William Waldegrave Palmer

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Person.png William Waldegrave Palmer   GeniRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(deep state operative, diplomat)
William Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne.png
Born17 October 1859
Died26 February 1942 (Age 82)
Alma materWinchester College, University College Oxford
Member ofMilner Group, Milner Group/Society of the Elect, Milner's Kindergarten
British politician and colonial administrator. Milner Group/Society of the Elect.

Employment.png First Lord of the Admiralty Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
12 November 1900 - 27 March 1905

William Waldegrave Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne, styled Viscount Wolmer between 1882 and 1895, was a British politician and colonial administrator, who was High Commissioner for Southern Africa.

Background and education

Selborne was the son of Lord Chancellor Roundell Palmer, 1st Earl of Selborne, and Lady Laura, daughter of Vice-Admiral William Waldegrave, 8th Earl Waldegrave. He was educated at Temple Grove School,[1] Winchester and University College, Oxford, where he took a first class degree in history.[2]


Lord Selborne married Lady Maud Cecil, elder daughter of future Prime Minister Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, in 1883. A Suiderberg, Pretoria district, Lady Selborne, is named after her.

They had three sons and one daughter.

  • Lady Mabel Laura Georgiana Palmer (6 October 1884-15 July 1958); married Charles Grey, 5th Earl Grey, and had two daughters.
  • Roundell Cecil Palmer, 3rd Earl of Selborne (15 April 1887-3 September 1971); married, firstly, Hon. Grace Ridley in 1910; had issue. Married, secondly, Valerie Irene Josephine Margaret de Thomka de Thomkahaza in 1966; no issue.
  • Hon. Robert Stafford Arthur Palmer (26 September 1888-21 January 1916)
  • Hon. William Jocelyn Lewis Palmer (15 September 1894-6 June 1971); married Hon. Dorothy Cicely Sybil Loder in 1922 and had two children.

His second son, the Hon. Robert Palmer, was a captain in the Hampshire Regiment and was killed on active service in Mesopotamia in 1916.[3] His daughter was Lady Mabel Laura Georgiana Palmer, who became Countess Grey as the wife of Charles Grey, 5th Earl Grey. His letters home were privately published as Letters from Mesopotamia.[4] Lord Selborne died in February 1942, aged 82, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Roundell, Viscount Wolmer, who had already the previous year been summoned to the House of Lords by writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Selborne. The Countess of Selborne died in April 1950.


  1. History of the Royal Astronomical Society 1820–1920, pp. 28–30
  2. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Selborne, William Waldegrave Palmer, 2nd Earl of". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 599.
  3. https://archive.org/details/lifeofrobertpalm00riddiala
  4. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17584/17584-h/17584-h.htm

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