Sidney Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Lea

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Sidney Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Lea (16 September 1810 - 2 August 1861) was an English statesman.

He was the younger son of the 11th Earl of Pembroke; his mother being the Russian noblewoman Countess Catherine Woronzoff (or Vorontsova). Educated at Harrow and Oriel College, Oxford, he made a reputation at the Oxford Union as a speaker, and entered the House of Commons as Conservative member for a division of Wiltshire in 1832. Under Peel he held minor offices, and in 1845 was included in the cabinet as Secretary at War, and again held this office in 1852 - 1855, being responsible for the War Office during the Crimean War, and again in 1859.

It was Sidney Herbert who sent Florence Nightingale out to the Crimea, and he led the movement for War Office reform after the war, the hard work entailed causing his breakdown in health, so that in July 1861, having been created a baron, he had to resign office, and died on the 2nd of August 1861. His statue was placed in front of the War Office in Pall Mall. He was succeeded in the title by his eldest son, who later became the 13th Earl of Pembroke, and the barony is now merged in that earldom; his second son, Hon Sidney Herbert, was also a Member of Parliament who became 14th Earl. Another son, the Hon. Michael Herbert (1857-1904), was British Ambassador at Washington in succession to Lord Pauncefote.

Lord Herbert of Lea was married to Elizabeth Ashe A'Court, of the family of the barons Heytesbury; she became a Roman Catholic after his death along with their eldest daughter. Another daughter Lady Gwladys Herbert married firstly the 4th Earl of Lonsdale (issue, 1 daughter) and 2ndly the Earl De Grey, later 2nd and last Marquess of Ripon (no issue).

Lord Herbert ran the Pembroke family estates for most of his adult life, his elder half-brother Robert having chosen to live abroad after a disastrous marriage and a subsequent liaison which resulted in illegitimate issue.

See Also

Preceded by:
Sir Thomas Fremantle
Secretary at War
1845–1846
Followed by:
Fox Maule
Preceded by:
William Beresford
Secretary at War
1852–1854
Followed by:
The Duke of Newcastle
Preceded by:
Sir George Grey
Secretary of State for the Colonies
1855
Followed by:
The Lord John Russell
Preceded by:
Jonathan Peel
Secretary of State for War
1859–1861
Followed by:
Sir George Lewis, Bt
Preceded by:
New Creation
Baron Herbert of Lea Followed by:
George Herbert
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