Cadogan, George Henry, fifth Earl Cadogan 1840-1915, statesman, was born at Durham 9 May 1840. He was the eldest son of Henry Charles, the fourth Earl, by his wife, Mary, daughter of Gerald Valerian Wellesley, prebendary of Durham and brother of the first Duke of Wellington. He was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, and as a young man accompanied the Prince of Wales on various tours at home and abroad. At the general election of 1868, as Viscount Chelsea, he stood unsuccessfully for the borough of Bury, in the conservative interest. He was elected for Bath in 1873, but in the same year went to the House of Lords in consequence of his father's death. Disraeli made him under-secretary of state for war in 1875, and under-secretary for the Colonies in 1878. During the second Salisbury administration (1886-1892) he was lord privy seal, and responsible for Irish business in the House of Lords. In the session of 1887 he introduced the Irish Land Act of that year, and in April he joined the Cabinet. He was at this time the trusted adviser of Queen Victoria in regard to her domestic affairs. For his political and other services he received the Garter in July 1891
     When the third Salisbury administration was formed (June 1895) Lord Cadogan became lord-lieutenant of Ireland with a seat in the Cabinet. He was warmly interested in Mr. Gerald Balfour's Land Act of 1896, and pressed the Treasury until he obtained more liberal terms of purchase for Irish tenants than that department was at first inclined to allow. Afterwards he turned to the subject of Irish education. He appointed commissions to investigate intermediate education (1899) and university education (1901); and he sponsored the Act of 1899 which created a new department of agriculture, industries, and technical instruction for Ireland. He dealt quietly but firmly with the agitations which were stimulated in Ireland by the South African War. He was accused of weakness by The Times newspaper (1902), which drew an unfavourable and unfair contrast between his tendencies and those of the chief secretary, Mr. George Wyndham [qv.], who had succeeded Mr. Gerald Balfour in 1900. But Lord Cadogan enjoyed the full confidence of Lord Salisbury, by whom he was twice dissuaded from resigning. Though he was in favour of pacifying agrarian discontent by the concessions embodied in the Wyndham Land Bill of 1902, he consistently urged the Cabinet to proclaim disaffected areas and to proceed against seditious newspapers. He resigned in July 1902, at the same time as Lord Salisbury, and retired into private life
     Lord Cadogan was honourably distinguished for his interest in the welfare of the population of Chelsea, where, as lord of the manor, he held a large estate. In conjunction with Lord Iveagh he spent enormous sums on model dwellings for workmen and on other schemes of social betterment. In 1900 he was elected as the first mayor of Chelsea
     He married twice: first, in 1865 Lady Beatrix Jane Craven (died 1907), daughter of the second Earl of Craven; and secondly in 1911 his cousin, Countess Adèle Palagi, granddaughter of Sir George Cadogan, brother of the fourth Earl. By his first wife he had six sons and two daughters. He died in London 6 March 1915.

     Private information.

Contributor: H. W. C. D. [Henry William Carless Davis]

Published: 1927