Primrose, Archibald John, fourth Earl of Rosebery 1783-1868, eldest son of Neil, third earl of Rosebery, by his second wife, Mary, only daughter of Sir Francis Vincent of Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey, was born at Dalmeny Castle, Linlithgowshire, on 14 Oct. 1783. He was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he graduated M.A. in 1804. He sat in parliament for the burgh of Helston in 1805-6, and for Cashel in 1806-7. On the death of his father, 25 Jan. 1814, he succeeded to the earldom, and for several parliaments he was chosen a representative peer, until 1828, when on 17 Jan. he was created a peer of the United Kingdom by the title Baron Rosebery of Rosebery, Midlothian. He took an active interest as a liberal in the passing of the Reform Bill of 1832. In 1831 he was sworn a member of the privy council, and in 1840 was made a knight of the order of the Thistle. From 1843 to 1863 he was lord lieutenant of Linlithgowshire. He was a fellow of the Royal Society, and a member of other learned institutions. In 1819 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Laws from the university of Cambridge. He died in Piccadilly on 4 March 1868. By his first wife, Harriet, second daughter of the Hon. Bartholomew Bouverie (afterwards Earl of Radnor), he had two sons and a daughter. The marriage was dissolved in 1815, and he married as second wife Anne Margaret Anson, eldest daughter of Thomas, first viscount Anson (afterwards Earl of Lichfield), by whom he had two sons. His eldest son by the first marriage, Archibald, lord Dalmeny, born in 1809, represented the Stirling burghs in parliament from 1833 to 1847, and from April 1835 to August 1841 was a lord of the admiralty. He was the author of An Address to the Middle Classes on the Subject of Gymnastic Exercises, London, 1848. He died on 23 Jan. 1851, leaving by his wife, Catherine Lucy Wilhelmina (only daughter of Philip Henry, fourth earl Stanhope, and subsequently wife of Harry George, fourth Duke of Cleveland), two sons and two daughters, of whom the eldest son, Archibald Philip, lord Dalmeny, born on 7 May 1847, succeeded on the death of his grandfather to the peerage as fifth earl, and, after a distinguished career as a statesman, was prime minister from March 1894 until June 1895.

     Gent. Mag. 1868, i. 436
     Burke's Peerage.

Contributor: T. F. H. [Thomas Finlayson Henderson]

Published: 1896