Edward Stanhope PC (24 September 1840 – 21 December 1893) was a British Conservative Party politician who was Secretary of State for War from 1887 to 1892.


Edward Stanhope
Edward Stanope.jpg
President of the Board of Trade
In office
19 August 1885 – 28 January 1886
MonarchVictoria
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byThe Duke of Richmond
Succeeded byA. J. Mundella
Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
3 August 1886 – 14 January 1887
MonarchVictoria
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byThe Earl Granville
Succeeded bySir Henry Holland, Bt
Secretary of State for War
In office
14 January 1887 – 11 August 1892
MonarchVictoria
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byW. H. Smith
Succeeded bySir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Personal details
Born(1840-09-24)24 September 1840
London
Died21 December 1893(1893-12-21) (aged 53)
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford

Background and educationEdit

Born in London, Stanhope was the second son of Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope, by his wife Emily Harriet, daughter of General Sir Edward Kerrison, 1st Baronet. Arthur Stanhope, 6th Earl Stanhope was his elder brother and Philip Stanhope, 1st Baron Weardale his younger brother. He was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford. Stanhope studied law, being called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1865. In 1861 he played three first-class cricket matches for Kent.

Political careerEdit

 
Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1879.

In 1874 Stanhope was elected to the House of Commons for Mid Lincolnshire, a seat he held until 1885, and then represented Horncastle until his death. He soon rose to a position of prominence within the party. In 1875, he became Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, and in 1878 moved up to Under-Secretary of State for India, where he was a key assistant to India Secretary Lord Cranbrook.

After the Tories' fall from power in 1880, Stanhope supported Commons leader Sir Stafford Northcote against younger Tories led by Lord Randolph Churchill in internal Conservative party squabbling. When the Conservatives returned to the power, Stanhope became Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education, with a seat in the cabinet, and almost immediately thereafter President of the Board of Trade. He moved up to major cabinet office in Salisbury's second government, serving first as Colonial Secretary from 1886 to 1887 and then as Secretary of State for War from 1887 to 1892 following a cabinet reshuffle in January 1887.

As War Secretary, Stanhope fought for reform against the reactionary high officers – most notably the Duke of Cambridge, the Commander in Chief, and Sir Garnet Wolseley, the Adjutant-General. In spite of his own inexperience in military affairs and this formidable opposition, Stanhope achieved a fair amount, although it was his Liberal successor, Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who managed to push Cambridge into retirement.

Personal lifeEdit

In December 1893, Stanhope died suddenly of a heart attack, aged 53.

The school house 'Stanhope' at Alderwood School in the garrison town of Aldershot in Hampshire is named in his honour.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Weston Cracroft Amcotts
Henry Chaplin
Member of Parliament for Mid Lincolnshire
18741885
With: Henry Chaplin
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Horncastle
1885–1893
Succeeded by
Lord Willoughby de Eresby
Political offices
Preceded by
George Cavendish-Bentinck
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade
1875–1878
Succeeded by
John Gilbert Talbot
Preceded by
Lord George Hamilton
Under-Secretary of State for India
1878–1880
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Lansdowne
Preceded by
A. J. Mundella
Vice-President of the Council
1885
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Holland, Bt
Preceded by
The Duke of Richmond
President of the Board of Trade
1885–1886
Succeeded by
A. J. Mundella
Preceded by
The Earl Granville
Secretary of State for the Colonies
1886–1887
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Holland, Bt
Preceded by
W. H. Smith
Secretary of State for War
1887–1892
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman