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(Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne Ashley (24 July 1836 – 16 November 1907) was an author and a British Liberal politician.

Ashley was the third child and second son of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury and Lady Emily Cowper, eldest daughter of Peter Cowper, 5th Earl Cowper and sister of William Cowper-Temple, 1st Baron Mount Temple. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge.

He was Private Secretary to Lord Palmerston from 1858-1865 and was a Barrister on the Oxford Circuit from 1865-1874. He was Liberal Member of Parliament for Poole from 1874-1880 and for Isle of Wight from 1880-1885. He held office as Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade from 1880-1882, as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1882-1885. He was an Ecclesiastical and Church Estates Commissioner from 1880-1885. He was a Verderer of the New Forest.

He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1891.

On 28 July 1866 he married Sybella Farquhar. They had two children:

Following her death on 31 August 1886 he married Lady Alice Cole, daughter of William Cole, 3rd Earl of Enniskillen on 30 June 1891. She died on 25 August 1931.

His publications include the Life of Lord Palmerston.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Waring
Member of Parliament for Poole
Succeeded by
Charles Schreiber
Preceded by
Alexander Baillie-Cochrane
Member of Parliament for Isle of Wight
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Webster
Political offices
Preceded by
John Gilbert Talbot
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
John Holms
Preceded by
Leonard Courtney
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
Succeeded by
The Earl of Dunraven


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