Baillie, Charles Wallace Alexander Napier Ross Cochrane-, second Baron Lamington 1860-1940, was born in London 29 July 1860, the only son of the politician and author Alexander Dundas Ross Wishart Cochrane-Baillie, first Baron Lamington [qv.], by his wife, Annabella Mary Elizabeth, elder daughter of Andrew Robert Drummond, of Cadland, Hampshire. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1885 he became assistant private secretary to Lord Salisbury, and after an unsuccessful candidature at North St. Pancras in the same year, he entered parliament as conservative member for that constituency in 1886. He was only four years in the House of Commons, for he succeeded his father in 1890.
An enthusiastic sportsman, Lamington was fond of travel, and made a notable journey from Siam to Tongking in 1890-1891. In 1895 he was appointed governor of Queensland. There he made substantial contributions to the cause of Imperial unity, which bore fruit later in the federation of Australia. When the South African war broke out, he raised volunteers, and on their sailing, bade them farewell with stirring speeches. His state was at the time afflicted by a long drought which lasted seven years and caused much hardship. In order to understand the disaster, and to promote means of alleviation, Lamington, as no other governor had done, traversed the length and breadth of Queensland.
Lamington returned to his Lanarkshire estates in 1901, and two years later his interest was directed to the East by his selection as governor of Bombay in succession to H. S. Northcote, Lord Northcote [qv.]. He sought in western India to understand the needs of all classes and to provide for them. The viceroy of India at the time was his old Oxford friend, Lord Curzon, whose love of dominance might have created difficulties but for Lamington's fairness, moderation, and good sense. The latter, however, was obliged in 1907, after three and a half years' service, to resign his governorship on account of the serious illness of his wife. Lady Lamington gave her husband steadfast support in all his public activities, which were numerous. One of them was his constant interest in the Territorial movement. He was lieutenant-colonel of the Lanarkshire Yeomanry, and an honorary colonel of the 6th battalion of the Scottish Rifles (Cameronians). He was also captain of the Royal Company of Archers, the king's bodyguard for Scotland. During the war of 1914-1918 he vigorously encouraged recruiting, and in 1919 he went to Syria as commissioner of the British relief unit.
In the House of Lords Lamington spoke on many subjects. He was always ready to support the claims of minorities and smaller nations struggling to be free. But the main interest of his life was the welfare of the British Empire, and the advocacy of a good understanding between the British government and eastern peoples. He was a member of many organizations concerned with oriental well-being, and diligent in his attention to them, as indeed he was to all his public work.
On 13 March 1940 Lord Lamington was present at a meeting of the Royal Central Asian Society at the Caxton Hall. It was at this meeting that a man in the audience rose and fired several shots at the occupants of the platform, killing Sir Michael O'Dwyer [qv.] and wounding others, of whom Lord Lamington was one. In spite of the shock, his injury, which was in the forearm, seemed to make him more than ever zealous on behalf of Indian reform.
Lamington was appointed G.C.M.G. in 1900 and G.C.I.E. in 1903. He married in 1895 Mary Haughton, youngest daughter of William Wallace Hozier, first Baron Newlands, and had a son and a daughter. He died at Lamington House, Lanarkshire, 16 September 1940, and was succeeded as third baron by his son, Victor Alexander Brisbane William (born 1896), who was awarded the M.C. in the war of 1914-1918.
A portrait of Lamington as a boy, by Henry Richard Graves (1868), and another, as a young man (1895), are in the possession of the family.
The Times, 18 September 1940
Contributor: Alfred Cochrane.