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PrimrosePrimrose League Grand Masters
1885 - 1984.
Primrose

Grand Master

with date of service.

Biographical Details.

(very brief)

Portrait.

Sir Stafford Henry Northcote.
1st Earl of Iddesleigh.
1885-1887.

(Joint Grand Master with Lord Salisbury)
Born: 27th October 1818 (London). Died: 12th January 1887 (London). Education: Eton and Balliol College Oxford. He married, in 1843, Cecilia Frances Farrer by whom he had seven sons and three daughters. He entered Parliament in 1855 as M.P. for Dudley. He became President of the Board of Trade in 1866, Secretary of State for India in 1867, and Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1874. He transfer to the Lords in 1885, when Lord Salisbury became prime minister, taking the titles of Earl of Iddesleigh and Viscount St Cyres and was included in the cabinet as First Lord of the Treasury. In 1886 he became Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, but the arrangement was not a comfortable one, and his resignation had just been decided upon when he died. Sir Stafford Northcote

Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil. Lord Salisbury.
1885-1903.

Born: 3rd February 1830. Died: 22nd August 1903. Education: Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. Second son of the 2nd Marquess of Salisbury. He entered the House of Commons in 1853. In 1857 he married Georgina Alderson and had issue of five sons and two daughters. In 1866 Cecil, now called Viscount Cranborne (due to the death of his older brother), entered the third government of Lord Derby as Secretary of State for India, but resigned the next year. In 1868, on the death of his father, he inherited the Marquessate of Salisbury. He returned to government again in 1874, serving as India Secretary. In 1878, Salisbury succeeded Lord Derby as Foreign Secretary. Became Prime Minister from 1885 to 1886 and again with a break (1892-1895) to serve as PM from 1886 to 1902. On the 11th July 1902 he resigned from office. Lord Salisbury

Arthur James Balfour.
1903-1912.

Born: 25th July 1848. Died: 19th March 1930. Education: Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. The eldest son of James Maitland Balfour of Whittingehame, Haddingtonshire, and of Lady Blanche Gascoyne Cecil. In 1874 he became M.P. for Hertford, and represented that constituency until 1885. In the spring of 1878 Balfour became private secretary to his uncle, Lord Salisbury. Became Secretary for Scotland, Chief Secretary of Ireland (1887), First Lord of the Treasury (1892) and leader of the House of Commons (1892). He replaced his uncle as Prime Minister in 1902 and resigned in 1905. He returned to government when, in 1915 Herbert Asquith, offered him the post of First Lord of the Admiralty in Britain's First World War coalition government and left Lloyd George's government in 1919. Returned to office when he served as Lord President of the Council (1925-29). Arthur Balfour

Lord George Nathaniel Curzon.
1912-1925.

Born: 11th January 1859. Died: 20th March 1925. Education: Wixenford Public School in Hampshire, Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. Was the eldest son and heir of Lord Scarsdale of Kedleston in Derbyshire. Elected MP for Southport in 1886. He was Parliamentary Under Secretary for India (1891-92) and Foreign Under-Secretary (1895-98). Became Governor General and Viceroy of India (1899-1904) and accepted a successive second term offer, only to resign within a year. In 1908 he helped establish the Anti-Suffrage League and eventually became its president. In 1916 the new prime minister, David Lloyd George, invited him into his War Cabinet. He was appointed foreign secretary in 1919. When Andrew Bonar Law resigned as prime minister in May, 1923, he was expected to become the new prime minister.He continued as foreign secretary until retiring from politics in 1924. Lord Curzon

Stanley Baldwin.
1925-1938.

Born: 3rd August 1867 (Bewdley, Worcestershire) Died: 14th December 1947 (Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire) Education: Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. Family: He was an only child. Married Lucy Risdale and had 4 daughters and 3 sons. Won his father's old seat of Bewdley for the Conservatives in 1908. He became Financial Secretary to the Treasury in the wartime coalition, and by 1921 was the President of the Board of Trade. Under Bonar Law he was made Chancellor of the Exchequer. Baldwin succeeded Bonar Law as PM in 1923 but soon called a General Election but the prize of government went for the first time to Labour, who in turn lost the next election, and Baldwin was returned as Prime Minister in November 1924, which he held until 1929. He became PM for the third time in June 1935 but in May 1937 he resigned, and was made Earl Baldwin of Bewdley. Stanley Baldwin

Sir Howard Kingsley-Wood.
1938-1943.

Born: 19th August 1891 (Hull) - Died: 21st September 1943 (London). Was the son of a clergyman. He worked as a solicitor in London until he was elected to the London City Council in 1911. He was elected to parliament in 1918. Postmaster-General (1931-35), Minister of Health (1935-38) and in 1938 Neville Chamberlain appointed him Secretary of State for Air. In 1940 Winston Churchill appointed Wood as Chancellor of the Exchequer and a member of the War Cabinet. Sir Kingsley-Wood

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill.
1943-1965.

(Not known if his membership of the Primrose League lapsed whilst a member of the Liberal Party)
Born: 30th November 1874 (Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire) Died: 24th January 1965 (28 Hyde Park Gate, London). Education: Harrow and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was married to Clementine Hozier, and had 1 son and 4 daughters. Churchill left the army in 1899 to take up politics, as the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Oldham in 1900. Joined the Liberals in 1904. He returned to the Conservative Party in the 1920's and spent 5 years as Stanley Baldwin's Chancellor. George VI asked Churchill to form a government in 1940. He brought Britain to victory against Germany on the 8th of May, 1945. Following the Labour 1945 election victory, he found himself leading the Conservative Opposition. He became PM again in 1951 but resigned in 1955. Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home.
1966-1984.

Born: 2nd July 1903 (Mayfair, London) Died: 9th October 1995 (Berwickshire, Scotland) aged 93. Was Prime Minister 1963-64 (362 days) and was the first peer to become PM since 1895. Education: Eton and Christ Church College, Oxford. Family: Douglas-Home was the eldest son and first of 7 children. He began his parliamentary career when elected as Conservative MP for Lanark 27 October 1931. In 1951 he succeeded his father to become the 14th Earl of Home which he later renounced. Sir Alec Douglas-Home

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