ; daughter of John Gore of Bushill, Middlesex.
  30. R.R. Sedgwick, "Gore, John (c.1689-1763), of Bush Hill, Mdx.", The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715–1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970 ; daughter of Sir Jeremy Sambrooke of North Mimms, Hertfordshire.
  31. Bain 2007, pp. 92–93.
  32. Bloomfield, Frena (1984). Hong Kong's Street Names and Their Origins. Vol. 1. Urban Council, Hong Kong. ASIN B000HZIVAE. OCLC 320407030. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014.
  33. Manning, Geoffrey. "South Australian Names – K" (PDF). Manning Index of South Australian History. State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 26 December 2018.

References

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