Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Marquess of Ripon
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Marquess of Ripon
George Frederick Samuel Robinson, K.G., P.C., G.C.S.I., F.R.S., Earl de Grey, Earl of Ripon, Viscount Goderich, Baron Grantham, and baronet
Born at the prime minister's residence, 10 Downing Street, London, 24 Oct., 1827; died 9 July, 1909. He was the second son of Frederick John Robinson, Viscount Goderich, afterwards first Earl of Ripon, and Lady Sarah Albinia Louisa, daughter of Robert, fourth Earl of Buckinghamshire; and he was born during his father's brief tenure of the office of prime minister. Before entering public life he married (8 April, 1851) his cousin Henrietta Ann Theodosia, elder daughter of Captain Henry Vyner, and by her had two children, Frederick Oliver, who succeeded to his honours, and Mary Sarah, who died in infancy. Inheriting the principles which were common to the great Whig families, Lord Ripon remained through his long public life one of the most generally respected supporters of Liberalism, and even those who most severely criticised his administrative ability — and in his time he held very many of the great offices of state — recognized the integrity and disinterestedness of his aims. He entered the House of Commons as member for Hull in 1852, and after representing Huddersfield (1853-57), and the West Riding of Yorkshire (1857-59), he succeeded his father as Earl of Ripon and Viscount Goderich on 28 Jan., 1859, taking his seat in the House of Lords. In the following November he succeeded his uncle as Earl de Grey and Baron Grantham. In the same year he first took office, and was a member of every Liberal administration for the next half-century. The offices he held were: under secretary of State for war (1859-61); under secretary of State for India (1861-1863); secretary of State for war; (1863-66), all under Lord Palmerston; secretary of State for India (1866) under Earl Russell. In Mr. Gladstone's first administration he was lord president of the council (1868-73) and during this period acted as chairman of the joint commission for drawing up the Treaty of Washington which settled the Alabama claims (1876). For this great public service he was created Marquess of Ripon. He also was grand master of the freemasons from 1871 to 1874, when he resigned this office to enter the Catholic Church. He was received at the London Oratory, 4 Sept., 1874. When Gladstone returned to power in 1880 he appointed Lord Ripon Governor-General and Viceroy of India, the office with which his name will ever be connected, he having made himself beloved by the Indian subjects of the Crown as no one of his predecessors had been. He held this office until 1884. In the short administration of 1886 he was first lord of the admiralty, and in that of 1892-1895 he was secretary of State for the Colonies. When the Liberals again returned to power he took office as lord privy seal. This office he resigned in 1908. Ever a fervent Catholic, Lord Ripon took a great share in educational and charitable works. He was president of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul from 1899 until his death; vice-president of the Catholic Union, and a great supporter of St. Joseph's Catholic Missionary Society.
The Tablet (17 July, 1909); Annual Register (London, 1909).