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Sir Sidney Herbert, 1st Baronet

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Sir Sidney Herbert, 1st Baronet (29 July 1890 – 22 March 1939)[1] was a British Conservative Party politician. He served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1922 to 1931 and 1932 to 1939.

Sir Sidney Herbert

Member of Parliament for Westminster Abbey
In office
Preceded byOtho Nicholson
Succeeded byHarold Webbe
Member of Parliament for Scarborough and Whitby
In office
Preceded byGervase Beckett
Succeeded bySir Paul Latham
Personal details
Born(1890-07-29)29 July 1890
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
Died22 March 1939(1939-03-22) (aged 48)
Cannes, France
Political partyConservative
ParentsSir Michael Herbert
Leila Belle Wilson
EducationEton College
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford

Early lifeEdit

Herbert was born in Newport, Rhode Island on 29 July 1890. He was the eldest son of The Hon. Sir Michael Herbert (1857–1903), the British Ambassador to the United States from 1902 to 1903 during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. His mother was the former Leila Belle Wilson (1864–1923), a New York heiress.[2] His younger brother was Lt. Michael George Herbert, a banker with Morgan, Grenfell & Co. who died unmarried.[3][4]

His paternal grandparents were British statesman Sidney Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Lea,[5] and Elizabeth Herbert, Baroness Herbert of Lea, a philanthropist and Roman Catholic writer.[3] His great-grandfather was George Augustus Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke and, in due course, two of Sidney's uncles (George, the 13th Earl and Sidney, the 14th Earl) succeeded to the Earldom of Pembroke.[3]

His maternal grandparents were Richard Thornton Wilson, a banker and cotton broker from New York and Newport. His mother was one the famous Wilson children who were known for their advantageous marriages, including his aunt Mary, who married New York landowner Ogden Goelet (they were the parents of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe); and Grace, who married Cornelius Vanderbilt III; Orme, who married a daughter of Mrs. William Astor, "the" Mrs. Astor.[6]

As a youth, he needed to use crutches. Herbert was educated at Eton College, in Windsor before attending Balliol College, Oxford.[7]


At the outbreak of World War II, he joined the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, eventually gaining the rank of Major, and was a Captain of the Royal Horse Guards, and was mentioned in dispatches while serving in Belgium and France.[7]

From 1919 to 1920, he was Private Secretary to Winston Churchill when he was Secretary of State for War, followed by Parliamentary private secretary to Edward Wood, the President of the Board of Education in 1922 and 1923.[7]

Beginning in August 1923 until January 1924, and again from November 1924 to June 1929, he served as Private Secretary to the Secretary of State to future Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin.[7]

Member of ParliamentEdit

Herbert was first elected to Parliament in the 1922 general election for the North Yorkshire constituency of Scarborough and Whitby. On 20 April 1931, Herbert took the Chiltern Hundreds,[8] thus resigning from the Commons.[7]

The following year, on 12 July 1932, Herbert was returned unopposed at a by-election in the central London constituency of Westminster Abbey, one of London's "silk stocking" constituencies.[9] When the Commons discussed Germany's resumption of submarine building in April 1935, Sidney declared:

"Doesn't the expressed intention of the German Government to start afresh the building of submarines constitute proof--if proof is needed--that German rearmament is principally directed against this country."[7]

In reward for "political and public services", the King's Birthday Honours in 1936 announced that he would be made a baronet.[10] The baronetcy, of Boyton, Wiltshire was conferred on 18 July 1936.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Herbert died unmarried in Cannes, France on 22 March 1939, at which point the baronetcy became extinct.[7] He was buried at the St Mary and St Nicholas Churchyard in Wilton, Wiltshire. His net estate, valued at $2,839,364, was left to his two principal beneficiaries, his cousins the Hon. Sir. George Sidney Herbert and Sir Sidney Charles Herbert.[12] After his death, a by-election was held to replace him.


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 2)
  2. ^ "THE HON. LADY HERBERT DIES IN LONDON HOME; Ex-British Ambassador's Widow Was a Sister of Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt" (PDF). The New York Times. 20 November 1923. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Burke's Peerage, 107th edition
  4. ^ Sir Tresham Lever, The Herberts of Wilton (Murray, 1967).
  5. ^ Baron Stanmore, Arthur Hamilton-Gordon (1906). Sidney Herbert, Lord Herbert of Lea | A Memoir | Vol. I. London: John Murray, Albermarle Street, W. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  6. ^ Cornelius Vanderbilt, IV, Queen of the Golden Age (McGraw-Hill, 1953)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "SIDNEY HERBERT, BARONET, IS DEAD; Son of Late British Envoy to U.S. and Grandson of a New York Financier FORMER AIDE TO BALDWIN Conservative M.P. Nephew of Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt-- Won Honors in War" (PDF). The New York Times. 23 March 1939. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  8. ^ Department of Information Services (9 June 2009). "Appointments to the Chiltern Hundreds and Manor of Northstead Stewardships since 1850" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  9. ^ Gilbert, Martin (2015). Winston S. Churchill: The Prophet of Truth, 1922–1939. Rosetta Books. p. 1761. ISBN 9780795344602. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  10. ^ "No. 34296". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 June 1936. p. 3996.
  11. ^ Leigh Rayment's list of baronets
  12. ^ "$2,839,364 LEFT BY M.P.; Briton's Holdings Here Revealed By Tax Appraisal" (PDF). The New York Times. 27 October 1939. Retrieved 5 September 2019.

External linksEdit