Birth: 14 March 1861

Place or Registered Place of Birth: London, Middlesex

Baptism: Not Known

Place of Baptism: Not Known

Death: 22 September 1949

Place or Registered Place of Death: Camfield Place, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Father: Alfred Henry Paget

Mother: Cecilia Wyndham


1. Pauline Payne Whitney

2. Edith Starr Miller

Date of Marriage:

1. 12 November 1895

2. 19 July 1921

Place or Registered Place of Marriage:

1. St. Thomas's Church, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

2. 1048 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.A.


Children of Pauline Payne Whitney & Almeric:

Olive Cecilia Paget (1899-1974)
Dorothy Wyndham Paget (1905-1960)

Children of Edith Starr Miller & Almeric:

Audrey Elizabeth Paget (4 May 1922-1991)
Enid Louise Paget (14 July 1923-)
Cicilie Carol Paget (18 April 1928-)


Armorial Families
Rt. Hon. Sir Almeric Hugh Paget, G.B.E. , 1st Baron Queenborough, of Queenborough, Kent (24 Jan. 1918) [Supporters- On either side a sailor, habited in the costume of the Royal Thames Yacht Club (period 1840), supporting with the exterior hand a flag argent, charged with a cross patée gules, within a bordure azure. Livery -Blue, with orange facings], J.P. London and Suffolk, Hon. Fellow Corpus Christi Coll., Cambridge, M.P. Cambridge 1910-17 ; Knt. of Justice of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England, President National Unionist Assoc. 1927-8, and of Eastern Provincial Div. since 1909, President, Miller Gen. Hosp. and Governor Guy's Hosp., Treasurer League of Nations Union, b. 1861 ; m. 1st, 1895, Pauline (d. 1916), d. of the late Hon. William Whitney, Sec. of State, U.S.A. Navy; and, 1921, Edith, d. of William Starr Miller, of New York ; and has issue (by 1st marriage)-Hon. Olive Cecilia [m. 1st, 1919, Hon. Charles John Winn (whom she divorced 1925); 2nd, 1925, Arthur Wilson Filmer, son of Capt. Stanley Wilson of Tranby Croft, Hull, and has issue] ; Hon. Dorothy Wyndham ; (by 2nd marriage)-Hon. Audrey Elizabeth ; Hon. Enid Louise ; Hon. Cicely Carol. Seats-Canfield Place, Hatfield ; Soham House, Newmarket. Town Res.-39 Berkeley Square, W.1. Clubs -Turf, Carlton, Beefsteak.

Sir Almeric Hugh Paget, 1st and last Baron Queenborough was born on 14 March 1861 at London, England. He was the son of General Lord Alfred Henry Paget and Cecilia Wyndham. He was baptised at London, England. He married, firstly, Pauline Payne Whitney, daughter of Hon. William Collins Whitney and Flora Payne, on 12 November 1895 at New York, U.S.A. He married, secondly, Edith Miller, daughter of William Starr Miller and Edith Caroline Warren, on 19 July 1921 at New York, U.S.A. He died on 22 September 1949 at age 88, without male issue.

Sir Almeric Hugh Paget, 1st and last Baron Queenborough was educated between 1875 and 1877 at Harrow School, Harrow on the Hill, London, England. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. In 1906 he contested Cambridge in the General Election for Unionist interests. He was President of the Eastern Provincial Division of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations in 1909. He held the office of High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1909. He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) (Unionist) for Cambridge between 1910 and 1917. He held the office of Parliamentary Provincial Whip for the Eastern and Home Counties between 1911 and 1917. He was created 1st Baron Queenborough, of Queenborough, co. Kent [U.K.] on 18 January 1918. He was Treasurer of the League of Nations Union. He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Order of the British Empire (G.B.E.) in 1926. He was President of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations between 1928 and 1929. He was President of the Chihuahua and Pacific Railroad. He was Chairman of Caxton Electric Developments. He was invested as a Knight of Justice, Order of St. John of Jerusalem (K.J. St. J.). He was Chairman of Siemens Bros. & Co. Ltd. He was President of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations between 1940 and 1941.

On his death, the Barony of Queenborough became extinct.

The New York Times
27 October 1902
London, October 26. - Almeric Hugh Paget, who married Miss Pauline Whitney of New York, has been accidentally shot by a friend while shooting in the country.

After the accident Mr. Paget was hurriedly brought to London, where it was found necessary to take out one of his eyes.

It is believed that the sight of the other eye will not be affected..........

The New York Times - July 17, 1921
Lord Queenborough to Take Bride Here
Son-in-Law of Late W.C. Whitney to Wed Miss Edith Starr Miller Tuesday
Lord Paget's Son is 60
Widower's Fiancée, Daughter of Retired Lawyer, is 33 - Troth a Surprise to Society
Lord Queenborough, who, as Almeric Hugh Paget, married Miss Pauline Whitney. daughter of the late William C. Whitney of New York, who died two years before her husband was raised to the Peerage, surprised society yesterday by- taking out a marriage license at the :Municipal Building, to wed Miss Edith Starr Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Starr Miller. of 1,048 Fifth Avenue.

The marriage is to be quietly celebrated on Tuesday at the town house of the bride's parents, and the Rev. Dr. Mansfield is to officiate.

No match of recent years took society so completely by surprise, as there had been no rumour of their engagement or impending marriage. Lord Queenborough was in this country in February as the guest of his sister-in-law, Mrs. Willard Straight, and also visited his brothers-in-law, Payne Whitney and Harry Payne Whitney, and was at Palm Beach, returning home before the end of the season. He has been here about three weeks on his last visit.

When the marriage license was obtained, Lord Queenborough gave his age as 60, and his address 39 Berkeley Square, London. He said he -was the son of Lord .Alfred Paget and Cecelia Wyndham, and gave his occupation as that of a director. Miss Starr was recorded as a spinster,"33 years old. She was born in Newport.

Miss Starr was formally introduced to society some years ago, and it was during the Winter of 1907 that her mother, who was :Miss Edith C. Warren before her marriage, gave a cotillion for her, at which society was largely and brilliantly represented. Her father is a widely known retired lawyer. She is a niece of George Henry Warren, Whitney Warren, Lloyd Warren and Airs. Robert Goelet. On the maternal side she is descended from John Bouton, a Huguenot, who came to Boston in 1635, and from the Hon. Jonas Phillips Phoenix. whose family has long; been distinguished in the history of New York and Connecticut.

Lord Queenborough's first marriage to Miss Whitney took place in St. Thomas's Church on Nov. 12, 1895. She died in 1916, leaving a large estate to her husband. There were two children by this marriage, Olive and Dorothy, the former marrying the Hon. Charles Winn. Mrs. Winn accompanied her father to New York last winter.

He spent a number of years in the United States prior to his first marriage, ranching :and farming in the Northwest, and later was engaged in various enterprises in this city. For a time he was President of the Chihuahua & Pacific Railroad. In 1917 he resigned his seat in Parliament in order to provide a seat for Sir Eric Geddes, the then new First Lord of. the Admiralty, having represented Cambridge as a Unionist for more than seven years. The old family of Paget has been represented in the House of Lords ever since 1553, or since the reign of Edward VI. His brother, General Sir Arthur Paget, married Miss Minnie Stevens of New York, and the late Sydney Paget was another brother.

Lord Queenborough Obituary

Lord Queenborough died at his home, Carfield Place, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire, yesterday at the age of 88. He -was well known in the yachting world and on the turf, and was president of the Royal Society of St. George and a former president of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations. The Right Hon. Sir Almeric Hugh Paget, G.B.E., first Baron Queenborough, of Queenborough, County Kent, in the peerage of the United Kingdom, was born on March 14, 1861, the sixth son of General Lord Alfred Henry Paget and a grandson of the first Marquess of Anglesey, who was severely wounded at the battle of Waterloo. His mother was Cecilia daughter of George Thomas Wyndham, of Cromer Hall, Norfolk. He was educated at Harrow and then worked for some years in the fitting shop of the Mid- land Railway Company at Derby. While still a young man he emigrated to the United States with the intention of becoming a farmer, and there he worked as a day labourer and cowboy until, having saved enough to buy a wagon and horses, he became a carrier in the far west. Later he went into business at St. Paul, where in due course he was appointed representative of some English banking interests. "Out West " he became a well known businessman, interested himself successfully in railway enterprises, and eventually moved to New York, having amassed a fortune. For a time he was president of the Chihuahua and Pacific Railroad. Having returned to England Paget stood for Cambridge in the General Election of 1906, but without success. In January, 1910, however, he contested the constituency again and was returned as its Unionist member. The year after he became Parliamentary Provincial Whip for the Eastern and Home Counties. In 1918 be resigned his seat and was raised to the peerage. Lord Queenborough continued to take an active part in politics and was president of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations from 1928 to 1929 and again in 1940 and 1941. After having been treasurer for 16 years of the League of Nations Union he resigned in 1936 on the grounds that the league was "no longer a real League of Nations," and that he did not believe that it could function as an effective instrument for peace. His two great sporting interests were the turf - his horse St. Louis won the 2,000 Guineas in 1922-and yacht racing; for many years he was vice-commodore of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, and he .was a member of the council of The Yacht Racing Association. One of his daughters, Miss Dorothy Paget, is a well known race-horse owner. Lord Queenborough, who was created a G.B.E. in 1926 and was a Knight of Justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, was twice married. His first wife was Pauline, daughter of Mr. William C. Whitney, Secretary of the United States Navy, whom he married in 1895. She died in 1916 and he married in 1921 Edith, daughter of Mr. William Starr Miller, of New York. She died in 1933. By his first marriage he had two daughters and by his second, three, all of whom survive him. He had no son and the peerage therefore becomes extinct.

Almeric Hugh Paget was educated at Harrow. Afterwards he worked in the shops of the Midland Railway, at Derby, England, In 1881 he went to America and engaged in farming and ranching in the Western States for several years. He then undertook commercial life in St. Paul, Minn., and New York City, becoming very successful. He was a founder of the Dominion Iron and Steel Company of Canada.

In 1902 Mr. Paget returned to England and since then has been much engaged in politics. He stood as Unionist candidate for Parliament for Cambridge in the general election of 1908, but was defeated. In 1910 he defeated his former opponent, and still (1911) remains a member of Parliament for Cambridge Borough. He was High Sheriff for the County of Suffolk in 1909.He is identified with the Central Land Association and the Tariff Reform League, being on the Executive Committee of both organizations, and he is president of the Eastern Provincial Division of the National Union of Conservative Associations.

Following the example of his father, Mr. Paget makes yachting his principal diversion. For several years he raced with considerable success the Herreshoff 30-footer one-design Pollywog at Newport, and since his return to England he has successively owned and raced both in English and Mediterranean waters, the South Coast one-design boats Caprice, Cuckoo II, Gracie, and the 15-meter Maroona, carrying off the first prize in the open handicap race from Cannes to Monte Carlo in 1902, and the Czar's prize at Cowes, in 1909.

He is a member of the Carlton, Turf, Garrick and other London clubs and is Rear-Commodore of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, of which his father was Commodore for many years.

Heirs of Tradition: Tributes of a New Zealander - 1949 - By Robert E. George - pp. 94-108



How much I owed to Oxford and to Exmoor for introductions to England I have made clear. But when I came back from India and Egypt in 1918 I found that generous women were arranging all sorts of welcoming opportunities for us from overseas. Lady Harrowby, and her daughter Lady Frances Ryder, organised a scheme of country house visits; but the main impulse came from a crippled old lady who was the widow of a diplomat, Henry Edwardes, a brother of the then Lord Kensington.

Mrs. Henry Edwardes had seen much of the world; when her husband was in the Embassy at Washington, she had made friends with Mrs. Grover Cleveland. When I knew her she could not move for rheumatoid arthritis, but she had the heart of a mother, and the will of a hero. She welcomed us to her house, 7 Herbert Crescent, where, crippled and bowed, she sat with twisted fingers in white draperies and old lace, turning from incessant pain to wide-ranging enterprise in arranging opportunities, and opening doors. With marvellous skill, she harnessed the court train to her chariot, and in her motherliness mingled many ironies.

At her instance, the Red Cross not only sent me to Cannes for the Christmas of 1918, but it also gave me in doing so a glimpse of that most beautiful woman, Georgina, Lady Dudley. I spent Christmas at the Hotel des Anglais, where I first met a woman not less fascinating, Lady Burghclere. But among all her bounties, Mrs. Edwardes never did so much for me as when at Cannes she brought me by her letters in touch with Miss Amy Paget, and so finally with her brother Lord Queenborough.

Christmas had passed before Miss Paget's indefatigable generosity found me out, and she transferred me to her château at Garibondy.

In all the Riviera there is no home more dignified or gracious, nor one that looks with more splendour into the West. Set on the hills between Cannes and Grasse, it looked down with felicity to the wide plain around the mouth of the Saigne-a plain, rich with farms and trees-and then to the Golfe de Mandelieu, and so up to the wild wooded heights of the Esterel, over which the sun set evening after evening in the crimson air and burnished cloud which I had learnt to love in my home in the South Seas.

The garden of Garibondy had in it many fine things, tended by old Libéral, the Provençal gardener, but its feature was a pine tree, planted by Queen Victoria in the year 1886, and the umbrella pines which fringed it; it lost itself in woods where scarlet anemones flowered in the spring. It was one of those gardens which are tended without becoming too conscious of its manners: it was still a thing of nature and the sun, spacious and unspoilt, a background to the wide terrace and the balustrade which gave on that wide view into the alluring West, a view beginning with the suggestion of some historic villa of Italy with its Virgilian plants, and extending to the blue satin sea and the serrated range.

Lady Alfred Paget had bought this villa in the eighties, and left it to her elder daughter to carry on a tradition of entertaining linked with Queen Victoria's Court. To this tradition Miss Amy suited herself to perfection, adding a special welcome to Americans. For had not both her elder brother, Sir Arthur, the General, and her younger brother Almeric married American heiresses?

Lady Alfred Paget's father-in-law, Lord Anglesey, commanded with Wellington at Waterloo, where he lost a leg. He returned to be with his son, Lord Uxbridge, a figure at the court of George III, when not presiding at his sumptuous seat, Beaudesert. He had many sons and daughters. Of these, not the least handsome, Lord Alfred Paget, was of almost the same age as Queen Victoria, who frequently chose him as escort when she rode in Windsor Park. She made Lord Alfred her chief equerry under the title of Clerk Marshall. Tall, admirably proportioned, with a high complexion, and the impressive mustachios of the time, he was admired by others beside the Queen. His wife, a Windham of Norfolk, was one of the beauties of her time; and enjoying as they did kinship with a military leader second only to the Duke of Wellington, as well as a close connection with the Court, Lord and Lady Alfred Paget moved in the most distinguished society; it maintained the fine standards of an aristocracy which, while enjoying sport, served the State in the high Whig tradition which combined the maintenance of privilege with an eye to change and business.

Like all women of intelligence, Miss Paget liked to have around her the interesting names and the interesting people; and these furthermore were her natural society. But her great mother heart opened the wide doors of welcome and affection to all who came within her orbit, rich and poor, one with another. "I always spoil men", was one of her maxims. But she added to this a wise understanding of women, and for both a wonderful individual art of talking which George Gordon, or any Stevensonian, would have prized. It made her letters unique, for every sentence was hers, and hers alone, in what was felt and thought and said. A warm sympathy special for each friend, a boundless confidence in Britain and the Court, a feeling for the Whig tradition, a dislike of dictators, an understanding which made her mistress of all around her, a generous loyalty to old connections, a tireless enterprise in taking new ones to her heart: all this made her a personality unique. As Queen Victoria among all the sovereigns of Europe, she was fixed among the hostesses of the Riviera wise, good, unquestioned and supreme.

Her taste made her remember history; with a spiritual gift which made her at home among the mystics she shared much with Santa Teresa. And like all great ladies, she stopped far short of being a highbrow. "Poetry bothers me", she said; and of Edith Wharton who fully appreciated her, her judgment was "Something about her frightens me." One of her old friends had been assailed by nasty gossip. She summed it up in six words "Had to leave Capri? Tittle tattle!" For she knew a gentleman when she saw one, and did not need to revise her opinion of an old friend. With royalty her manner was at once affectionate and sure. "You always give me a kiss, don't you, Sir?" she said as the Duke of Connaught led us from his villa at Cap Ferrat out to her car. "Yes, my dear Amy", he answered with the princely air which sat so well on him, "And very proud too."


Her knowledge of society ranged far and plumbed deep. In my first visit there the favourite guests were the daughters of the Duc de la Rochefoucauld who married, one the Duc de Noailles, and the other Prince Sixte de Bourbon. A young man busy with settling the dot considered due to a Royal Highness and carrying with him a flavour of France and Royalty, he was then famous as the bearer of a peace proposal from his sister, the Empress of Austria. Later I met at lunch there the Duchesse de Vendôme, grand-daughter of Louis Philippe and sister to Albert, King of the Belgians a friendly, simple, gracious woman with a radiant smile.

Miss Amy had had Arthur Balfour with her for three weeks. She had entertained the King of Sweden, the Grand Duke Kyril, and Mrs. Otto Kahn; she loved to tell the story how when she went to the funeral of the Count of Caserta, son of King Bomba of Naples, and precedence was claimed for the representative of the Duc de Guise as King of France, the answer was given: "I have two Emperors." Another story was how when she asked an American, married to the son of a German Duke, "How many children have you?" she received the answer "Two princes and two princesses".

At other times she sent me to visit Princess Pless, now a cheerful but paralysed invalid in her villa at Mandelieu or to Lady Russell, the "Elizabeth" of those finely satirical novels which reproduce in cosmopolitan life the acid penetration of Jane Austen with an impishness all their own. Elizabeth's talk was like theirs: the most biting yet the most delightful comments, on all foibles around her, and yet a hint of tender pathos for the creatures of flesh and blood-with a tale of the irreproachable old sister, now with God, who thought "Lady Chatterley's Lover" "quite beautiful"-and approval of the "good Americans", one of whom had married one of her daughters. Nor did she withhold praise of the Prussian aristocracy into whom she married, and portraits of whom gave a feudal memory to the entrance hall. But how well she knew that the flesh is weak!

So Royalty, celebrities, and Americans crowded Garibondy, as often together as separate, with the old family friends, and the court connections who had always come there. And it was in that company that I first met Lord Queenborough, when I went back to Garibondy while writing my life of the Empress Eugénie in the spring of 1930. “How much wives fuss men!" was one of Miss Amy's comments.

The Clos was the home of Miss Amy's sister, Lady Colebrooke. "Prends garde, mon enfant", the Empress Eugénie had said to her when she was a child, “Prends garde, tu as les beaux yeux de ton père."

From time to time, Lord Colebrooke himself came out there, from his duties as Lord in Waiting to the King, George V. He had a marvellous knowledge of society and of all the things which matter in a court; like Miss Amy, he was a judge of books; but though his company was delightful, his face was sad. He had lost a fortune some twenty years before, and avowed that he felt the pinch. I remember once that when he and the German Ambassador were lunching with me, the King had a very bad cold. "Then let him take Chlor Kalk" said the Ambassador. I pass on this valuable hint: for a cold take calcium chloride. I have no doubt Lord Colebrooke recommended it, on this high German authority, to the King.


When I drove down to Cannes with Lord Queenborough to put him into the Blue Train on his way home, he found he had half an hour to spend. "Don't tell anyone", he said as he took me with him to the Casino for a last flutter-it was not I fear successful.

He was one of the youngest of a dashing and distinguished family of fourteen. Since several sons had already been provided for by Lord and Lady Alfred, there was very little left to help when he left Harrow in the late seventies and had to decide on a future. "They wanted me to be a parson ", he told me sixty years later, "but I didn't feel it was my job." Few of his friends would have disputed this.

So he was shipped off to America and lived awhile, penniless, the life of the Middle West. He was in fact given a through ticket to Le Mars, Iowa, where he was apprenticed to a ranch to herd cattle. After a few years of this life, such as my relatives had lived in New Zealand, he went one season to play tennis in a match at St. Paul, Minnesota. Something about him impressed his host who asked what his object was in coming to America. The voting man was frank : it was to make enough money to get home again. His host advised him in this case to join the real estate business, and furthermore found an employer with a vacancy. It was there that young Paget began a new apprenticeship.

But at this point he introduced into the business a novel element. His brother Arthur had married, as he saw, the daughter of one of the principal hostesses in New York, Mrs. Parham Stevens. Whenever Almeric Paget went to New York, lie found himself mixing in a very important circle. From time to time, men came from this company to Minnesota and St. Paul. They sought out the fashionable young Englishman; he introduced big business to his firm. One of them in one day made purchases amounting to $200,000. With such experience, such advancement, such connections, Almeric Paget, with a friend called Smith-found in the office -soon set up a business of his own. At a time when America was booming, real estate was an open gate to fortune. He leapt up the ladder of success. And always, when he went back to New York, he found himself in the circle of the richest. Among the great New York firms few were more important than that of Whitney Payne, the kings of nickel. Miss Pauline Whitney married Almeric Paget in 1895. The combination of a shrewd judgment, sporting tastes, a strong personality and an historic English name had served him well.


A year later his father-in-law asked him to return to New York to be of assistance to the firm's large interests and for five years Almeric Paget was in business in New York. It was again a time of boom. The young Englishman took his chances on narrow margins; he succeeded. In five years he had accumulated a considerable fortune; and his wife's family were among the most powerful millionaires. He was even invited to join the firm of Morton Rose, that after a further five years' experience in New York, he might take charge of their London branch.

Fate decreed otherwise. His wife was highly strung, and her doctors advised her to try the milder air of England. There was a conseil de famille. It was suggested to Mr. Paget -now just forty years of age-that the making of further money did not matter. Between them, he and his wife had as much as any reasonable person could wish : Mrs. Paget was in fact heiress to a fortune of £8,000,000-$40,000,000. And so they came over and took a small shooting in Norfolk, and later a house in South Audley Street before taking one in Berkeley Square.

Mr. Paget's connections in New York led him into the inner circle not only of the Government of the State but of the Republican party. His father-in-law, Mr. Whitney, was Secretary for the Navy to President Grover Cleveland, who indeed came over from Washington for the wedding and made a speech of congratulation on the sanctity of marriage. This was the beginning of a friendship between the President and the young Englishman: Mr. Grover Cleveland gave his young friend advice. So did Mr. Whitney. “If you put money into shares which go down in value, don't worry”, said the President. They will recover it with the growth of the country." Over and over again this proved true. Another counsel was: "If you get a letter which worries you-leave it a day or two before dealing with it."

When Almeric Paget was living in New York few men were of more outstanding ability and striking character than Elihu Root who was attorney to the Metropolitan Railway-and perhaps the best legal brain of his day. Here too was a friend of whom he saw much; and already he made the acquaintance with Nicholas Murray Butler which, ripening later into friendship, kept them in close touch for over forty years.

The most interesting of all Mr. Paget's friendships, however, had been formed on the prairie, as he was riding round the cattle with a stock-whip in the burning sun. He found that, engaged on the same task, was an American with a personality and strong ideas: a man who feared for the result of forests destroyed, land exploited and money made too quickly-a man too, with a passionate admiration for England and the English. This man was no other than Theodore Roosevelt, who after an interval succeeded Grover Cleveland as Governor of New York and became Vice-President to McKinley not so many years later, and then a world figure.

Such a combination of friendships, linked as they were with such a successful marriage, and such a rise in fortune, show what unusual gifts and promises were the heritage of the English boy who had arrived penniless in Iowa in 1880.


From their earliest youth, as we have seen, the Pagets had lived in close connection with the Court. To the sons and daughters of Queen Victoria, they remained all through, friends on terms of affection. In the days of King Edward VII, Almeric Paget moved inevitably back into that special circle of privilege and glamour-and in those days the attention of the world was centred on courts and princes. At a port in the Baltic in his yacht the "Enchantress", he was entertained by the Crown Prince of Sweden: he often met the King of Sweden at Garibondy, and at Caulfield he entertained Prince Olaf of Norway. At Deauville, he had invited King Alfonso to dine on board his yacht ; and the King, not only knowing that space was limited, but also because it meant greater freedom, came without an A.D.C. He was in a gay mood, and kept his host and a distinguished company of French sportsmen not only amused but startled at the extreme frankness with which he gave his view of situations and of people in the politics around him.

This was not the only interview which Lord Queenborough had with a reigning sovereign; he had been received at Kiel in 1912 by the Emperor William, who twice had taken him aside for a long talk, indulging in elaborate justifications and saying at the end of them: "And so you see, Mr. Paget, I am not as much of an ogre as your people make out." The Emperor had spoken of his attempts to get in touch with some English Minister to arrive at an entente; finally Haldane had come over and was to have sent back the Emperor a report as soon as he arrived in England; but the report never came, and the Emperor said in an impassioned tone: "I was so enraged that if the Queen of England had not been my grandmother I would at once have drawn the sword!"

The Emperor did not actually draw his sword but made every motion of doing so before the company on the deck, who, used to him as they were, could not but be startled at his high tone and ferocious gesture.


For the first five years after his return to England, Almeric Paget took no concern in politics. His life was that of society and sport. He had entered fully into the life of Norfolk: there he would pour out his views to the men around him, but it was not till 1906 that he thought of fighting an election; the constituency allotted to him was one in which a powerful and promising Liberal lawyer, Stanley Buckmaster, was already firmly entrenched. In a year like 1906 when the Tories were losing all their seats, and when the débâcle in Manchester soon impressed elections elsewhere, there was no chance of winning Cambridge. But Mr. Paget set to work; he nursed the constituency: day after day he made himself known in house after house. An impression gathered: "We knows him: we likes him: we trusts him." In 1910, with a change in the political tide, he won the seat from Buckmaster. Each had played straight and respected the other.

Once entered in Parliament, he set out to influence and reorganise his party. His pace was not spectacular, but he was doing a work of his own which secured him his own place. A man of shrewd judgment with a social gift and enormous resources was felt as a power, especially in the lobbies; the members, like the constituents, got to know, to like, to trust him. His opinion was worth hearing; his chief made a friend of him; where power was, he counted. Too free to bother about office, or a colonial post abroad under the Crown, he did cherish an ambition which his experience made legitimate: it was to be Ambassador in Washington. He had learnt from his father-in-law in what language to address men of different ranks from different regions in America. But at the time when such an appointment was to be made professional diplomacy was demanding the plums for itself, and when the next best thing was vacant, the governorship of Canada, the moment was for him inopportune. But as a power, a personality, an organiser, he had done great service for his party. It was rewarded with a peerage in 1919, and Queenborough in Kent invited him to take its name.


When Lord Queenborough was made a peer, the Conservatives gave him a dinner in the House of Commons. Hundreds of members attended. "It's no use my talking politics to you", said their guest of honour; instead he took them back to the days when he was the best runner in the ranches at Iowa, when the cowboys near backed him against any who could be found to run against their kid from England, when they set him to run a hurdle race in Miles City, the great cattle centre of the west, setting up tables and chairs dragged out from the houses as hurdles in its main street-and then setting their champions to run and jump. Young Paget had romped home: many a dollar changed hands that day: with saloons open all night, many a drink was drunk before the cowboys sought their night's rest in neighbouring hay-lofts. Yet another time he had been out with his revolver loaded on the coach as it drove through a canyon bristling with road “agents" as the Middle-west men called the men who ran the hold-ups, till he had got through to the mounted police, and sent them out. Those days were over, but the M.P. still went from his homes at Panshanger, or Claremont, to win cups at Cowes, or Kiel-the Czar's at one, the Kaiser's at the other.


In politics he became established as a constructive Conservative a friend to young men as they rose, a man with business acumen, a genial knowledge of the world, a wit, and a specialist on things American; a man whose resources were at the service of the ends he prized.

In 1920 he had become treasurer of the League of Nations Union: and under him its subscriptions rose from a hundred pounds to something like £37,000 a year. For fourteen years he worked as treasurer, after that he became more and more dubious if it was really that agency of peace which it set out to be. His views inclined to those which his friend, the Comte de St. Aulaire, expressed in his work, "Genève contre La Paix". He saw it developing into a sort of organism which thought first of itself; as one which lacked the backing of many powerful nations; and finally as an affair run by one clique for the discomfiture of another. Professor Gilbert Murray and Lord Cecil of Chelwood might cling to it for the promise it once held out. They might adapt their Browning and say:

What it aspired to be
And was not comforts me.

but that did not comfort Lord Queenborough. He drew a sharp distinction between the great ideal he had originally supported and the dangerous mechanism into which it had degenerated. His League of Nations had become intrigue of nations. Distrustful of the line Lord Cecil was taking, he resigned the post of treasurer. The "Daily Mail" announced the fact between the black columns of mourning; after that the big income of the Union rapidly declined.

From that time Lord Queenborough's policy was that of Neville Chamberlain. To him no danger loomed so large as that of Bolshevism. A firm friend of the French Embassy he remained, yet aware that Herr von Dircksen, the German Ambassador, was, though a German, nevertheless, working for peace, Lord Queenborough kept at every turn in step with Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Halifax. Some Germans tried to take advantage of this, and abused his hospitality. They did not know the solid patriotism of his fighting family.

The war of 1914 had opened up to Mr. and Mrs. Paget a unique opportunity of service. She had done much for a hospital in the Duke of Devonshire's house at Eastbourne. When she had taken Claremont (after Panshanger) she organised that too as a hospital. Lady Essex-Trench suggested to them the need of a number of masseurs to treat (and heal) wounded men. They responded immediately by training a hundred-then another hundred were needed, and before the war was over no less than 300 had been provided. Widely spread was the alleviation due to this enterprising act of charity. It was in her own hospital at Claremont that in 1916 Mrs. Paget suddenly died.

The war drew her husband's energies in quite another direction. The great German firm of Siemens was operating widely in England: these properties were seized at the outbreak of war, and then operated as an English company. From the first Lord Queenborough was a director of this house. All this time he had kept in close touch with the City, being chairman or director in a number of companies. He was interested in the turf, owning several notable winners, including St. Louis which won the Two Thousand Guineas, in 1920. He had done his first sailing at White Bear Lake in Minnesota; he had sailed at Long Island when free from his business in New York. His father had been Commodore of the Royal Thames Yacht Club; of this he was first Vice-Commodore, then Commodore himself. He is owner too of a fine collection of sea pictures. At the Carlton Club he was an adept at bridge. He became known to all who counted in society or politics. They appreciated his power to recall unusual memories, his shrewd judgment of men and affairs, his knowledge of America, his warmth and openness of heart, and a combination of originality, simplicity and wit with openness of heart and house, which he shared with his sister, Miss Amy.

In 1916 his first wife died. His second wife, Miss Edith Starr Miller, married in 1920, was also an American. It was she who found out and chose for him his present home, Camfield Place, near Hatfield, in which the fine interiors, designed by herself, raise a monument both of her taste and his own. She left him with three daughters. Two elder daughters, Lady Bailey, a leading hostess at Leeds Castle, Kent, and Miss Dorothy Paget, best known as a leading race-horse owner, have divided the immense inheritance of his first wife.

The range of interests which touch a man who exercises control over such large concerns is very great. It brought Lord Queenborough into touch with the great banks, and their directors, and especially with Reginald McKenna. At Camfield Place, his guests included not only his family and old friends like Lord Hamilton of Dalziel, but Prime Ministers, Princes, Ambassadors, Viceroys, Ministers of the Crown, Bishops and writers: all of whom were received not in formal parties, but as a circle of personal friends whom he delighted to see again and again. He retains the art of making new friends, and the perhaps rarer art of remembering old ones.


It is not all who begin with a new family of daughters after their sixtieth birthday: but with three daughters younger than his grandchildren, he has kept well in the race of youth. He and Miss Amy accepted the dedication of my "Winston Churchill".

In 1840, Arthur Bryant likewise inscribed his English saga “to Lord Queenborough, Englishman". Delighting above all in love of praise and England, summing, without knowing it, the range of qualities which make her best men great, and which out of troubles and disasters rebuild her strength, Lord Queenborough has dedicated his success to her good causes.

He has devoted his efforts in recent years to the elevation and general promotion of imperial patriotism through the medium of the Royal Society of St. George. In this society he foresaw great opportunities. Concentrating as it does first on loyalty to England and England's patron saint, it aims at the elevation and hallowing of patriotism in a constructive work, where England, as the centre of the King's dominions, yet linked by language and tradition with America, as well as to a Court and to a King, would realise that her part should not be isolation from Europe, but leadership; leadership in combating possible destructive elements, especially the insidiousness and weight of Bolshevism, and aiming at making in Europe a home of ordered freedom in which the whole continent would find its model and support. On this society Lord Queenborough staked his interest as keenly as he did in earlier years on Wall Street, the bridge-table, or the Turf.

When the second war began, he, while pressing the claims of the Society of St. George in every quarter, gave it a double lead. On the one side, he has encouraged the national effort of daring, enterprise and economy. On the other he has pointed to the need of a new deal, and contrasted the plans of Mr. Roosevelt with those of Hitler. There has long been too much of exploiting the masses, in the endeavour to get rich quickly. He envisages a new plan by which not only England but the world as a whole will benefit from social justice, and wealth if wise, shall play its traditional part of leadership and beneficence in great constructive schemes of which the benefit will spread in widening circles.

This is the picture to which, after eighty years of memories and success, Lord Queenborough points as a knightly inspiration to his country and her empire. This is the theme on which, now with pungent reminiscence, now with generous forethought, always with startling intuition, authoritative judgment, and genial humour, he dilates to the wide circle of chosen friends who enjoy in a home of perfect taste the traditional pleasures of his hospitality, and which he gives as a heartening lesson to a generation of younger men and younger women.


In him I found what my young imperialism had looked for -often in vain-a fine circle connected with the court of a hundred years ago, a link not less with the enterprise of a mighty continent, to offer hope and promise to a generation who feel within their hearts a passion that all should share in the justice and the freedom on which alone can the Empire be secure in the order and honour of a lasting peace.

And here was always shrewdness, friendship, wit and welcome. He had links everywhere. And often I was astonished at the combination which made him at home in American business, and in the world of enterprise and capital, and at the same time made him argue for a new order of society in which men should be estimated not on what money they made but on the value of their work for the people as a whole.

But that, after all, was his argument: to build the imperial scheme more widely: to be true to all that was best in his beloved England, and to link it at the same time with the most generous interest in the new world on the one side, and in the workers on the other.

So did he inject into the traditions of the Victorian Court the interests of an Empire in the new world, lessons learnt in the United States and the ideas suggested by our revolutionary epoch.


1871 Census:

Address: Bushey Park, The Cottage, Hampton, Surrey
Lord Alfred Paget - Head - 58 - Colonel in the Army - Old Burlington St., London
Cecilia Paget - Wife - 52 - Norfolk
Gerald Paget - Son - 16 - Lieut. in Northumberland Militia - London
Sydney Paget - Son 13 - Scholar - London
Amy Paget - Daughter - 12 - Scholar - London
Alberta Paget - Daughter - 11 - Scholar - London
Almeric Paget - Son - 11 - Scholar - London
Alice Paget - Daughter - 8 - Scholar - London
Alexandra Paget - Daughter - 6 - Scholar - London
Guenevere Paget - Daughter - 2 - London

1911 Census:

Warren House (Kingston)
General Sir Arthur Paget - Head - 60 - Married 32 years - 4 surviving children - General - London
Captain A.E. Paget - Son - 31 - Single - Captain 11th Hussars - London
Miss Amy Paget - Sister - 52 - Single - Spinster - London
Mr. Almeric Paget - Brother - 50 - Married 15 years - 2 surviving children - M.P. - London

Sir Almeric Hugh Paget
1st Baron Queenborough