In looking at the many titles held by members of the Cayzer Family, a question arises about the reasons that a title was awarded to the recipient. For some honours the answer is simple enough, as the reasons are specified in announcements in the London Gazette, the paper of record for British knightage, baronetage and peerage awards. However, for many of these honours, no reasons are given: there is only an announcement that such an award is going to be made, followed shortly afterwards by a second announcement that it has been made. The recipient may even appear in a long list of other people being granted the same award, at about the same time, with no explanation of what gained them the honour that they have just received. With investigation it is sometimes possible to identify the reason that an honour was granted.
The first member of the Cayzer Family to receive an honour was, unsurprisingly, shipowner and MP Charles Cayzer. In June 1897 he received a letter marked “private” from the Foreign Office. The author was Lord Salisbury, Prime Minister from 1895-1902 in a coalition government, but also serving as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and Leader of the House of Lords. His nephew, Arthur Balfour was Leader of the House of Commons, and will make an appearance later. The letter informs Charles Cayzer that he is going to be given a knighthood in the upcoming Jubilee Honours list, and, says Lord Salisbury, “the announcement will be exceedingly welcome to all who have been associated with you in your Parliamentary career and in the great community with which you are immediately identified.” The future Sir Charles Cayzer has received his knighthood for services to shipping and politics.
Charles Cayzer was one of four MPs to be knighted in the 1897 Diamond Jubilee honours list. All four were Conservative MPs, and all were comparative newcomers to Parliament. Like Sir Charles, Sir John Willox had won his seat in 1892, and they both held their seats in 1895. The other two MPs, Sir Thomas George Fardell and Sir Henry Bemrose both won their first seats in 1895. Sir Charles was a successful shipowner, while of the other three, Willox was a journalist and newspaper owner; Bemrose a printer and publisher; and Fardell was a lawyer, heavily involved already in London local government. All four men were self-made, and examples of the ever-growing wealthy middle class.
A letter from 10 Downing Street arrived for Sir Charles Cayzer MP in November 1904. This letter was largely written by a clerk, but topped and tailed by the then Prime Minister, the afore-mentioned Arthur Balfour. The letter informs Sir Charles that he will be receiving a Baronetcy in the King’s Birthday Honours list. There’s no indication in the letter as to why Sir Charles has been chosen, and even fewer clues when we look at the other four baronets being created in this list. Sir James Flannery MP was an engineer and naval architect; Sir Edward Boyle was a KC, but would not become an MP until 1906; Sir James Heath MP was an ironmaster and colliery owner; and Sir Michael Nairn was the chairman of a successful linoleum manufacturing business, that had branches in both the UK and US. He was not an MP. All four MPs (present and future) were politically Conservative or Liberal-Unionist, and all five men were essentially self-made or working in the family business. The baronetcies might have been intended to cement party loyalty, but the three sitting MPs in 1904 would lose their seats in 1906. As far as Sir Charles Cayzer Bt was concerned, services to shipping and politics was still perhaps the best explanation of the awarding of this honour in 1904.
[The London Gazette 17 January 1905] Whitehall, January 13, 1905. The KING has been pleased, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date the 12th December, 1904, to confer the dignity of a Baronet of the said United Kingdom upon Sir Charles William Cayzer, of Gartmore, in the county of Perth, Knight, and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten.
August Cayzer was the oldest of the three of Sir Charles’s sons working in the family business. August served in the Royal Navy during WWI, keeping an eye on the business from afar, as Sir Charles was not especially well during this time, and died in 1916. This necessitated a return to Britain for August, to take up the reins as chairman of the company.
[Supplement to The London Gazette 01 January 1921] The KING has been graciously pleased to signify His Majesty’s intention of conferring Baronetcies of the United Kingdom on the following: —Commander August Bernard Tellefsen Cayzer, Chairman of the “Clan” Line of steamers. For public and national services.
[The London Gazette 15 March 1921] Whitehall, March 11, 1921.Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland conferring the dignity of a Baronet of the said United Kingdom upon the under-mentioned gentlemen, and the heirs male of their respective bodies lawfully begotten: —Lieutenant-Commander August Bernard Tellefsen Cayzer, R.N. (Emergency List), of Roffey Park, in the parish of Horsham and county of Sussex.
August’s oldest son, Nicholas, inherited the Roffey Park Baronetcy on the death of his father in 1943, and used this title for almost forty years.
In 1982, Sir Nicholas Cayzer was made a Life Peer:
[The London Gazette 11 February 1982] CROWN OFFICE House of Lords, London SW1A OPW 8th February 1982
The QUEEN has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm, dated 8th February 1982, to confer the dignity of a Barony of the United Kingdom for life upon Sir William Nicholas Cayzer, Baronet, by the name style and title of BARON CAYZER, of St. Mary Axe in the City of London.
No official reason for this was given in the Gazette, but obituaries suggest that the honour was granted in recognition of his contribution to shipping and politics.
August Cayzer’s brother, Herbert Cayzer, also worked in the family business, and also served in the Great War. In 1918 he stood as Conservative MP for the newly-created constituency of Plymouth South, and won the seat. He stood again in 1922, and held his seat but quickly stood aside to let the Conservative Chief Whip, Leslie Wilson, take the seat in a small by-election. Wilson, an MP since 1913 had failed to win his seat in 1922, and held Portsmouth South for a year until his resignation in mid-1923 on his appointment as Governor of Bombay. Herbert Cayzer stood again for Portsmouth South in the 1923 General Election, winning back his seat. In 1924, he was rewarded for his notable act of loyalty to the Conservative party, with a Baronetcy.
[The London Gazette 14 March 1924] Whitehall, March 14, 1924.
Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland granting the Dignity of a Baronet of the said United Kingdom to the under-mentioned gentlemen, and the heirs male of their respective bodies lawfully begotten: –
Herbert Robin Cayzer, of Tylney, in the Parish of Rotherwick, in the County of Southampton, Esquire
Sir Herbert held his seat in Portsmouth South up to and including the General Election of 1935 which saw a Conservative government elected. He retired from his position as MP in June 1939, and was rewarded for his years of service to politics by an hereditary barony in July of that year.
[Supplement to The London Gazette 06 June 1939] CENTRAL CHANCERY OF THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD. St. James’s Palace, S.W.I. 8th June, 1939.
The KING has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of the Celebration of His Majesty’s Birthday, to signify his intention of conferring Peerages of the United Kingdom on the following: —
To be Barons.
Major Sir Herbert Robin Cayzer, Bt., J.P., D.L., M.P., Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, December 1918 to 1922 and since August 1923. For political and public services.
[The London Gazette 14 July 1939] Whitehall, July 12, 1939.
The KING has been pleased, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm, bearing date the 5th’ instant, to confer the dignity, of a Barony of the United Kingdom upon Sir Herbert Robin Cayzer, Baronet, and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten, by the name, style and title of BARON ROTHERWICK, of Tylney in the County of Southampton.
Looking back once again to Sir Charles Cayzer, founder of the family business, and 1st Baronet of Gartmore: two of his daughters would marry men in the Royal Navy who each went on to significantly greater things. The first of these was Gwendoline Cayzer who married rising star of the Royal Navy, Captain John Jellicoe in 1902. Jellicoe gradually acquired the usual military honours of senior rank, including the award of Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in August 1907, which was an alternative way of gaining a knighthood.
[Gazette 06 August 1907] Chancery of the Royal Victorian Order, St. James’s Palace, August 3, 1907.
The KING has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of the inspection by His Majesty of the Home Fleet, to make the following promotions in, and appointments to the Royal Victorian Order:—
To be Knights Commanders:
Rear-Admiral John Rushworth Jellicoe, C.V.O., C.B., Director of Naval Ordnance and Torpedoes
By 1914 Sir John was an Admiral; and was promoted to Commander of the Fleet just after the start of WWI as he was on his way to Scapa Flow in the Orkneys, where the British Fleet had gathered. From Scapa Flow, Jellicoe famously led the British fleet into the battle of Jutland, in May 1916. Jellicoe was made First Sea Lord later in 1916, and returned to London and an office in the Admiralty. He was forced out of office by a new First Lord of the Admiralty, Eric Geddes, who manoeuvred Jellicoe into resigning on Christmas Eve 1917. However, as a reward for his service, he received the Viscountcy of Scapa Flow in March 1918.
[The London Gazette 08 March 1918] Whitehall, March 7, 1918.
The KING has been pleased, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to confer the dignity of a Viscount of the said United Kingdom upon Admiral Sir John Rushworth Jellicoe, G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., late First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, by the name, style and title of Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa in the County of Orkney, to hold to him and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten; with remainder in default of such issue to his eldest daughter Gwendoline Lucy Constance Rushworth by the- name, style and title of Viscountess Jellicoe of Scapa in the County of Orkney, and after her decease to the heirs male of her body lawfully begotten by the name, style and title of Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa in the County of Orkney; with the like remainder in default .of .such issue to every other daughter lawfully begotten of the said Sir John Rushworth Jellicoe successively in order of seniority of age and priority of birth and to the heirs male of their bodies lawfully begotten.
The significance of this long official announcement of the viscountcy, is that Jellicoe and his wife had had five daughters, and officialdom wanted to ensure that the viscountcy would not become extinct too quickly. As it happed, Viscount Jellicoe’s wife was already expecting their sixth child, who was born just a month later in April 1918. The child was a boy, and Jellicoe’s oldest daughter, Lucy, would never become a Viscountess.
Viscount Jellicoe and his family went to New Zealand in 1920, as he had accepted the post of Governor-General. On his return in 1925 he was granted the title of Earl Jellicoe, Baron Jellicoe of Southampton. Although not reported in the Gazette, the reason for this significant honour was both a belated attempt to thank the Admiral properly for all he had done during WWI, and quite probably some embarrassment at the way he had been treated at the Admiralty in 1917. His second-in command, Admiral David Beatty, had been promoted into every position as Jellicoe had vacated it, and was made an Earl in 1919. It was now only fair to award the same honour to the superior Admiral.
[Supplement to The London Gazette 30 December 1925] CENTRAL CHANCERY OF THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD. St. James’s Palace, S.W.1, 1st January, 1925.
The KING has been graciously pleased to signify His Majesty’s intention of conferring Peerages of the United Kingdom on the following:—
To be an Earl.
Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth, Viscount Jellicoe, G.O.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., late Governor General of the Dominion of New Zealand.
[The London Gazette 03 July 1925] Whitehall, July 1, 1925.
The KING has been pleased, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date the 29th ultimo, to confer the dignities of Viscount and Earl of the said United Kingdom upon Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth, Viscount Jellicoe, G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten, by the names, styles and titles of Viscount Brocas, of Southampton in the County of Southampton, and Earl Jellicoe.
The Earldom came with a courtesy viscountcy, which would traditionally be given to the male heir in line for the Earldom. This was now Jellicoe’s seven-year-old son and heir, George.
George Jellicoe, Viscount Brocas was only 17 years old when he became the second Earl Jellicoe of Scapa Flow, in 1935. He was immediately entitled to sit in the House of Lords, but chose not to do so until 1957. He was a well-liked member of the house, and became its Leader from 1970-1973.
In 1999, the House of Lords underwent a significant restructure, slimming the number of Hereditary Peers sitting in the House to 92. George Jellicoe was among the many hereditary peers to lose his seat, but no-one thought his loss to the House was a good idea. Something had to be done.
[Wikipedia] When the House of Lords Act 1999 removed his [George Jellicoe’s] hereditary automatic entitlement to attend and sit in the House of Lords, he was created a life peer as Baron Jellicoe of Southampton, of Southampton in the County of Hampshire, so that he could continue to be summoned…
Lord Jellicoe remained an active member of the House of Lords for the rest of his life.
[The London Gazette 23 November 1999] Honours and Awards
Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, St. James’s Palace, London S.W.1 23rd November 1999
The Queen has been graciously pleased to signify her intention of conferring Peerages of the United Kingdom for Life upon the under-mentioned Hereditary Peers:
Life Peers (To be dated 2nd November 1999)
To be Barons in recognition of their long service and as former Leaders of the House of Lords:The Right Honourable George Patrick John Rushworth, Earl Jellicoe, K.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., Leader of the House 1970-1973.
[The London Gazette 23 November 1999]: Crown Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW
The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 17th November 1999 to confer the dignity of a Barony of the United Kingdom for Life upon the following:
At 6 o’clock in the morning: The Right Honourable George Patrick John Rushworth Earl Jellicoe, K.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., by the name, style and title of Baron Jellicoe of The County Council of the City and County Southampton, of Southampton in the county of Hampshire.
Casting one’s mind back again to Sir Charles Cayzer’s daughters, the youngest of the girls, Constance, wed her own naval captain, when she and Captain Charles Madden were married in 1905. The couple had been introduced by Madden’s good friend John Jellicoe, already married to Connie’s elder sister, Gwendoline. Although not tipped for greatness as his future brother-in-law had been, Madden would go on to seniority in the Royal Navy, becoming Commander of the Fleet, and ultimately First Sea Lord.
In the New Year’s Honours of 1916, Madden , promoted to acting vice-admiral, was awarded the Order of the Bath, , military division, second class (knight commander). This award automatically granted Madden his knighthood.
[Second Supplement to The London Gazette of Friday 31 December 1915]: CENTRAL CHANCERY OF THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD. Lord, Chamberlain’s Office, ,St. James’s Palace, S.W., 1st January, 1916.
The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following promotions in and appointments to the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, in recognition of the Services of the undermentioned Officers during the War: —
To be Additional Members of the Military Division of the Second Class, or Knights Commanders, of the said Most Honourable Order:—
Acting Vice-Admiral Charles Edward Madden, C.V.O.
The Royal Navy was highly organised with regard to promotions. As more senior officers retired or died, all the officers moved up a step or two in promotion to fill the vacancies in order of seniority. It was only a matter of waiting for the next step on your career ladder to become vacant. Accordingly, Charles Madden was promoted to an actual vice-admiral in June 1916, only a few weeks after the Battle of Jutland:
[The London Gazette 13 June 1916] In accordance with the provisions of His late Majesty’s Order in Council of 8th December 1903—
Admiral Frederick Sidney Pelham has this day been placed on the- Retired List.
Consequent thereon, the following promotions have been made from the same date:—
Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Edward Madden, K.C.B., C.V.O., to be Vice-Admiral.
The Battle of Jutland itself received an entire supplement to the Gazette of its own when the entirety of the official Despatch sent by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe was published. It was 14 pages long. In addition to details about the action in the North Sea itself, Jellicoe also spoke wrote of the many officers who had acted with distinction on that day. Madden received a glowing write-up:
[Third supplement to The London Gazette 04 July 1916]: Admiralty, 6th July, 1916.
The following Despatch has been received from Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet, reporting-the action in the North Sea on 31st May, 1916 –
[p6721]: I cannot close this despatch without recording the brilliant work of my Chief of the Staff, Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Madden, K.C.B., C.V.O. Throughout a period of 21 months of war his services have been of in-estimable value. His good judgment, his long experience in fleets, special gift for organisation, and his capacity for unlimited work, have all been of the greatest assistance to me, and have relieved me of much of the anxiety inseparable from the conduct of the Fleet during the war. In the stages leading up to the Fleet Action and during and after the action he was always at hand to assist, and his judgment never at fault. I owe him more than I can say.
Unsurprisingly, Madden soon received his next promotion to Admiral, in 1919:
[The London Gazette 25 February 1919]: Admiralty, 21st February, 1919.
Admiral Sir A. Berkeley Milne, Bt., G.C.V.O., K.C.B., is placed on the Retired List at his own request in order to facilitate the promotion of Junior Officers, to date 12th Feb.1919.
Consequent thereon the following promotions-have been made from the same date: —Vice-Admiral (Acting Admiral) Sir Charles E. Madden, G.C.B., K.C.M.G.,C.V.O., to be Admiral, ,but to continue, while holding his present appointment during the war, to take rank and Command as an Admiral of seniority of 28th Nov. 1916.
As part of the New Year’s Honours of 1919-1920, Admiral Sir Charles Edward Madden was one of eight senior officers of the army and navy to receive a baronetcy. As usual for group announcements like this, there was no mention in the Gazette of the specific reason for this honour, but it was clear enough from the list, that these were honours granted in gratitude for what these men (three from the army, four from the navy, and one from the newly-formed airforce) had done for their country, during WWI.
[The Gazette 30 December 1919]: Whitehall, December 29, 1919.
Letters Patent have passed the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland conferring the dignity of a Baronet of the said United Kingdom upon—Admiral Sir ‘Charles Edward Madden, G.C.B., K.O.M.G., C.V.O., R.N., of Kells, in the County of Kilkenny.