James Gascoyne-Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury

The Marquess of Salisbury
Lord President of the Council
In office
26 February 1858 – 11 June 1859
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Derby
Preceded byThe Earl Granville
Succeeded byThe Earl Granville
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
In office
27 February 1852 – 17 December 1852
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Derby
Preceded byThe Earl of Minto
Succeeded byThe Duke of Argyll
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
13 June 1823 – 12 April 1868
Hereditary peerage
Preceded byThe 1st Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded byThe 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Member of Parliament
for Hertford
In office
Preceded byHon. Edward Spencer Cowper
Succeeded byThomas Byron
Member of Parliament
for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis
In office
Preceded byHon. Edward Spencer Cowper
Succeeded byAdolphus Dalrymple
Personal details
James Brownlow William Cecil

17 April 1791 (1791-04-17)
Died12 April 1868 (1868-04-13) (aged 76)
Political partyConservative
Frances Gascoyne
(m. 1821; died 1839)
(m. 1847)
Children11, including Robert, Eustace, and Mary Arabella

James Brownlow William Gascoyne-Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury, KG, PC (17 April 1791 – 12 April 1868), styled Viscount Cranborne until 1823, was a British Conservative politician. He held office under The Earl of Derby as Lord Privy Seal in 1852 and Lord President of the Council between 1858 and 1859. He was the father of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and grandfather of Arthur Balfour, who also served as Prime Minister.


Salisbury was the son of James Cecil, 1st Marquess of Salisbury, and Lady Emily Mary Hill, daughter of Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire.

Political career

Salisbury entered the House of Commons in 1813 as Member of Parliament for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, a seat he held until 1817, and then sat for Hertford between 1817 and 1823.

In the latter year, he succeeded his father in the marquessate and entered the House of Lords. He served in the Lord Derby's first two cabinets as Lord Privy Seal in 1852 and as Lord President of the Council between 1858 and 1859. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1826 and made a Knight of the Garter in 1842.

Apart from his political career he also served as titular Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex between 1841 and 1868, and followed his father as colonel of the Hertfordshire Militia. During a period of unrest in 1830 he raised the South Hertfordshire Yeomanry Cavalry and commanded it with the rank of major. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel the following year when the regiment was expanded. In 1847, however, he exchanged with his second-in-command, James Grimston, 2nd Earl of Verulam, and reverted to the rank of major.


Lord Salisbury was married twice. His first marriage was on 2 February 1821 to Frances Mary Gascoyne (born 25 January 1802, died 15 October 1839), daughter of Bamber Gascoyne of Childwall Hall, Lancashire, and his wife Sarah Bridget Frances Price. A biography of her by Carola Oman appeared in 1966. The couple had six children, including:

Lord Salisbury's second marriage, on 29 April 1847, was to Lady Mary Catherine Sackville-West, daughter of George Sackville-West, 5th Earl De La Warr, and Elizabeth Sackville-West, Countess De La Warr, with whom he had five children:

  • Lord Sackville Arthur Cecil (16 March 1848 – 29 January 1898), died unmarried.
  • Lady Mary Arabella Arthur Cecil (26 April 1850 – 18 August 1903), married Alan Stewart, 10th Earl of Galloway.
  • Lady Margaret Elizabeth Cecil (1850 – 11 March 1919), died unmarried.
  • Lord Arthur Cecil (3 July 1851– 16 July 1913), married Elizabeth Ann Wilson and had children; married secondly, in 1902, Frederica von Klenck, daughter of diplomat Baron Otto von Klenck, of Gmunden, and his British-born wife née Stewart.
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Lionel Cecil (21 March 1853 – 13 January 1901), died unmarried.

Lord Salisbury died in April 1868, aged 76, and was succeeded as marquess by his third, eldest surviving son, Robert. The Marchioness of Salisbury died in December 1900.

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