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Carnarvon, Henry Molyneux Herbert, 4th earl of

Carnarvon, Henry Molyneux Herbert, 4th earl of (1831–90). Inheriting the earldom between Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, Carnarvon became a leading advocate of colonial federation, both amongst colonies and between them and the mother country. Colonial secretary under Derby and Disraeli, he federated the Canadian provinces into a self-governing dominion by the British North America Act (1867) but his similar attempt in southern Africa, including the Boer Transvaal, came to grief. Carnarvon, distrustful of democracy, had been one of the cabinet to resign over the Conservatives' Reform Bill in 1867. In 1878, insistent on British neutrality and, as a high churchman sympathetic to Orthodox Christians, he resigned over Disraeli's policy on the Eastern Question. Lord-lieutenant of Ireland under Salisbury in 1885, he pursued a policy of conciliation and held secret talks with the nationalist leader Parnell, who later claimed Home Rule had been discussed. Carnarvon resigned (again) as his policy crumbled, though he opposed Gladstone's Irish Home Rule initiative.

Bruce Coleman

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Carnarvon, Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert, 4th earl of

Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert Carnarvon, 4th earl of, 1831–90, British statesman. As colonial secretary (1866–67) under the earl of Derby he introduced the British North America Act, which made Canada a confederation. In the same office (1874–78) under Disraeli he was unsuccessful in an attempt to create a federation in South Africa. His policy as lord lieutenant of Ireland (1885–86) was conciliatory but failed to stem Irish nationalism.

See correspondence, 1874–1878, ed. by C. W. de Kiewiet (1955).

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