The Earl of Derby
|Secretary of State for War|
10 December 1916 –18 April 1918
|Prime Minister||David Lloyd George|
|Preceded by||David Lloyd George|
|Succeeded by||The Viscount Milner|
24 October 1922 –22 January 1924
|Prime Minister|| Bonar Law |
|Preceded by||Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Bt|
|Succeeded by||Stephen Walsh|
|Ambassador to France|
|Preceded by||The Viscount Bertie of Thame|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Hardinge of Penshurst|
Edward George Villiers Stanley
8 April 1865
St James's Square, Westminster, London
|Died||4 February 1948 82) (aged|
Knowsley Hall, Lancashire
|Spouse(s)|| Lady Alice Montagu |
Edward George Villiers Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby,(4 April 1865 – 4 February 1948), styled Mr Edward Stanley until 1886, then The Hon Edward Stanley and then Lord Stanley from 1893 to 1908, was a British soldier, Conservative politician, diplomat, and racehorse owner. He was twice Secretary of State for War and also served as British Ambassador to France.
Derby was born at 23 St James's Square, London, the eldest son of Frederick Stanley (later the 16th Earl of Derby), by his wife Lady Constance Villiers. Frederick Stanley was the second son of Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, who was three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Villiers was the daughter of the Liberal statesman George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon. Edward Stanley was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, where he boarded as a pupil of Stanley House, named in honour of his paternal grandfather the 14th Earl.
Stanley initially received a lieutenant's commission in a militia unit, the 3rd Battalion, King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), on 4 May 1882, and then joined the Grenadier Guards as a lieutenant from 6 May 1885until 3 April 1895, when he resigned his commission. He was seconded as aide-de-camp to the Governor General of Canada, his father, between 8 August 1889 and 1891. He was again seconded from his regiment on 10 July 1892, to take his seat in the House of Commons.
On 11 January 1899, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the reserve of officers,and on 17 May, was made honorary colonel of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Lord Stanley served on the staff in the Second Boer War, and was appointed Chief Press Censor at Cape Town, graded as assistant adjutant-general, on 18 January 1900. He accompanied Lord Roberts' headquarters as Press Censor when he left Cape Town, and was mentioned in despatches of 31 March 1900 by Roberts for his "tact and discretion" in that role. He was subsequently appointed Roberts' private secretary on 25 July 1900. and was again mentioned in despatches of 2 April 1901 for his "thorough knowledge of men and affairs". He was appointed honorary colonel of the 6th (Militia) Battalion, Manchester Regiment on 24 December 1902, and of the 4th and 5th Territorial Force Battalions of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 18 June 1909 and 17 May 1899 respectively.
Derby entered Parliament for Westhoughton in 1892, and served under Lord Salisbury as a Lord of the Treasury between 1895 and 1900 and under Salisbury and later Arthur Balfour as Financial Secretary to the War Office between 1901 and 1903. In October 1903 he entered the cabinet as Postmaster General, a post he held until the government fell in December 1905. He lost his seat in the 1906 general election. In 1908 he succeeded his father in the earldom and took his seat in the House of Lords.
In August 1914 Lord Derby organised one of the most successful recruitment campaigns to Kitchener's Army in Liverpool. Over two days, 1500 Liverpudlians joined the new battalion. Speaking to the men he said: "This should be a battalion of pals, a battalion in which friends from the same office will fight shoulder to shoulder for the honour of Britain and the credit of Liverpool." Within the next few days three more pals battalions were raised in Liverpool. In October 1915, as Director-General of Recruiting, he instituted the Derby Scheme, a halfway-house between voluntary enlistment and conscription (which the Government was reluctant to adopt). It was not sufficiently successful in spite of the fact that the execution of Nurse Edith Cavell by the Germans on 12 October 1915 was used in recruitment rallies and conscription followed in 1916.
In July 1916 Derby returned to the government when he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for War by H. H. Asquith, and in December 1916 he was promoted to Secretary of State for War by David Lloyd George. In this position he was a strong supporter of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff Sir William Robertson and of the Commander-in-Chief of the BEF, Field Marshal Haig. Haig privately had little respect for him, writing to his wife (10 January 1918) that Derby was “like the feather pillow, bear(ing) the mark of the last person who sat on him” and remarking that he was known in London as the “genial Judas”.Robertson's biographer writes that during the crisis over Robertson's removal Derby "made himself ridiculous" by asking everyone, including the King, whether or not he should resign, and then in the end not doing so, only to be removed from the War Office a few weeks later.
In April 1918 he was made Ambassador to France, which he remained until 1920. In April 1921 he was sent secretly to Ireland for talks with Éamon de Valera, and it is likely that these talks paved the way for the truce which in turn led to the Anglo-Irish Treaty. He again served as Secretary of State for War under Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin from 1922 to 1924. Derby was made a CB in 1900,sworn of the Privy Council in 1903, KCVO in 1905 and a GCVO in 1908, Knight of the Garter in 1915, GCB in 1920. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of Manchester in 1934.
Derby was Lord Mayor of Liverpool between 1911 and 1912. He served as honorary president of the Rugby Football League, and donated a cup for the French authorities to use for a knock-out competition, much as his father had done for ice hockey with the Stanley Cup. This is now known as the Lord Derby Cup. Between 1937 and 1947 he was the president of the National Playing Fields Association (now renamed Fields in Trust). He was also, from 1929 to 1945, the chairman of the Pilgrims Society, becoming their president, until his death in 1948. Derby served as East Lancashire Provincial Grand Master of Freemasonry from 1899 until his death. He also held the post of Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire between 1928 and 1948.
The Epsom Derby was named after the 12th Earl while The Oaks was named after the 12th Earl's house near Epsom. Derby followed in the family tradition and was one of the most prominent owner breeders during the first half of the 20th century. Among his stables' important wins were:
Amidst great fanfare that included making the cover of TIME, in 1930 the 17th Earl visited Louisville, Kentucky with Joseph E. Widener where he was the honoured guest of Churchill Downs president Col. Matt Winn at the 56th running of the Kentucky Derby.
His biggest achievement though was his breeding of the horse Phalaris. Phalaris was a champion sprinter and a stallion par excellence responsible for establishing the most dominant sire line in Europe and later, the United States through his four sons – Sickle, Pharamond, Pharos and Fairway.
Lord Derby married Lady Alice Maude Olivia Montagu, daughter of William Montagu, 7th Duke of Manchester and Louisa von Alten, and step-daughter of the leading Liberal politician Lord Hartington, at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London, on 5 January 1889. They had three children together. Two of them, Edward, Lord Stanley and Oliver, achieved the rare distinction of sitting in the same Cabinet between May and October 1938 until Edward's death. Their daughter, Lady Victoria, married the Liberal politician Neil James Archibald Primrose and, after his death in World War I, married the Conservative politician Malcolm Bullock.
Lord Derby died February 1948 at the family seat of Knowsley Hall, Lancashire, aged 82. His other country seat was Coworth Park at Sunningdale in Berkshire. He was succeeded in the earldom by his grandson, Edward. He is buried at St Mary's Church, Knowsley.The Countess of Derby died in July 1957.
Many good stories are told of Lord Derby, including the following, which is surely apocryphal not least because he was a man of utter probity. He was spotted by a steward feeding one of his horses shortly before the start of a race. When challenged, His Lordship explained the substance was sugar, and promptly ate a lump himself to show that it was innocuous. "Keep the creature on a tight rein until a furlong out, then let him have his head, He'll do the rest". His Lordship added, almost as an afterthought: "If you hear anything coming up behind you, don’t worry and don’t turn round, it will only be me".
A county directory of 1903 describes Coworth House as ‘an ancient building standing in a thickly wooded park’. As Derby also owned Knowsley Hall in Lancashire, his principal country-seat, and a magnificent London town-house in Stratford Place, St James's, Coworth tended to be occupied only during Ascot race meetings. The Derby landholdings in 1833 consisted of some seventy thousand acres in Lancashire, Cheshire, Flintshire, Surrey and Kent, but not a single acre in Derbyshire. The Landholding produced a rent-roll of £163,273 p.a.
Coworth House continued with Lord Derby until his death in 1948. It then became the home of his widow, Alice Stanley, Countess of Derby (1862–1957), the youngest daughter of William Montagu, 7th Duke of Manchester, and a lady-in-waiting to her friend, Queen Alexandra. Lady Derby died here Wednesday 24 July 1957, aged ninety-four. A month later her former home was advertised for sale in The Times; and at this or a subsequent date was converted to use as a Roman Catholic convent school. The next owner is thought to have been Vivian 'White' Lloyd who died in 1972.
Lord Derby was portrayed by Frank Middlemass in an episode of the 1981 TV miniseries Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years .
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby .|
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Westhoughton |
Joseph Powell Williams
| Financial Secretary to the War Office |
| Postmaster General |
|New office|| Chairman of the Joint War Air Committee |
The Earl Curzon of Kedleston
as President of the Air Board
| Under-Secretary of State for War |
David Lloyd George
| Secretary of State for War |
The Viscount Milner
Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Bt
| Secretary of State for War |
The Viscount Bertie of Thame
| British Ambassador to France |
The Lord Hardinge of Penshurst
The Lord Shuttleworth
| Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire |
The Earl Peel
|Peerage of England|
| Earl of Derby |
Earl of Derby is a title in the Peerage of England. The title was first adopted by Robert de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Derby, under a creation of 1139. It continued with the Ferrers family until the 6th Earl forfeited his property toward the end of the reign of Henry III and died in 1279. Most of the Ferrers property and the Derby title were then held by the family of Henry III. The title merged in the Crown upon Henry IV's accession to the throne in 1399.
Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, was a British statesman, three-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and, to date, the longest-serving leader of the Conservative Party. He was known before 1834 as Edward Stanley, and from 1834 to 1851 as Lord Stanley. He is one of only four British prime ministers to have three or more separate periods in office. However, his ministries each lasted less than two years and totalled three years and 280 days.
Frederick Arthur Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, styled as Hon. Frederick Stanley from 1844–86 and as Lord Stanley of Preston between 1886–93, was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who served as Colonial Secretary from 1885 to 1886 and the sixth Governor General of Canada from 1888 to 1893. An avid sportsman, he built Stanley House Stables in England and is famous in North America for presenting Canada with the Stanley Cup. Stanley was also one of the original inductees of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Edward Henry Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby,, known as Lord Stanley from 1851 to 1869, was a British statesman. He served as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs twice, from 1866 to 1868 and from 1874 to 1878, and also twice as Colonial Secretary in 1858 and from 1882 to 1885.
Edward Smith-Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby, KG, of Knowsley Hall in Lancashire, was a politician, peer, landowner, builder, farmer, art collector and naturalist. He was the patron of the writer Edward Lear.
James Edward Hubert Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury,, known as Viscount Cranborne from 1868 to 1903, was a British statesman.
Edward Montagu Cavendish Stanley, Lord Stanley, was a British Conservative politician. The eldest son of the 17th Earl of Derby, he held minor political office before being appointed Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs in 1938, sitting in the cabinet alongside his brother Oliver Stanley. However, Stanley died only a few months after this appointment, aged 44, with his eldest son, Edward John Stanley, succeeding to the earldom in his stead.
Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby KG was a prominent English nobleman, diplomat, and politician. He was an ambassador, Privy Councillor, and participated in the trials of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Earl of Arundel.
Bernard Arthur William Patrick Hastings Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard,, styled Viscount Forbes from 1874 to 1889, was an Anglo-Irish soldier and Liberal politician.
Arthur William de Brito Savile Foljambe, 2nd Earl of Liverpool,, styled Viscount Hawkesbury between 1905 and 1907, was a British Liberal politician, the 16th and last Governor of New Zealand, and the first Governor-General of New Zealand.
Arthur Oliver Villiers Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill was a British peer, rower, and civil servant. He served as Governor of Madras from October 1900 to February 1906, and as acting Viceroy of India from April to December 1904.
Alice Maud Olivia Stanley, Countess of Derby was born the daughter of the 7th Duke of Manchester and his wife, Countess Louise von Alten.
Lieutenant Colonel Edward Henry Trotter, DSO was a British Army officer who commanded the 18th Battalion, The King's during the First World War.
Knowsley Hall is a stately home near Liverpool in the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley, Merseyside, England. Since 1953 it has been designated a Grade II* listed building, and is the ancestral home of the Stanley family, the Earls of Derby. The hall is surrounded by 2,500 acres (10 km2) of parkland, which contains the Knowsley Safari Park. Though the hall is still owned by the Stanley family, and remains the seat of the Earldom of Derby, it is no longer a family home and instead used for functions such as corporate events, conferences and weddings.
Edward Richard William Stanley, 19th Earl of Derby, is a British hereditary peer and landowner.
Edward John Stanley, 18th Earl of Derby,, styled Lord Stanley from 1938 to 1948, was a British peer, landowner and businessman.
Richard Walter John Hely-Hutchinson, 6th Earl of Donoughmore, styled Viscount Suirdale until 1900, was an Irish peer and Conservative politician. He served as Under-Secretary of State for War under Arthur Balfour between 1903 and 1905.
The Lancashire Militia, based in Lancashire, England, was one of a number of county-based irregular military units designed to provide, during times of international tension, homeland security, relief of regular troops from routine garrison duties, and a source of trained officers and men for the regular Army.
Colonel Sir Wellington Patrick Manvers Chetwynd-Talbot was a British Army officer who served as Serjeant at Arms of the House of Lords.
Edmund Hornby (1773-1857) of Dalton Hall near Burton, Westmorland, was a Member of Parliament for Preston, Lancashire, from 1812-1826. He was a nephew and son-in-law of Edward Smith-Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby (1775-1851).