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(Albert Edward) Harry (Mayer Archibald) Primrose


(6th Earl of Rosebery)

1882 - 1974

Politician and sportsman. Born at Dalmeny House (Edinburgh), the eldest son of the 5th Earl of Rosebery, who had served as British Prime Minister (1894-5). Primrose was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. Alongside his early military career he proved to be a successful cricketer, playing 102 first-class matches for Middlesex (1902) and as Captain of Surrey (1905-07). He was also a first-class polo player, a successful horse-breeder and played golf into his eighties.

He served as Liberal Member of Parliament for Midlothian 1906-10 and then entered to House of Lords in 1929, succeeding his father. He briefly served as Secretary of State for Scotland in 1945 in Winston Churchill's caretaker administration. He was President of the National Liberal Party between 1945-57.

During the First World War, he served in France (1914-17) as aide-de-camp to General Allenby, Commander of the British Third Army, and then followed Allenby to Palestine, a campaign in which Primrose's younger brother was killed. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and Military Cross (MC).

In 1929, Primrose was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian and, in 1938, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was created a Knight of the Order of the Thistle in 1947. He served as Chairman of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland from 1952. Primrose was a significant landowner in Scotland and also owned property in England. He was able to sell land to the Livingston Development Corporation in 1962 to allow the construction of the New Town.

He died at Mentmore, his grand home in Buckinghamshire (England) inherited from his grandfather Baron Mayer de Rothschild, which contained his remarkable collection of art and furniture. After the Earl's death, the house and its contents had to be sold to pay death duties.


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