Henry Percy, Earl Percy

Henry Algernon George Percy, Earl Percy (21 January 1871 – 30 December 1909), sometimes styled as Lord Percy or, until 1899, Lord Warkworth, was a British Conservative politician. He held political office under Arthur Balfour as Under-Secretary of State for India and Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs before his early death in 1909.

Earl Percy
Henry Percy, Earl Percy, Sir Benjamin Stone, 1901 (BW).jpg
Earl Percy, photographed by Sir John Benjamin Stone
Under-Secretary of State for India
In office
18 August 1902 – 9 October 1903
MonarchEdward VII
Prime MinisterArthur Balfour
Preceded byThe Earl of Hardwicke
Succeeded byVacant
Under-Secretary of State
for Foreign Affairs
In office
9 October 1903 – 4 December 1905
MonarchEdward VII
Prime MinisterArthur Balfour
Preceded byViscount Cranborne
Succeeded byLord Edmond Fitzmaurice
Personal details
Born(1871-01-21)21 January 1871
Died30 December 1909(1909-12-30) (aged 38)
Political partyConservative
ParentsHenry Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland
Lady Edith Campbell
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford


Earl Percy as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, September 1897

Percy was the eldest son of Henry Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland, and his wife Lady Edith, daughter of George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll. Alan Percy, 8th Duke of Northumberland, and Eustace Percy, 1st Baron Percy of Newcastle, were his younger brothers.[1][2]

He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford.[1]

Political careerEdit

Percy was returned to Parliament for Kensington South in a November 1895 by-election, replacing the ennobled Sir Algernon Borthwick.[3] In August 1902 he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for India in the Conservative administration of Arthur Balfour,[4] a post he held until 1903, and was then Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs under Balfour from 1903 to 1905.

Personal lifeEdit

Lord Percy died in Paris in December 1909, aged 38. The official cause of death was pleurisy although there were rumours that he had been mortally wounded in a duel.[5]

Further unfounded rumours circulated that he had been murdered on the orders of Winston Churchill, then a rising politician, and that Percy had been the lover of Clementine Hozier, whom Churchill married in 1908. Churchill's mild-mannered brother Jack was whispered to have been the unlikely perpetrator of this act.[6]

Percy was unmarried and his younger brother Alan succeeded their father in the dukedom.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Percy, Earl, (Henry Algernon George) (21 Jan. 1871–22 Dec. 1909)". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u189841. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b thepeerage.com Henry Algernon George Percy, Earl Percy
  3. ^ "leighrayment.com House of Commons: Keighley to Kilkenny". Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Mr Balfour´s Ministry - full list of appointments". The Times (36842). London. 9 August 1902. p. 5.
  5. ^ "PEER DIES IN PARIS; DUEL STORY DENIED; Police Support Physicians' Statement That Earl Percy Was Victim of Pleurisy. WAS AT SECOND-RATE HOTEL Registered as Plain Mr. Percy -- Rumor of Encounter Believed in London -- Had Held High Office". New York Times. 31 December 1909. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  6. ^ David Cannadine (1994) Aspects of Aristocracy

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Algernon Borthwick, Bt
Member of Parliament for Kensington South
Succeeded by
Lord Claud Hamilton
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Hardwicke
Under-Secretary of State for India
Preceded by
Viscount Cranborne
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice