Meade, Robert Henry
b. 1835-12-16
d. 1898-01-08
Sir Robert Henry Meade was born on 16 December 1835; and was the second son of Richard Meade, the third Earl of Clanwilliam, and Lady Elizabeth. Meade worked in the civil service for Britain and at the height of his career was appointed into the under-secretaryship of the Colonial Office.1 Before entering the civil service, Meade was educated at Harrow School, and later, Exeter College, Oxford where he received both a BA and an MA.2 On 1 June 1859, Meade was encouraged to join the Foreign Office where he was soon dispatched to Syria in July of 1860.3
Upon arrival from Syria in 1862, Meade accompanied the Prince of Wales on his tour in Palestine and Eastern Europe; by 27 November 1862 he was appointed as the Prince of Wales' groom of the bedchamber -- an external representation of the close relationship formed between the two men.4 In June of 1864, Meade became the private secretary to the Earl of Granville; once Granville was appointed as secretary of state for the colonies on 10 December 1868, Meade continued to accompany him as his private secretary.5 It was not until 21 May 1871 that Meade was named Under Secretary of State in the Colonial Office, concerning himself with issues of defense and finance.6
Meade's career grew once he established and served the interdepartmental colonial defense committee in 1885.7 On 21 March 1885, Meade became CB, then subsequently KCB in 1894, and GCB in 1897.8 Meade married twice and had two children -- a daughter with his first wife, Lady Mary Elizabeth and a son with his second, Caroline Georgiana.9 Near the end of his life, Meade experienced a serious injury when he fell boarding a bus in 1896, breaking his leg -- an injury that never healed. He also witnessed the death of his daughter in 1897. Both incidents contributed to his increasing ill health.10 Meade retired from work in the Colonial Office in 1897, and on 8 January 1898 died at the Grand Central Hotel, Belfast.11
  • 1. C. A. Harris, Sir Robert Henry Meade, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Musgrave to Wodehouse, 17 May 1871, 6095, CO 60/44, 50.
  • 7. Harris, Sir Robert Henry Meade.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Ibid.
  • 11. Ibid.
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Leveson-Gower, Granville George