Viscount Esher

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File:Reginald Brett.jpg
Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher
Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher (1852–1930) was an historian and Liberal politician.

He was born in London and educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was elected as Liberal MP for Penryn and Falmouth from 1880, serving as Parlimentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for War from 1882, but was defeated at the 1885 election, and thereafter took a back seat role in public affairs. In 1895, he became Permanent Secretary at the Office of Works, where the Prince of Wales was impressed by his dedication to the elderly Queen Victoria.[1] In 1899 he succeeded his father at Viscount Esher, with a seat in the House of Lords.

As deputy governor (and later governor) of Windsor Castle (1901-1930), he was close to the royal family for 30 years. He had a house at Winkfield, on the edge of Windsor Great Park.

He published biographies of King Edward VII and Lord Kitchener, and edited the papers of Queen Victoria.

Esher was married, with four children, but had homosexual inclinations. His flirtations with young men were regarded with tolerant amusement in polite society.[1] He was evidently sufficiently discreet to avoid becoming entangled in the Cleveland Street scandal, unlike his friend Lord Arthur Somerset.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Walter Reid, Architect of Victory: Douglas Haig (Birlinn Ltd, Edinburgh, 2006) ISBN 1-84158-517-3, pages 127-31