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The Right Honourable
 The Viscount Gladstone 

In office
11 December 1905 – 19 February 1910
Monarch Edward VII
George V
Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Aretas Akers-Douglas
Succeeded by Winston Churchill

In office
1910 – 1914
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by The Viscount Buxton

Born 18 February 1854(1854-02-18)
Died 6 March 1930 (aged 76)
Ware, Hertfordshire
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Dorothy Mary Paget
Alma mater University College, Oxford

Herbert John Gladstone, 1st Viscount Gladstone GCB, GCMG, GBE, PC (18 February 1854 – 6 March 1930) was a British Liberal statesman. He was Home Secretary from 1905 to 1910 and Governor-General of the Union of South Africa from 1910 to 1914.



Gladstone was the youngest son of Prime Minister William Gladstone and his wife Catherine, daughter of Sir Stephen Glynne, 8th Baronet, and was born in Downing Street where his father was living at the time as Chancellor of the Exchequer. William Henry Gladstone and Henry Neville Gladstone, 1st Baron Gladstone of Hawarden were his elder brothers. He was educated at Eton and University College, Oxford. He lectured in history at Keble College, Oxford, for three years.

Political career

In 1880 he Gladstone became private secretary to his father. That same year, having unsuccessfully contested the constituency of Middlesex, he was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for Leeds, and in the 1885 General Election was returned to Parliament for Leeds West. Having been a junior Lord of the Treasury in 1881, Gladstone became Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Works in 1885, and the following year served for a brief period as Financial Secretary to the War Office. In 1892, on his father's return to power, he was made Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, and two years later he became First Commissioner of Works in Lord Rosebery's government. He became the Liberals' Chief Whip in 1899, and in 1903 he negotiated on behalf of the Liberals an electoral pact with the Labour Representation Committee.

Gladstone returned to office in 1905 when Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman appointed him Home Secretary. Because of his position as a Cabinet Minister he was automatically made a member of the King's Privy Council for the United Kingdom. His tenure as Home Secretary was not widely considered a great success and notably included the inept handling of a (somewhat controversial) parade by Catholics through the streets of London. This incident disturbed both the Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith, and King Edward VII, and directly led to his leaving the position of Home Secretary after five years to become the first Governor-General of the Union of South Africa as well as the High Commissioner there, being appointed GCMG and created Viscount Gladstone, of the County of Lanark in 1910. This was the effective end of the political career of the only offspring of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone who became seriously involved in politics, let alone rose to the its highest levels.

Later life

After his return from South Africa in 1914, Lord Gladstone was appointed GCB, and spent much of the First World War being involved with various charities and charitable organizations, including the War Refugees Committee, the South African Hospital Fund, and the South African Ambulance in France. He was appointed GBE in 1917.


Lord Gladstone married Dorothy Mary, daughter of Sir Richard Paget, 1st Baronet, in 1901. She was over twenty years his junior. There were no children from the marriage. Lord Gladstone died in March 1930, aged 76, at his Ware home, and was buried in the town's Little Munden Church. With no children, his title became extinct at his death. The Viscountess Gladstone died in June 1953.


  • Ian Machin, entry in Dictionary of Liberal Biography, Brack et al. (eds.) Politico's, 1998
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Gladstone
John Barran
William Jackson
Member of Parliament for Leeds
With: John Barran
and William Jackson
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Leeds West
1885Jan. 1910
Succeeded by
Thomas Harvey
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Stuart-Wortley
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
Succeeded by
George William Erskine Russell
Preceded by
George John Shaw-Lefevre
First Commissioner of Works
Succeeded by
Aretas Akers-Douglas
Preceded by
Aretas Akers-Douglas
Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Winston Churchill
New title Governor-General of the Union of South Africa
Succeeded by
The Viscount Buxton
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Gladstone


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