George Cave, 1st Viscount Cave

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The Viscount Cave

George Cave, 1st Viscount Cave in 1915.jpg
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
In office
24 October 1922 22 January 1924
Prime Minister Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by The Viscount Birkenhead
Succeeded by The Viscount Haldane
In office
6 November 1924 28 March 1928
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by The Viscount Haldane
Succeeded by The Lord Hailsham
Home Secretary
In office
11 December 1916 14 January 1919
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Herbert Samuel
Succeeded by Edward Shortt
Personal details
Born23 February 1856 (1856-02-23)
Died29 March 1928(1928-03-29) (aged 72)
St Anne's, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Anne Mathews
(m. 1885;his death 1928)
Alma mater St John's College, Oxford

George Cave, 1st Viscount Cave, GCMG , PC (23 February 1856 – 29 March 1928) was a British lawyer and Conservative politician. He was Home Secretary under David Lloyd George from 1916 to 1919 and served as Lord Chancellor from 1922 to 1924 and again from 1924 to 1928.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Conservative Party (UK) Political party in the United Kingdom

The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, sometimes informally called the Tories, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 312 Members of Parliament, and also has 249 members of the House of Lords, 4 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 11 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors.


Background and education

Cave was born in London, the son of Thomas Cave, Member of Parliament for Barnstaple, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Jasper Shallcrass. He was educated at the Merchant Taylors' School, London and St John's College, Oxford. After being called to the bar in 1880, he practised as a barrister for a number of years, being made King's Counsel and recorder of Guildford in 1904.[ citation needed ]

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, and the largest city in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Thomas Cave was a British Liberal politician.

Barnstaple was a parliamentary constituency centred on the town of Barnstaple in Devon, in the South West of England. It returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until 1885, when its representation was reduced to a single member.

Political career

Portrait of the Viscount Cave. 1stViscountCave.jpg
Portrait of the Viscount Cave.

In 1906 he was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for the Kingston Division of Surrey, was appointed Vice-Lieutenant of Surrey in 1907, [1] and a member of the Royal Commission on Land Purchase in 1908. Having served as standing Counsel to the University of Oxford for two years as well as Attorney General to the Prince of Wales, in 1915 Cave was appointed Solicitor General [2] and knighted. [3] The following year, he was made Home Secretary in Lloyd George's coalition government, a post he held for three years. As Home Secretary, he introduced the Representation of the People Act 1918 and he was very prominent in the debates in the House of Commons on the police strike of August 1918. [4]

Kingston or Kingston-upon-Thames was a parliamentary constituency which covered the emerging southwest, outer London suburb of Kingston upon Thames and which existed between 1885 and 1997 and returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. The Conservative candidate won each election during its 112-year existence.

Surrey County of England

Surrey is a county in South East England which borders Kent to the east, West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast.

A counsel or a counsellor at law is a person who gives advice and deals with various issues, particularly in legal matters. It is a title often used interchangeably with the title of lawyer.

In 1918, Sir George Cave was ennobled as Viscount Cave, of Richmond in the County of Surrey. [5] The following year, he became a Lord of Appeal, and chaired a number of commissions, including the Southern Rhodesian commission and the Munitions Enquiry Tribunal. In 1922, he became Lord Chancellor in Bonar Law's government, and again served in this capacity in Baldwin's first administration. He chaired the post war report that led to cuts to the minimum wages and regulation of collective bargaining, recommended by the Cave Committee in 1922. [6]

Richmond, London town in London, England

Richmond is a suburban town in south-west London, 8.2 miles (13.2 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is on a meander of the River Thames, with a large number of parks and open spaces, including Richmond Park, and many protected conservation areas, which include much of Richmond Hill. A specific Act of Parliament protects the scenic view of the River Thames from Richmond.

Counties of England Englands administrative, geographical and political demarcation

The counties of England are areas used for different purposes, which include administrative, geographical, cultural and political demarcation. The term 'county' is not clearly defined and can apply to similar or the same areas used by each of these demarcation structures. These different types of county each have a more formal name but are commonly referred to just as 'counties'. The current arrangement is the result of incremental reform.

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary Former British judicial office

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, commonly known as Law Lords, were judges appointed under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 to the British House of Lords in order to exercise its judicial functions, which included acting as the highest court of appeal for most domestic matters. The House of Lords lost its judicial functions upon the establishment of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in October 2009; Lords of Appeal in Ordinary then in office automatically became Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and those Supreme Court justices that have seats in the House of Lords lost their right to speak and vote there until their retirement as justices of the new court.

Having been appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in 1921, he was also elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1925, defeating former Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith. Asquith was deeply upset by the defeat, partly because he felt that Cave, an old friend, should not have stood against him. [7]

The 1925 University of Oxford election for the position of Chancellor was called upon the death of the incumbent Chancellor, George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston on 20 March 1925.

H. H. Asquith former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith,, generally known as H. H. Asquith, was a British statesman and Liberal Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916. He was the last prime minister to lead a majority Liberal government, and he played a central role in the design and passage of major liberal legislation and a reduction of the power of the House of Lords. In August 1914, Asquith took Great Britain and the British Empire into the First World War. In 1915, his government was vigorously attacked for a shortage of munitions and the failure of the Gallipoli Campaign. He formed a coalition government with other parties, but failed to satisfy critics. As a result, he was forced to resign in December 1916, and he never regained power.

He has been described, perhaps too harshly, as the least distinguished Lord Chancellor in the first three decades of the twentieth century. [8]


Lord Cave married Anne Estella Sarah Penfold Mathews, daughter of William Withey Mathews and sister of Sir Lloyd Mathews, in 1885. Lord and Lady Cave had three sons and one daughter, although all of them died in infancy. Their names were Ralph Wallas, Lloyd George, Honor E, and Matthew G. They are all buried at St. Mary's in Richmond. Cave died in March 1928, aged 72, at St Ann's, Burnham, Somerset, and was buried at Berrow in the same county. On the day of his death his resignation as Lord Chancellor had been accepted and it had been announced that he would be created an earl, and so his widow was created Countess Cave of Richmond, with remainder to heirs male of her body. [9] Having no children who lived to adulthood, the viscountcy became extinct on Lord Cave's death, as did the earldom when his widow died in 1938.

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  1. "No. 27989". The London Gazette . 25 January 1907. p. 570.
  2. "No. 29360". The London Gazette . 9 November 1915. p. 11043.
  3. "No. 29390". The London Gazette . 3 December 1915. p. 12054.
  4. Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Cave, George Cave, 1st Viscount"  . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
  5. "No. 31013". The London Gazette . 15 November 1918. p. 13492.
  6. Cave Committee, Report to the Ministry of Labour of the Committee Appointed to Enquire into the Working and Effects of the Trade Board Acts (1922) Cmd 1645
  7. Jenkins, Roy Asquith Collins, 1964, p.511
  8. Jenkins p.511
  9. "No. 33383". The London Gazette . 11 May 1928. p. 3332.

Further reading

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Skewes-Cox
Member of Parliament for Kingston
Succeeded by
John Gordon Drummond Campbell
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir F.E. Smith
Solicitor General
Succeeded by
Sir Gordon Hewart
Political offices
Preceded by
Herbert Samuel
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Edward Shortt
Preceded by
The Viscount Birkenhead
Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
The Viscount Haldane
Preceded by
The Viscount Haldane
Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
The Lord Hailsham
Academic offices
Preceded by
Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
Chancellor of the University of Oxford
Succeeded by
Viscount Grey of Fallodon
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Cave