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Robert Vernon, 1st Baron Lyveden: Wikis


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The Lord Lyveden 

In office
6 February 1852 – 21 February 1852
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister Lord John Russell
Preceded by Hon. Fox Maule
Succeeded by William Beresford

In office
3 March 1855 – 21 February 1858
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Viscount Palmerston
Preceded by Sir Charles Wood, Bt
Succeeded by The Earl of Ellenborough

Born 23 February 1800 (1800-02-23)
Died 10 November 1873 (1873-11-11)
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Lady Emma Mary Fitzpatrick
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

Robert Vernon, 1st Baron Lyveden PC (23 February 1800 – 10 November 1873), known as Robert Vernon Smith until 1859, was a British Liberal Party politician.


Background and education

Vernon was the son of Robert Percy Smith, of 20 Savile Row, London, and of Cheam, Surrey, and the nephew of The Rev. Sydney Smith, Canon of St Paul's. His mother was Carolina Maria Vernon, daughter of Richard Vernon. Vernon was educated at Christ Church, Oxford (2nd class classics 1822).

Political career

He was elected Member of Parliament for Tralee in 1829, a seat he held until 1831, and then sat for Northampton from 1831 to 1859. When the Whigs came to power in 1830 under Lord Grey, Vernon was appointed a Lord of the Treasury (government whip), which he remained also when Lord Melbourne became Prime Minister in July 1834. The Whigs fell from office in November of that year, but returned already in April 1835, when Vernon was appointed Secretary of the Board of Control by Melbourne, which he remained until 1839. He then served as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1839 to 1841. The latter year he was also admitted to the Privy Council. He did not hold office again until February 1852, when he was made Secretary at War in the first administration of Lord John Russell. However, the government fell already the same month. When the Liberals (as the Whigs were now known) returned to office in 1855 under Lord Palmerston, Vernon was appointed President of the Board of Control, with a seat in the cabinet, a post he retained until the government fell in March 1858. The following year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Lyveden, of Lyveden in the County of Northampton.


Greville Richard Vernon, son of Lord Lyveden.

Lord Lyveden married Lady Emma Mary Fitzpatrick, daughter and co-heir of the Earl of Upper Ossory, in 1823. In 1846 he assumed for his children by Royal license the surname of Vernon in lieu of Smith and in 1859 he assumed for himself by Royal license the same surname in lieu of Smith. Lord Lyveden died in November 1873, aged 73, and was succeeded in the barony by his son Fitzpatrick. Lord Lyveden was a member of the Reform Club, the Travellers Club, and Brooks's.


  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.
  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Page
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Edward Denny, Bt
Member of Parliament for Tralee
Succeeded by
Walker Ferrand
Preceded by
Sir Robert Henry Gunning
Member of Parliament for Northampton
Succeeded by
The Lord Henley
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Labouchere
Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
Succeeded by
George William Hope
Preceded by
Hon. Fox Maule
Secretary at War
Succeeded by
William Beresford
Preceded by
Sir Charles Wood, Bt
President of the Board of Control
Succeeded by
The Earl of Ellenborough
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Lyveden
Succeeded by
Fitzpatrick Henry Vernon


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