Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury

From Academic Kids

The Marquess of Salisbury
Image:Salisbury wiki.jpg
Periods in Office: July, 1885February, 1886
August, 1886August, 1892
June, 1895July, 1902
PM Predecessors: William Gladstone
The Earl of Rosebery
PM Successors: William Gladstone
Arthur Balfour
Date of Birth: 3 February 1830
Place of Birth: Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Political Party: Conservative

Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (February 3, 1830August 22, 1903). Also known as Lord Robert Cecil (before 1865) and Viscount Cranborne (1865–1868). British statesman and Prime Minister.


Lord Robert Cecil was the second son of the 2nd Marquess of Salisbury. After an unhappy childhood, in which he studied at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford, he went into politics, entering the House of Commons as a Conservative in 1853.

In 1857, Cecil married Georgina Alderson, a woman of low social standing, in spite of his father's objections. The marriage proved a happy one, producing five sons and two daughters. In 1866 Cecil, now called Viscount Cranborne (due to the death of his older brother), entered the third government of Lord Derby as Secretary of State for India, but resigned the next year over the Reform Bill, which he opposed.

In 1868, on the death of his father, he inherited the Marquessate of Salisbury, thereby becoming a member of the House of Lords.

He returned to government in 1874, serving once again as India Secretary in the government of Benjamin Disraeli. Gradually, Salisbury developed a good relationship with Disraeli, whom he had previously disliked and distrusted, at least partially due to the latter's Jewish origins. In 1878, Salisbury succeeded Lord Derby (son of the former Prime Minister) as Foreign Secretary, in time to help lead Britain to "peace with honour" at the Congress of Berlin. For this he was rewarded with the Order of the Garter.

Following Disraeli's death in 1881, the Conservatives entered a period of turmoil. Salisbury became the leader of the Conservative members of the House of Lords though the overall leadership of the party was not formally allocated and so he struggled with the Commons leader Sir Stafford Northcote, a struggle in which Salisbury eventually emerged as the leading figure to become Prime Minister of a minority administration from 1885 to 1886. Although he was unable to accomplish much in this administration, due to his tenuous command over the Commons, the split of the Liberals over Irish Home Rule in 1886 enabled him to return to power with a parliamentary majority, and, with a short break (18921895) to serve as Prime Minister throughout the period from 1886 to 1902.

Salisbury's expertise was in foreign affairs, and uncharacteristically, for most of his time as Prime Minister he served not as First Lord of the Treasury, the traditional position held by the Prime Minister, but as Foreign Secretary. In that capacity, he skillfully managed Britain's foreign affairs, famously pursuing a policy of "Splendid Isolation", while at home he staunchly opposed Irish Home Rule. Among the important events of his premierships was the Partition of Africa, culminating in the Fashoda Crisis and the Boer War.

On July 11, 1902, Salisbury resigned from office due to ill health and heart-broken over his wife's death. He was succeeded by his nephew, Arthur James Balfour. Salisbury was the last peer to serve as Prime Minister, with the brief exception of the 14th Earl of Home who renounced his peerage within a few days of being appointed.


Salisbury was the third son of James Gascoyne-Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury, a minor Tory politician. He went against his father's wishes and married Georgina Alderson, the daughter of Sir Edward Alderson, a moderately notable jurist. Robert and Georgina had eight children, all but one of whom survived infancy.

Lord Salisbury's First Government, July 1885–February 1886

Missing image
Arms of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil


Missing image
A Long Distance Swim
W.H. Smith: "Hooray - another stroke or two and we've done it."
Cartoon satirising Salisbury as swimming and W. H. Smith, Leader of the House of Commons, rowing towards the prorogation (ending) of the Parliamentry year, to escape the twin waves of Free Education and Land Purchase, both contentious issues of the time. Smith died some three months after publication of the cartoon.
From Punch Vol. 101, August 8, 1891

Lord Salisbury's Second Government, August 1886–August 1892

Cabinet after the reorganization of January, 1887

Further Changes

Lord Salisbury's Third Government, June 1895–July 1902


November, 1900 - Complete reorganization of the ministry:

Preceded by:
The Earl of Ripon
Secretary of State for India
Succeeded by:
Sir Stafford Northcote, Bt
Preceded by:
The Duke of Argyll
Secretary of State for India
Succeeded by:
The Viscount Cranbrook
Preceded by:
The Earl of Derby
Foreign Secretary
Succeeded by:
The Earl Granville
Preceded by:
The Earl of Beaconsfield
Leader of the British Conservative Party
Co-equal with Sir Stafford Northcote, Bt to 1885
Succeeded by:
Arthur James Balfour
Preceded by:
William Ewart Gladstone
Prime Minister
Succeeded by:
William Ewart Gladstone

Template:Succession box one to two Template:Succession box one to two

Preceded by:
The Earl Granville
Leader of the House of Lords
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Kimberley
Preceded by:
The Earl of Iddesleigh
Foreign Secretary
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Rosebery

Template:Succession box one to two

Preceded by:
The Earl of Kimberley
Foreign Secretary
Succeeded by:
The Marquess of Lansdowne
Preceded by:
The Marquess of Dufferin and Ava
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Succeeded by:
The Lord Curzon of Kedleston
Preceded by:
The Viscount Cross
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by:
Arthur Balfour

Template:End box

Preceded by:
James Gascoyne-Cecil
Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded by:
James Gascoyne-Cecil

Template:End box

sv:Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil de:Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3. Marquess of Salisbury


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools