Horace Farquhar by Lord Lexden
1 March 2023
Conservative History Group
"I couldn't put it down until I had read it all. It is a fascinating and extraordinary story, and you have done a remarkable job in piecing it all together." Prof Stuart Ball
In 1889, on the formation of the London County Council, Horace Farquhar was elected to represent Marylebone on behalf of the Municipal Reform Party. He represented East Marylebone from 1899 until 1901, and West Marylebone from March to July 1901. On 25 October 1892 he was created a baronet, of Cavendish Square in the Parish of St Marylebone in the County of London, though he had hoped for a peerage. He also served as President of the London Municipal Society from 1894 until 1901. In the general election of 1895 he was elected as a Liberal Unionist Member of Parliament for Marylebone West, and sat until he was raised to the peerage as Baron Farquhar, of St Marylebone in the County of London, on 20 January 1898. His stepson Sir Samuel Scott was elected in his place. On 22 January 1901 Queen Victoria died, and was succeeded by Farquhar's friend Edward VII. Farquhar was appointed Master of the Household to the new monarch, a post he held until 1907. He then served as an extra Lord in Waiting to the King until HM's death in 1910, and in the same capacity to his successor George V, until he was made Lord Steward of the Household in the coalition government of 1915. He remained in this post until the Conservatives brought an end to the coalition in 1922, being created Viscount Farquhar, of Saint Marylebone in the County of London, on 21 June 1917 and Earl Farquhar on 30 November 1922 in the Dissolution Honours List.
In addition to his baronetcy and peerages, Lord Farquhar was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 28 May 1901, a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order on 9 November 1902, a Privy Counsellor on 2 November 1907, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in 1922, as well as being a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour. He was a Deputy Lieutenant and Justice of the Peace for Middlesex, and a member of the Marlborough and Turf Clubs.
In early 1923 he was sacked as Treasurer of the Conservative and Unionist Party by the leader Bonar Law. Farquhar had refused to pay some of the election expenses for the 1922 election, claiming that the money had been donated to the late coalition rather than to the Party. It seemed that he had given large sums of the money to the coalition leader David Lloyd George, whose trading in honours had prompted the Conservative rebellion.