Aberdeen and Temair, John Campbell Gordon, Marquess of

Biography: First marquess of Aberdeen and politician. Born Edinburgh, August 1857, the youngest son of the fifth earl, George John James Hamilton-Gordon (he changed his name to Gordon in 1900). Educated at St Andrews University, then University College, Oxford, B.A., 1871. Four successive deaths in a short period of time brought John to the peerage. His grandfather, George Hamilton-Gordon, died in 1860 and his father George in 1864, and his two brothers were both lost in accidents in 1868 and 1870. He succeeded to the title of earl in 1872. In 1877, he married Ishbel Maria Marjoribanks, daughter of Sir Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks. Politically, he was a firm Liberal, and his London house Dollis Hill became a bolthole for Gladstone. He was appointed lord lieutenant for his county in 1881 and lord high commissioner to the General Assembly from 1881-1885. He was made Irish viceroy in 1886, and helped consolidate the Liberal alliance with home-rule Dublin, although he played no part in the home rule and land legislation. He was appointed governor-general for Canada from 1893-1898, and was reinstated as lord lieutenant of Dublin in 1905. His second term in Ireland was very successful - royal visits took place in 1907 and 1911, and when the Home Rule Bill became law, there were numerous requests for Aberdeen's term to be extended. He retired in 1915, and was promoted in the peerage to Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair. Aberdeen was interested in social welfare throughout his life - he served on royal commissions investigating railway accidents and loss of life at sea, and put into effect several ideas for the welfare of farmers and labourers at his estates, increasing the amount of houses and holdings available and providing evening classes. He also founded the London Playing Fields Society. Aberdeen became a member of the privy council in 1886, was appointed GCMG in 1886, KT in 1906, and GCVO in 1911. He was given honorary degrees by the universities of Aberdeen (LLD 1954) and Oxford and by numerous universities in Canada and the USA. He was elected an honorary fellow of University College, Oxford, in 1932 and was lord rector of St Andrews University from 1913-1916. He handed over managements of his Haddo estates to his son, Lord Haddo, in 1920, and spent the rest of his life at the House of Cromar, where he died in 1934. He was succeeded as eighth earl and second marquess by his eldest son George.

Biography Date: 1847-1934

Biography References: LOC; DNB; Roll of Graduates 1926-55, 1149;


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