The Earl of Plymouth
Paymaster General
In office
December 1890 – 11 August 1892
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byThe Earl of Jersey
Succeeded byCharles Seale-Hayne
First Commissioner of Works
In office
11 August 1902 – 4 December 1905
MonarchEdward VII
Prime MinisterArthur Balfour
Preceded byAretas Akers-Douglas
Succeeded byLewis Harcourt
Personal details
Born(1857-08-27)27 August 1857
Died6 March 1923(1923-03-06) (aged 65)
Political partyConservative
SpouseAlberta Paget (1863–1944)
"Good Works". Caricature by "Spy" (Leslie Ward) published in Vanity Fair in 1906.
Memorial to the 1st Earl of Plymouth at St Bartholomew's church, Tardebigge.
Windsor-Clive family plot in the cemetery of St Bartholomew's church, Tardebigge, Worcestershire. Robert Windsor-Clive, 1st Earl of Plymouth, GBE, CB, PC (1857–1923), and his family are buried here.

Robert George Windsor-Clive, 1st Earl of Plymouth, GBE, CB, PC (27 August 1857 – 6 March 1923), known as the 14th Baron Windsor between 1869 and 1905, was a British nobleman and Conservative politician. He was the founding President of the London Society.


Plymouth was born at John Street, Berkeley Square, London,[1] the son of the Hon. Robert Windsor-Clive and Lady Mary Selina Louisa Bridgeman, daughter of George Bridgeman, 2nd Earl of Bradford. His paternal grandparents were the Hon. Robert Clive and Harriett, 13th Baroness Windsor, daughter of Other Windsor, 5th Earl of Plymouth. In 1869 he succeeded his grandmother in the barony of Windsor.[2] He was educated at Eton College and admitted to St John's College, Cambridge, in 1875. He graduated with a B.A. in 1878, a M.A. in 1891, and was awarded an honorary LL.D by the university in 1900.[3]


As Lord Windsor he commissioned Bodley and Garner to build a new country house at his estate in Hewell Grange near Tardebigge, Worcestershire, which was completed in 1884–1891. The estate had been a seat of his grandmother's Windsor family since the 16th century. There are several ruins of earlier houses on the estate, and a large number of listed buildings, structures and statues.[4]

The Windsor-Clives also lived at St Fagans Castle near Cardiff, mainly during the summer months.[5] The sixteenth-century house is now part of the National Museum of Wales, to which it was donated following the death of the 2nd Earl, and is furnished and decorated as it would have been during their residence.

Political career

As Lord Windsor he served under Lord Salisbury as Paymaster General between 1890 and 1892 and was sworn of the Privy Council in 1891.[6] Under Arthur Balfour he was First Commissioner of Works between 11 August 1902 and the Liberal election in 1905,[7] during which period he was responsible for the transformation of The Mall into a processional carriageway and passed the plans for the Queen Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace.[8]

In 1905 the earldom of Plymouth held by his great-grandfather (which had become extinct in 1843) was revived when he was created Viscount Windsor, of St Fagans in the County of Glamorgan, and Earl of Plymouth, in the County of Devon.[9]

Apart from his career in national politics he was Mayor of Cardiff from 1895 to 1896[10] in which role he hosted a royal visit from the Prince and Princess of Wales and their daughters, Princesses Victoria and Maud.[11] He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1905 and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1918, as well as an Officer of the French Legion of Honour[1] and was at one time Chairman of the Union of Conservative Associations.[2]

Other public appointments

Lord Plymouth was also Lord Lieutenant of Glamorganshire from 1890 to his death, and High Steward of Cambridge University from 1919.

Lord Plymouth served in the Worcestershire Yeomanry, being commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in 1878, and promoted Lieutenant (1880) and Major (1885), and was its Lieutenant-Colonel commanding from 1893 to 1906.[1] He was also Honorary Colonel of the 2nd Glamorganshire Artillery Volunteers from 1890, the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, later redesignated 8th Battalion, of the Worcestershire Regiment from 1891, and the Glamorganshire Yeomanry from 1901 to his death,[1] as well as of the 3rd (Royal Glamorgan Militia) Battalion, Welsh Regiment from 1896 and its Special Reserve successor the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Welsh Regiment, from 1908.[12]

He was Sub-Prior Order of St John of Jerusalem. In February 1900 he was appointed a Trustee of the National Gallery,[13] and he served as the first President of The Concrete Institute (now the Institution of Structural Engineers) between 1908 and 1910. In 1913 he was responsible for purchasing The Crystal Palace for the nation.[2] He served twice as President of the Cambrian Archaeological Society, first in 1899, and again in 1912.

In 1913 Lord Plymouth hosted the Duke and Duchess of Argyll (sister of the late King Edward VII) at his Worcestershire seat, Hewell Grange. On 23 April 1913, he accompanied the Duke and Duchess to Birmingham. There, he opened the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Ladywood and then unveiled the statue to King Edward VII in Victoria Square, Birmingham. In 1918 he became the first President of the newly formed Birmingham Civic Society.[14]

From 1914 to 1923, Lord Plymouth was chairman of the National Trust.[15]


In 1883, Lord Plymouth married Alberta Victoria Sarah Caroline, who was the daughter of Sir Augustus Paget, and born in 1863. They had three sons and one daughter. His eldest son Other Robert Windsor-Clive, Viscount Windsor (1884–1908), predeceased him, as did his third son, Lieutenant Archer Windsor-Clive, of the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, killed in action at Landrecies holding the line during the Retreat from Mons;.[16] Archer briefly played cricket for Glamorgan.[17]

Lord Plymouth died suddenly in March 1923, aged 65, at his home in Great Cumberland Place, London, and was buried at Tardebigge, Worcestershire.[1] He was succeeded in the earldom by his second son, Ivor. The Countess of Plymouth died in August 1944, aged 81,[18] and was buried next to her husband and their son Other Robert (1884–1908).


  1. ^ a b c d e The Complete Peerage, Volume XII, Part II. St Catherine's Press. 1959. p. 802.
  2. ^ a b c "Death of Lord Plymouth: artistic taste and public service". The Times. 8 March 1923. p. 12.
  3. ^ "Windsor-Clive, Robert George (CLV875RG)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. ^ Good Stuff IT Services. "Search: +Hewell +Grange". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  5. ^ National Museum of Wales. Accessed 26 March 2016
  6. ^ "No. 26139". The London Gazette. 27 February 1891. p. 1096.
  7. ^ "Mr Balfour´s Ministry - full list of appointments". The Times. No. 36842. London. 9 August 1902. p. 5.
  8. ^ "Death of the Earl of Plymouth - Vacancy in the Ludlow Division". Shrewsbury Chronicle. 9 March 1923. p. 8. His succeeding son had to vacate his parliamentary seat for Ludlow.
  9. ^ "No. 27865". The London Gazette. 19 December 1905. p. 9084.
  10. ^ "Cardiff Council Minutes: 1895–6 Pages 219–238 Cardiff Records: Volume 5. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1905". British History Online.
  11. ^ Matthews, John Hobson. "Cardiff Council Minutes: 1896–7 Pages 238–261 Cardiff Records: Volume 5. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1905". British History Online. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  12. ^ Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1920. Kelly's. p. 1304.
  13. ^ "Appoinment". The Times. No. 36076. London. 27 February 1900. p. 9.
  14. ^ "History". The Birmingham Civic Society. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  15. ^ Jenkins, Jennifer; James, Patrick (1994). From acorn to oak tree: the growth of the National Trust 1895–1994. London: Macmillan. p. 335.
  16. ^ "Lieutenant Archer Windsor-Clive".
  17. ^ Cricinfo. Accessed 26 March 2016
  18. ^ "Obituary:the Dowager Countess of Plymouth". The Times. 23 August 1944. p. 7.
Political offices Preceded byThe Earl of Jersey Paymaster General 1890–1892 Succeeded byCharles Seale-Hayne Preceded byAretas Akers-Douglas First Commissioner of Works 1902–1905 Succeeded byLewis Harcourt Party political offices Preceded byGerald Loder Chairman of the National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations 1901 Succeeded byAlfred Hickman Honorary titles Preceded byChristopher Rice Mansel Talbot Lord Lieutenant of Glamorganshire 1890–1923 Succeeded byThe Earl of Plymouth Peerage of the United Kingdom New creation Earl of Plymouth 3rd creation1905–1923 Succeeded byIvor Windsor-Clive Peerage of England Preceded byHarriet Windsor Baron Windsor 1869–1923 Succeeded byIvor Windsor-Clive