Balfour, Arthur James 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC

Birth Name Balfour, Arthur James 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC
Call Name Arthur
Gender male
Age at Death 81 years, 7 months, 25 days


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Birth July 25, 1848 Whittingehame, East Lothian, Scotland Arthur James Balfour was born in Whittingehame House, near Stenton

Education 1861 Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom  

Graduation   Trinity College The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom Arthur Balfour read moral sciences, and graduated with a second-class honours degree

Occupation 1874   Arthur Balfour was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Hertford, and represented the constituency until 1885

Event Note

In 1878, Arthur Balfour served as Private Secretary to his uncle, Lord Salisbury, and accompanied him, then serving as Foreign Secretary, to the Congress of Berlin.

Event Note

For a time, Arthur Balfour was politically associated with Lord Randolph Churchill, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and John Gorst, known as the "Fourth Party", and gained notoriety for Lord Randolph Churchill's free criticism of Sir Stafford Northcote, Lord Cross and other prominent members of the "old gang".

Event Note

In 1885, Lord Salisbury appointed Arthur Balfour President of the Local Government Board; and the following year he became Secretary for Scotland, with a seat in the cabinet.

Event Note

Arthur Balfour earned the nickname 'Bloody Balfour', for his ruthless enforcement of the Crimes Act.

Event Note

In 1891, Arthur Balfour became First Lord of the Treasury, the last one in British history not to have served concurrently as Prime Minister as well, and Leader of the House of Commons.

Event Note

On July 11, 1902, Lord Salisbury resigned, and Arthur Balfour succeeded him as Prime Minister.
Prime Minster Balfour and his Foreign Secretary, Lord Lansdowne, presided over the Entente cordiale of 1904.
In December, 1905, he resigned as Prime Minister.

Event Note

In May, 1915, Arthur Balfour succeeded Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty.

Event Note

In December, 1916, Arthur Balfour became Foreign Secretary in Lloyd George's administration.

Event Note

As Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour issued the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the letter to Lord Rothschild promising the Jews a "national home" in Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire.

Event Note

Following the Versailles Conference in 1919, Arthur Balfour resigned as Foreign Secretary, but continued in the government, and the Cabinet after normal peacetime political arrangements resumed, as Lord President of the Council.

Honor 1922   Arthur Balfour was created Earl of Balfour

Death March 19, 1930   Balfour died at Fisher's Hill

Event Note

By late 1929, Arthur Balfour was immobilised by his phlebitis, and moved from Whittingehame to Fisher's Hill, his brother Gerald's home near Woking.

Burial March 22, 1930 Whittingehame, East Lothian, Scotland Arthur James Balfour was buried on the property near Whittinghame Tower, a 14th century keep



Father Balfour, James Maitland
Mother Gascoyne-Cecil, Blanche Mary Harriet


  1. Balfour, James Maitland
    1. Gascoyne-Cecil, Blanche Mary Harriet
      1. Balfour, Arthur James 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC