Arthur Balfour
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Arthur Balfour
Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC, DL was a British Conservative politician and statesman. He served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from July 1902 to December 1905, and was later Foreign Secretary in 1916–1919. Born in Scotland and educated as a philosopher, Balfour first entered parliament in the 1874 general election. At first seen as something of a dilettante, he attained prominence as Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1887–1891.
Biography
Arthur Balfour's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Arthur Balfour
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Arthur Balfour
Show More Show Less
News
News abour Arthur Balfour from around the web
How Gaddafi got on the wrong side of Sam Cam - Belfast Telegraph
Google News - over 5 years
Cameron reminds me of an earlier Conservative leader, the very sanguine Arthur Balfour. I remember my history teacher telling me that, at the time of the ultra-tense Agadir Crisis of July 1911 (Germany sent a gunboat to Morocco, threatening war over
Article Link:
Google News article
Arieh Handler - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
His courses were carried out in centres across the country, including Gwyrch Castle in north Wales, Thaxted in Essex, and Whittingehame in East Lothian, the former home of Arthur Balfour. After the war Handler toured Europe with JH Hertz,
Article Link:
Google News article
CRISTIANO DI PIETRO/ Il figlio dell ex magistrato si candida alle Regionali ... - Il Sussidiario.net
Google News - over 5 years
La frase fa riferimento al caso del Primo ministro Lord Robert Salisbury che nominò un suo nipote, Arthur Balfour, a un incarico governativo importante. In Cina invece il nepotismo è visto favorevolmente come un buon sistema per essere assunti nei
Article Link:
Google News article
Recitals to inaugurate new church organ - Montrose Today
Google News - over 5 years
The final concert is scheduled for Sunday, October 30 when local organist Arthur Balfour and musicians Aileen Taylor (bassoon) and Bob Thomson (clarinets and saxophones) return to Hillside to deliver another varied programme of classical and light
Article Link:
Google News article
The oldest cricket cliche of them all - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
Illustration: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images A question: what connects the increase in 1923 of the cost of brewing licences, the British Army's use of dum dum bullets in the Boer War, modern Toryism, Arthur Balfour's opinions on Tariff reform,
Article Link:
Google News article
L'Union Jack non riesce a tirarsi su - Ubi Tennis
Google News - over 5 years
Così l'etichetta di inventori del tennis (passatempo che si è sviluppato e diffuso in epoca Vittoriana, la cui stessa denominazione di lawn tennis si deve al diplomatico Arthur Balfour e le cui regole sono state sistematizzate dal Maggiore Clopton
Article Link:
Google News article
“Unreasonable behaviour” – a thought-crime? - The Independent (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
From Arthur Balfour to William Hague, British Foreign Ministers have never hid their loyalties when it comes to the question of the Palestine; even from before the creation of the Zionist state in 1948. Over the week-end, Home Secretary Theresa May
Article Link:
Google News article
Don't play into Zionist hands - TheStar.com.jo
Google News - over 5 years
In contrast, the British government helped establish a “Jewish national home” in Palestine, through the Balfour Declaration which was made by then British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour. What began as a legitimate Arab revolution with high
Article Link:
Google News article
Looking into the diaries of a “smelly” trail blazer - WalesOnline
Google News - over 5 years
The Tennant family circle included politicians William Gladstone, Arthur Balfour and Austin Chamberlain and, earlier, the poet Robert Browning. Winifred got to know a vast range of the rich and famous – Baden Powell, Cecil Rhodes, Henry James and
Article Link:
Google News article
Great dynasties of the world: The Benns - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
There have been many Cecils – the Marquess of Salisbury, his nephew Arthur Balfour, and Viscount Cranborne – and two famous Pitts. But the Benns are unique: an unbroken line of four generations of MPs. Let us take Tony Benn as the mid-point,
Article Link:
Google News article
Don't play into Zionist hands - gulfnews.com
Google News - over 5 years
In contrast, the British government helped establish a “Jewish national home' in Palestine, through the Balfour Declaration which was made by then British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour. The declaration was followed by the so-called Faisal-Weizmann
Article Link:
Google News article
Arthur Ransome and the Bolshevik Revolution - World Socialist Web Site
Google News - over 5 years
It is hardly surprising that a little while after this incident, when he was back in England, Ransome was called into the Foreign Office by Secretary Arthur Balfour, and asked to supply them with whatever information he could glean
Article Link:
Google News article
The Zionist and the Zealot - Spectator.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Arthur Balfour, Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and midwife of the Balfour Declaration was the Zionist, while Chaim Weizmann, a distinguished chemist whose efforts help shorten World War II, was the Zealot and its father
Article Link:
Google News article
Dictator of the Month: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia - AllGov
Google News - over 5 years
In addition, a letter from Arthur Balfour, the British foreign secretary, to Lord Rothschild, the president of the British Zionist Federation, gave approval for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The British hoped that the Jews would
Article Link:
Google News article
Why we should cherish prime minister's questions - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
The practice persisted so that by 1902 cerebral Arthur Balfour could complain that answering questions on "trifling subjects" wasted "the best hour of the day". Worse, it was undignified, stirred up friction and personal abuse – complaints still heard
Article Link:
Google News article
El sionismo tiene sus raices en el imperialismo, no en la historia judía - ALAI-América Latina en Movimiento
Google News - over 5 years
Y también hay que recordar que Chaim Weizmann, el primer presidente de Israel que anteriormente fue un activista del movimiento sionista, en gran parte influenció a Arthur Balfour cuando éste era Secretario de Relaciones Exteriores (1917) de Gran
Article Link:
Google News article
CS Lewis's Aeneid - The Christian Century
Google News - over 5 years
Other books on the list are The Consolation of Philosophy, Boswell's Life of Johnson, Charles Williams's Descent into Hell, Arthur Balfour's Theism and Humanism and Rudolf Otto's The Idea of the Holy (a sure defense against mistaking Aslan for a tame
Article Link:
Google News article
Julia Scurr: a fighter for every poor woman - Workers' Liberty
Google News - over 5 years
At 1905 Julia was working alongside George Lansbury, Dora Montefiore and Keir Hardie; she organised a deputation of 1000 unemployed women to meet with the Tory Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour. Coming from an Irish immigrant family, Julia fought to
Article Link:
Google News article
History of dischord - Globe and Mail
Google News - over 5 years
2, 1917 – Britain supports creation of Jewish national homeland On this date, British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour wrote a short note to Lord Rothschild, a leader of England's Jewish community. Writing that 68-word note, which came to be known as
Article Link:
Google News article
Közel-keleti konfliktus: középpontban az 1967-es határok - Múlt-kor
Google News - over 5 years
Arthur Balfour angol külügyminiszter 1917 novemberében kelt nyilatkozatában (az úgynevezett Balfour-deklarációban) London támogatásáról biztosította egy majdani zsidó állam megalakítását - azzal a feltétellel, hogy az szavatolni fogja a területen élő
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Arthur Balfour
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1930
    Age 81
    Finally, soon after receiving a visit from his friend Chaim Weizmann, Balfour died at Fishers Hill House on 19 March 1930.
    More Details Hide Details At his request a public funeral was declined, and he was buried on 22 March beside members of his family at Whittingehame in a Church of Scotland service although he also belonged to the Church of England. By special remainder, the title passed to his brother Gerald. His obituaries in The Times, The Guardian and the Daily Herald did not mention the declaration for which he is most famous outside Britain. Balfour developed a manner known to friends as the Balfourian manner. Harold Begbie, a journalist, in a book called Mirrors of Downing Street, criticised Balfour for his manner, personality and self-obsession. Begbie disagreed with Balfour's political views, but even his one-sided criticisms do not entirely conceal Balfour's shyness and diffidence. The sections of the work dealing with Balfour's personality were: Churchill compared Balfour to H. H. Asquith: "The difference between Balfour and Asquith is that Arthur is wicked and moral, while Asquith is good and immoral." Balfour said of himself, "I am more or less happy when being praised, not very comfortable when being abused, but I have moments of uneasiness when being explained."
  • 1929
    Age 80
    In the past, he had suffered occasional phlebitis and by late 1929 he was immobilised by it.
    More Details Hide Details
    Late in January 1929, Balfour was taken from Whittingehame to Fishers Hill House, his brother Gerald's home near Woking, Surrey.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1928
    Age 79
    At the end of 1928, most of his teeth were removed and he suffered the unremitting circulatory trouble which ended his life.
    More Details Hide Details
    Apart from a number of colds and occasional influenza, Balfour had good health until 1928 and remained until then a regular tennis player.
    More Details Hide Details Four years, previously he had been the first president of the International Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain.
  • 1925
    Age 76
    In 1925, he visited the Holy Land.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1924
    Age 75
    Balfour was not initially included in Stanley Baldwin's second government in 1924, but in 1925, he returned to the Cabinet, in place of the late Lord Curzon as Lord President of the Council, until the government ended in 1929.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1922
    Age 73
    Like many Coalition leaders, he did not hold office in the Conservative governments of 1922–4, but as an elder statesman, he was consulted by the King in the choice of Baldwin as Bonar Law's successor as Conservative leader in May 1923.
    More Details Hide Details When asked whether "dear George" (the much more experienced Lord Curzon) would be chosen, he replied, referring to Curzon's wealthy wife Grace, "No, dear, George will not but he will still have the means of Grace."
    On 5 May 1922, Balfour was created Earl of Balfour and Viscount Thaprain, 'of Whittingehame, in the county of Haddington.'
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1921
    Age 72
    In 1921–22 he represented the British Empire at the Washington Naval Conference and during summer 1922 stood in for the Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, who was ill. He put forward a proposal for the international settlement of war debts and reparations (the Balfour Note), but it was not accepted.. In 1922 he, with most of the Conservative leadership, resigned with Lloyd George's government following the Conservative back-bench revolt against continuance of the coalition.
    More Details Hide Details Bonar Law became Prime Minister.
  • 1919
    Age 70
    Balfour resigned as Foreign Secretary following the Versailles Conference in 1919, but continued in the government (and the Cabinet after normal peacetime political arrangements resumed) as Lord President of the Council.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1917
    Age 68
    Balfour's service as Foreign Secretary was notable for the Balfour Declaration of 1917, a letter to Lord Rothschild promising the Jews a "national home" in Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1916
    Age 67
    When Asquith's government collapsed in December 1916, Balfour, who seemed a potential successor to the premiership, became Foreign Secretary in Lloyd George's new administration, but not in the small War Cabinet, and was frequently left out of inner workings of government.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1915
    Age 66
    Balfour remained important in the party, however, and when the Unionists joined Asquith's coalition government in May 1915, Balfour succeeded Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1911
    Age 62
    The issue was forced by the Liberals with Lloyd George's People's Budget, provoking the constitutional crisis that led to the Parliament Act 1911, which limited the Lords to delaying bills for up to two years.
    More Details Hide Details
    He resigned as party leader later in 1911.
    More Details Hide Details Balfour returned as First Lord of the Admiralty in Asquith's Coalition Government (1915–16). In December 1916 he became Foreign Secretary in David Lloyd George's wartime administration, but was frequently left out of the inner workings of government, although the Balfour Declaration bore his name.
  • 1910
    Age 61
    After the Unionists lost the general elections of 1910 (despite softening the tariff reform policy with Balfour's promise of a referendum on food taxes), the Unionist peers split to allow the Parliament Act to pass the House of Lords, to prevent mass creation of Liberal peers by the new King, George V. The exhausted Balfour resigned as party leader after the crisis, and was succeeded in late 1911 by Andrew Bonar Law.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1909
    Age 60
    After re-entering Parliament at a by-election, he continued to serve as Leader of the Opposition throughout the crisis over Lloyd George's 1909 budget, the narrow loss of two further General Elections in 1910, and the passage of the Parliament Act.
    More Details Hide Details
  • FIFTIES
  • 1906
    Age 57
    After the disaster of 1906 Balfour remained party leader, his position strengthened by Joseph Chamberlain's absence from the House of Commons after his stroke in July 1906, but he was unable to make much headway against the huge Liberal majority in the Commons.
    More Details Hide Details An early attempt to score a debating triumph over the government, made in Balfour's usual abstruse, theoretical style, saw Campbell-Bannerman respond with: "Enough of this foolery," to the delight of his supporters. Balfour made the controversial decision, with Lord Lansdowne, to use the heavily Unionist House of Lords as a check on the political programme and legislation of the Liberal party in the Commons. Legislation was vetoed or altered by amendments between 1906 and 1909, leading David Lloyd George to remark that the Lords had become "not the watchdog of the Constitution, but Mr. Balfour's poodle."
  • 1905
    Age 56
    Balfour resigned as Prime Minister in December 1905, hoping the Liberal leader Campbell-Bannerman would be unable to form a strong government.
    More Details Hide Details This was dashed when Campbell-Bannerman faced down an attempt ("The Relugas Compact") to "kick him upstairs" to the House of Lords. The Conservatives were defeated by the Liberals at the general election the following January (in terms of MPs, a Liberal landslide), with Balfour losing his seat at Manchester East to Thomas Gardner Horridge, a solicitor and king's counsel. Only 157 Conservatives were returned to the Commons, at least two-thirds followers of Chamberlain, who chaired the Conservative MPs until Balfour won a safe seat in the City of London. Changes
    He resigned as Prime Minister in December 1905 and the following month the Conservatives suffered a landslide defeat at the 1906 election, in which he lost his own seat.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1904
    Age 55
    In foreign affairs, Balfour and his Foreign Secretary, Lord Lansdowne, improved relations with France, culminating in the Entente cordiale of 1904.
    More Details Hide Details The period also saw the Russo-Japanese War, when Britain, an ally of the Japanese, came close to war with Russia after the Dogger Bank incident. On the whole, Balfour left the conduct of foreign policy to Lansdowne, being busy himself with domestic problems. Balfour distrusted the American concept of equality. During negotiations over creation of the League of Nations, the topic of "all men being created equal" came up in the context of the American Declaration of Independence. Speaking to Col. Edward M. House an aide to President Woodrow Wilson and David Hunter Miller, chief legal adviser to the US Commission, Balfour said "that was an 19th century proposition that he didn't believe was true. He believed that it was true that in a sense all men in a particular nation were created equal, but not that a man in Central Africa was created equal to a European."
  • 1903
    Age 54
    This was not sufficient for either the free traders or the extreme tariff reformers in government. With Balfour's agreement, Chamberlain resigned from the Cabinet in late 1903 to campaign for tariff reform.
    More Details Hide Details At the same time, Balfour tried to balance the two factions by accepting the resignation of three free-trading ministers, including Chancellor Ritchie, but the almost simultaneous resignation of the free-trader Duke of Devonshire (who as Lord Hartington had been the Liberal Unionist leader of the 1880s) left Balfour's Cabinet weak. By 1905 few Unionist MPs were still free traders (Winston Churchill crossed to the Liberals in 1904 when threatened with deselection at Oldham), but Balfour's act had drained his authority within the government.
  • 1902
    Age 53
    On Lord Salisbury's resignation on 11 July 1902, Balfour succeeded him as Prime Minister, with the approval of all the Unionist party.
    More Details Hide Details The new Prime Minister came into power practically at the same moment as the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and the end of the South African War. The Liberal party was still disorganised over the Boers. The two chief items of the ministerial parliamentary programme were the extension of the new Education Act to London and the Irish Land Purchase Act, by which the British exchequer would advance the money for tenants in Ireland to buy land. An achievement of Balfour's government was establishment of the Committee on Imperial Defence.
  • 1899
    Age 50
    As a member of the cabinet responsible for the Transvaal negotiations in 1899, he bore his share of controversy and, when the war began disastrously, he was first to realise the need to use the country's full military strength.
    More Details Hide Details His leadership of the House was marked by firmness in the suppression of obstruction, yet there was a slight revival of the criticisms of 1896.
  • FORTIES
  • 1898
    Age 49
    During the illness of Lord Salisbury in 1898, and again in Salisbury's absence abroad, Balfour was in charge of the Foreign Office, and he conducted negotiations with Russia on the question of railways in North China.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1896
    Age 47
    His management of the abortive education proposals of 1896 showed a disinclination for the drudgery of parliamentary management, yet he saw the passage of a bill providing Ireland with improved local government and joined in debates on foreign and domestic questions between 1895 and 1900.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1895
    Age 46
    When the Conservatives returned to power, in coalition with the Liberal Unionists, in 1895, Balfour again became Leader of the House and First Lord of the Treasury.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1892
    Age 43
    He was a member of the Society for Psychical Research, a society studying psychic and paranormal phenomena, and was its president from 1892 to 1894.
    More Details Hide Details In 1914, he delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow, which formed the basis for the book Theism and Humanism (1915). After the First World War, when there was controversy over the style of headstone proposed for use on British war graves being taken on by the Imperial War Graves Commission, Balfour submitted a design for a cruciform headstone. At an exhibition in August 1919, it drew many criticisms; the Commission's principal architect, Sir John Burnet, said Balfour's cross would create a criss-cross effect destroying any sense of "restful diginity", Edwin Lutyens called it "extraordinarily ugly", and its shape was variously described as resembling a shooting target or bottle. His design was not accepted but the Commission offered him a second chance to submit another design which he did not take up, having been refused once. After a further exhibition in the House of Commons, the "Balfour cross" was ultimately rejected in favour of the standard headstone the Commission permanently adopted because the latter offered more space for inscriptions and service emblems.
    After the fall of the government in 1892 he spent three years in opposition.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1891
    Age 42
    On the death of W.H. Smith in 1891, Balfour became First Lord of the Treasury – the last in British history not to have been concurrently Prime Minister as well – and Leader of the House of Commons.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1890
    Age 41
    In Parliament he resisted overtures to the Irish Parliamentary Party on Home Rule, and, allied with Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionists, encouraged Unionist activism in Ireland. Balfour also helped the poor by creating the Congested Districts Board for Ireland in 1890.
    More Details Hide Details In 1886–1892 he became one of the most effective public speakers of the age. Impressive in matter rather than delivery, his speeches were logical and convincing, and delighted an ever wider audience.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1887
    Age 38
    In early 1887, Sir Michael Hicks Beach, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, resigned because of illness and Salisbury appointed his nephew in his place.
    More Details Hide Details That surprised the political world and possibly led to the British phrase "Bob's your uncle!". Balfour surprised critics by ruthless enforcement of the Crimes Act, earning the nickname "Bloody Balfour". His steady administration did much to dispel his reputation as a political lightweight.
    Although one biographer writes that "it is difficult to say how far the relationship went", her letters suggest they may have become lovers in 1887 and may have engaged in sado-masochism, a claim echoed by A. N. Wilson.
    More Details Hide Details Another biographer believes they had "no direct physical relationship", although he dismisses as unlikely suggestions that Balfour was homosexual, or, in view of a time during the Boer War when he replied to a message while drying himself after his bath, Lord Beaverbrook's claim that he was "a hermaphrodite" whom no-one saw naked.
  • 1885
    Age 36
    In 1885, Lord Salisbury appointed Balfour President of the Local Government Board; the following year he became Secretary for Scotland with a seat in the cabinet.
    More Details Hide Details These offices, while offering few opportunities for distinction, were an apprenticeship.
  • 1880
    Age 31
    Balfour divided his time between politics and academic pursuits. Released from his duties as private secretary by the general election of 1880, he began to take more part in parliamentary affairs.
    More Details Hide Details He was for a time politically associated with Lord Randolph Churchill, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and John Gorst. This quartet became known as the "Fourth Party" and gained notoriety for leader Lord Randolph Churchill's free criticism of Sir Stafford Northcote, Lord Cross and other prominent members of the "old gang".
  • TWENTIES
  • 1878
    Age 29
    In spring 1878, Balfour became Private Secretary to his uncle, Lord Salisbury.
    More Details Hide Details He accompanied Salisbury (then Foreign Secretary) to the Congress of Berlin and gained his first experience in international politics in connection with the settlement of the Russo-Turkish conflict. At the same time he became known in the world of letters; the academic subtlety and literary achievement of his Defence of Philosophic Doubt (1879) suggested he might make a reputation as a philosopher.
  • 1874
    Age 25
    In 1874 he was elected Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Hertford until 1885.
    More Details Hide Details
    Entering Parliament in 1874, Balfour achieved prominence as Chief Secretary for Ireland, in which position he suppressed agrarian unrest whilst taking measures against absentee landlords.
    More Details Hide Details He opposed Irish Home Rule, saying there could be no half-way house between Ireland remaining within the United Kingdom or becoming independent. From 1891 he led the Conservative Party in the House of Commons, serving under his uncle, Lord Salisbury, whose government won large majorities in 1895 and 1900. In July 1902 he succeeded Lord Salisbury as Prime Minister. He oversaw reform of British defence policy and the Entente Cordiale, an agreement with France that influenced Britain's decision to join the First World War. However, he was seen as an ambivalent personality and a weak Prime Minister. In 1905 he strongly supported stringent anti-immigration legislation, meant primarily to prevent Jewish immigrants fleeing the pogroms of Eastern Europe from entering the U.K. He cautiously embraced the imperial preference championed by Joseph Chamberlain, but resignations from the Cabinet left his party divided. He also suffered from public anger at the later stages of the Boer war (counter-insurgency warfare characterized as "methods of barbarism") and the importation of Chinese labour to South Africa ("Chinese slavery").
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1848
    Born
    Born on July 25, 1848.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)