Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery

The Right Honourable
The Earl of Rosebery

"In his father's steps"
Lord Dalmeny as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair. September 1904
Cricket information
Batting style Right-handed batsman
Bowling style Right arm fasta
International information
National side
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 102
Runs scored 3,551
Batting average 22.47
100s/50s 2/19
Top score 138
Balls bowled 131
Wickets 3
Bowling average 33.33
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 2–16
Catches/stumpings 50/0
Source: CricketArchive

(Albert Edward) Harry Meyer Archibald Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery KT DSO MC PC (8 January 1882 – 31 May 1974), styled Lord Dalmeny until 1929, was a British politician who briefly served as Secretary of State for Scotland in 1945.

Background and education

His parents were Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, Liberal Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (from 1894-95) and Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery, a member of the Rothschild family. He was the brother of Neil Primrose and the writer Lady Sybil Grant. He attended Eton and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.

Military career

Lord Dalmeny was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards as a Second lieutenant 12 February 1902.[1]

During the First World War, he served in France from 1914–17 as Camp Commandant and ADC to General Allenby and subsequently in Palestine as Allenby's Military Secretary. His brother Neil Primrose was killed in Palestine in 1917.

Cricket career

As Lord Dalmeny he was a prominent cricketer and he played two first-class matches for Middlesex in 1902. He served as captain of Surrey County Cricket Club (1905–1907). He played in 102 first-class matches in all, scoring 3551 runs at an average of 22.47, including 2 centuries with a highest score of 138. He was a hitter of notable power[2] and though never consistent he could on occasions “knock the best bowling all over the field”, as when he hit 58 against Hallam on a difficult wicket at The Oval in 1905. Rosebery was notable in horseracing circles for winning the Epsom Derby with Blue Peter and Ocean Swell, and winning most other classic British flat races, with horses bred at his Mentmore and Crafton Studs.

Political career

He commenced his political career by being elected Liberal Member of Parliament for the Scottish seat of Edinburghshire. This was a county, better known by its modern name of Midlothian, which was an area where the Roseberys had long been prominent landowners. Dalmeny was one of almost 400 Liberals returned in the great landslide victory of the 1906 election. He retired from the House of Commons in January 1910. At the time of his death he was the last survivor of the 1906 Liberal MPs.

Rosebery entered the House of Lords on the death of his father in 1929. The same year he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian, a post he held until 1964. In February 1941, during the Second World War, he was appointed Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence in Scotland. When the wartime coalition government broke up in 1945, Winston Churchill formed a caretaker administration to hold office until the 1945 general election. The new government was composed of members of the Conservative Party and the small groups which had allied with it in the National governments in office 1931–1940. Amongst these allies was the National Liberal Party to which Rosebery belonged.

One of the most unexpected appointments Churchill made was to install Rosebery as a member of the Privy Council and Secretary of State for Scotland. Both men had served together in the Liberal Parliamentary Party in the 1906–1910 Parliament. The caretaker Ministry was in office May to July 1945. Rosebery was President of the National Liberal Party 1945–1957. He was also appointed Chairman of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland in 1952.


In 1909, he married Dorothy Alice Margaret Augusta Grosvenor, daughter of Lord Henry George Grosvenor. They had a son, Archie Primrose, Lord Dalmeny (1910–1931), and a daughter, Lady Helen Dorothy Primrose (1913–1998). With the end of the war came also Rosebery's divorce in 1919.

He eventually remarried in 1924, to Dame Eva Isabel Marion (DBE), daughter of the 2nd Baron Aberdare of Duffryn. Their only child, Neil Archibald Primrose, was born in 1929. In 1931, Rosebery's eldest son, Archie, died at the age of 21 from blood poisoning, while at Oxford.


  1. The London Gazette: no. 27405. p. 846. 11 February 1902.
  2. Pardon, Sydney H. (editor); John Wisden's Cricketers' Almanac, Forty-Third Edition (1906); p. 136


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Master of Elibank
Member of Parliament for Midlothian
Succeeded by
The Master of Elibank
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Johnston
Secretary of State for Scotland
Succeeded by
Joseph Westwood
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Rosebery
Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian
Succeeded by
Sir Maxwell Inglis
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Archibald Primrose
Earl of Rosebery
Succeeded by
Neil Primrose
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Archibald Primrose
Earl of Midlothian
Succeeded by
Neil Primrose
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