The Lord Taunton
Lord Taunton (1855) by Charles Baugniet.
President of the Board of Trade
In office
29 August 1838 – 30 August 1841
Prime MinisterThe Viscount Melbourne
Preceded byCharles Poulett Thomson
Succeeded byThe Earl of Ripon
In office
22 July 1847 – 21 February 1852
Prime MinisterLord John Russell
Preceded byThe Earl of Clarendon
Succeeded byJ. W. Henley
Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
21 November 1855 – 21 February 1858
Prime MinisterThe Viscount Palmerston
Preceded bySir William Molesworth, Bt
Succeeded byLord Stanley
Chief Secretary for Ireland
In office
1846 – 22 July 1847
Prime MinisterLord John Russell
Preceded byThe Earl of Lincoln
Succeeded bySir William Somerville
Personal details
Born(1798-08-15)15 August 1798
Marylebone, London, England
Died13 July 1869(1869-07-13) (aged 70)
Belgrave Square, London, England
Resting placeOver Stowey, Somerset, England
Political partyWhig
Liberal Party
Spouse(s)(1) Frances Baring
(2) Lady Mary Howard
(d. 1892)
Alma materUniversity of Oxford

Henry Labouchere, 1st Baron Taunton, PC (/læbˈʃɛər/; 15 August 1798 – 13 July 1869) was a prominent British Whig and Liberal Party politician of the mid-19th century.

Background and education

Labouchere was born in London into a prominent family,[1] the son of Peter Cesar Labouchere of Hylands, a Dutch-born banker of French Huguenot ancestry who had settled in England, and his wife Dorothy Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Francis Baring. He was educated at Winchester College and Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his B.A. (1821) and his M.A. (1828).[1]

Political career

In 1826, Labouchere became MP for St Michael, as a Whig.[1] In 1830, he moved to the Taunton seat, which he held until 1859. In 1835 he was opposed by Benjamin Disraeli for the Taunton seat; Labouchere won by 452 votes to 282. He was first appointed to office by Lord Grey in 1832, serving as Civil Lord of the Admiralty .[1] After beginning the second Melbourne ministry as Master of the Mint, Privy Counsellor, and Vice-President of the Board of Trade (and, later, Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies), Labouchere was raised to a cabinet post, President of the Board of Trade, which he held from 1839 until the Melbourne government fell in 1841.[1]

Lord Taunton by William Menzies Tweedie.

When the Whigs, now led by Lord John Russell, returned to office in 1846, Labouchere returned to the cabinet, this time as Chief Secretary for Ireland. Under his administration the worst effects of the Great Irish Famine began to be felt in Ireland. The following year, he once again became President of the Board of Trade, and stayed in that post until Russell's government fell in 1852.[1] From 1853 to 1854 he sat on the Royal Commission on the City of London.[2] Labouchere's final cabinet posting came during the first Palmerston ministry, for which he served as Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1855 to 1858.[1] In 1859, Labouchere was raised to the peerage as Baron Taunton, of Taunton in the County of Somerset.[3][4] Between 1864 and 1868 the then Lord Taunton chaired the Schools Enquiry Commission.


In 1840 Labouchere married his first cousin Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Baring. They had three daughters:

Frances Labouchere died in May 1850, aged 36, in premature childbirth.[5]

In 1852 Labouchere married Lady Mary Howard (1823–1892), a daughter of the Earl of Carlisle. There were no children from this marriage.[1] Lady Mary was buried at St Mary's Church, Charlynch, Somerset where a reredos was erected in 1893 in her memory.[6]

Taunton died in July 1869, aged 70, at his London house in Belgrave Square.[1] He was buried near his country house Quantock Lodge at Over Stowey. As he had no sons the barony became extinct on his death.[1] His nephew, also Henry Labouchere, inherited part of Labouchere's fortune, and was later to become a well-known newspaper editor and politician.[1]


Coat of arms of Henry Labouchere, 1st Baron Taunton
A stork Argent holding in the beak a lotus-flower Proper.
Quarterly Ermine and Azure in the 2nd and 3rd quarters a cross patonce Or.
On either side a stork Argent holding in the beak a lotus-flower Proper.
Passibus Citis Sed Æquis[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Barke, G. F. R. "Labouchere, Henry, Baron Taunton (1798–1869)", rev. H. C. G. Matthew, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, Oct 2008, accessed 9 March 2012
  2. ^ "List of commissions and officials: 1850-1859 (nos. 53-94)". Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 9. 1984. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
  3. ^ "No. 22298". The London Gazette. 16 August 1859. p. 3108.
  4. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Taunton, Henry Labouchere, Baron" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 453.
  5. ^ "SUDDEN DEATH OF MRS. LABOUCHERE", Bucks Herald, 1 June 1850, page 6
  6. ^ "Charlinch: Church Pages 95-97 A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and Neighbouring Parishes). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1992". British History Online. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  7. ^ Burke's Peerage. 1868.