The Full Wiki

St John Brodrick, 1st Earl of Midleton: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Earl of Midleton 

In office
12 November 1900 – 12 October 1903
Monarch Victoria
Edward VII
Prime Minister The Marquess of Salisbury
Arthur Balfour
Preceded by The Marquess of Lansdowne
Succeeded by H. O. Arnold-Forster

In office
9 October 1903 – 4 December 1905
Monarch Edward VII
Prime Minister Arthur Balfour
Preceded by Lord George Hamilton
Succeeded by John Morley

Born 14 December 1856 (1856-12-14)
Died 13 February 1942 (1942-02-14)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) (1) Lady Hilda Charteris
(d. 1901)
(2) Madeleine Stanley
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford

William St John Fremantle Brodrick, 1st Earl of Midleton, KP, PC (14 December 1856 – 13 February 1942), commonly known as St John Brodrick, was a British Conservative Party statesman.


Background and education

He came of a Surrey family who in the 17th century, in the persons of Sir St John Brodrick and Sir Thomas Brodrick, obtained grants of land in the south of Ireland. Sir St John Brodrick settled at Midleton, between Cork and Youghal in 1641; and his son Alan Brodrick (1660–1728), Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, was created Baron Brodrick in 1715 and Viscount Midleton in 1717 in the Irish peerage.

In 1796 the title of Baron Brodrick in the Peerage of Great Britain was created. The English family seat at Peper Harrow, near Godalming, Surrey, was designed by Sir William Chambers. William Brodrick, 8th Viscount Midleton was a conservative in politics, who for a few years had a seat in the House of Commons, and who was responsible in the House of Lords for carrying the Infants Protection Act. His brother, the Honourable G. C. Brodrick, was for many years warden of Merton College, Oxford. He was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, where he served as president of the Oxford Union.

Political career

Brodrick entered Parliament as Conservative member for West Surrey in 1880.[1] In 1883 he was appointed to a Royal Commission examining the condition of Irish prisons.[2] From 1886 to 1892 he was Financial Secretary to the War Office; Under-Secretary of State for War, 1895–1898; Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1898–1900; Secretary of State for War, 1900–1903;[3][4][5] and Secretary of State for India, 1903–1905. In 1885, he moved to the Guildford seat,[6][7][8][9] but lost it at the general election of January 1906. In March 1907 he was made an alderman of the London County Council.

From c. 1910 he was regarded as the nominal leader of the Irish Unionist alliance (the umbrella body for Southern Irish Unionists, corresponding to the Ulster Unionists' Ulster Unionist Council). He was a remote and condescending leader who relied on a few intimates and was suspected of being more interested in a future career in British conservative politics than in his Irish followers. In 1916 Midleton's lobbying helped to defeat an attempt to implement immediate Home Rule with Ulster exclusion; this was supported by the Ulster leader Edward Carson and the Home Ruler John Redmond, but Midleton believed it would be disastrous for the Southern Unionist minority.

In 1918, during the Irish Convention, Midleton tried to reach a compromise with Redmond which would allow Home Rule without partition subject to certain financial restrictions. This was rejected both by Redmond's followers (who saw it as too restrictive) and the hardline IUA rank-and-file, who deposed Midleton. He and his followers then formed the Irish Unionist Anti-Partition League, an elite body mainly concerned with lobbying. It had some influence on the 1920 Government of Ireland Act, but none of the safeguards for Southern Unionist interests which it sought were included in the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty. Successful lobbying by Middleton and associated Southern Unionists was instrumental in ensuring their representation in the Seanad of the Irish Free State.[10]


He married, first in 1880, Lady Hilda (died 1901), daughter of Francis Wemyss-Charteris, 9th Earl of Wemyss, by whom he had a family; and secondly in 1903, Madeleine Stanley, daughter of Lady St Helier by her first husband. In the 1920 New Year Honours, he was created Earl of Midleton,[11] a title that became extinct with the death of his son in 1979.

His sister, the Honourable Marian Cecilia Brodrick, married Sir James Whitehead, son of the inventor Robert Whitehead. Sir James Whitehead was to become the British Ambassador to Austria, and his daughter Agathe was the first wife of Georg Ludwig von Trapp; the story of their children and his second wife, Maria von Trapp was the basis of the musical The Sound of Music.


  1. ^ London Gazette: no. 24830, p. 2388, 6 April 1880. Retrieved on 2008-01-11.
  2. ^ London Gazette: no. 25184, pp. 29–30, 2 January 1883. Retrieved on 2008-01-11.
  3. ^ London Gazette: no. 27246, p. 6923, 13 November 1900. Retrieved on 2008-01-11.
  4. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27272, p. 552, 24 January 1901. Retrieved on 2008-01-11.
  5. ^ London Gazette: no. 27273, p. 558, 25 January 1901. Retrieved on 2008-01-11.
  6. ^ London Gazette: no. 25609, p. 3495, 20 July 1886. Retrieved on 2008-01-11.
  7. ^ London Gazette: no. 26311, p. 4311, 29 July 1892. Retrieved on 2008-01-11.
  8. ^ London Gazette: no. 26651, p. 4485, 9 August 1895. Retrieved on 2008-01-11.
  9. ^ London Gazette: no. 27244, p. 6774, 6 November 1900. Retrieved on 2008-01-11.
  10. ^ Provost of Trinity College to Middleton PRO 30/67 , Middleton Papers, National Archives, Kew
  11. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31712, p. 1, 30 December 1919. Retrieved on 2008-01-10.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lee Steere
Member of Parliament for West Surrey
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Denzil Roberts Onslow
Member of Parliament for Guildford
Succeeded by
William Henry Cowan
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Monkswell
Under-Secretary of State for War
Succeeded by
George Wyndham
Preceded by
Hon. George Curzon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Viscount Cranborne
Preceded by
The Marquess of Lansdowne
Secretary of State for War
Succeeded by
H. O. Arnold-Forster
Preceded by
Lord George Hamilton
Secretary of State for India
Succeeded by
John Morley
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
William Brodrick
Viscount Midleton
Succeeded by
George St John Brodrick
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl of Midleton
Succeeded by
George St John Brodrick


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address