A Victorian Government Despatch Box, 1866
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Measurements: 40cm (15.75in) x 26.5cm (10.25in) x 15cm (6in)
Black leather over wood, with swing handle to the lefthand end, the hinged lid embossed with the name of the newly elected Member of Parliament for Eye, Suffolk. The interior stamped with the maker’s name of H.M. Stationer, Wickwar & Co., of Poland Street. The lock stamped Bramah, London.
George William Barrington, 7th Viscount Barrington, PC (1824-1886) held office under Lord Salisbury as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard between 1885 and 1886 and as Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms in 1886. He was born at Lower Brook Street, London, the eldest son of William Barrington, 6th Viscount Barrington, and his wife the Hon. Jane Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Liddell, 1st Baron Ravensworth. His younger brother was the diplomat William Barrington. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and was returned to Parliament for Eye in 1866. The following year he succeeded his father in the viscountcy but as this was an Irish peerage he did not have to resign his seat in the House of Commons. In 1874 he was sworn of the Privy Council, and appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household in the Conservative administration of Benjamin Disraeli, a post he held until the government was defeated in the 1880 general election. The latter year Barrington was created Baron Shute, of Beckett in the County of Berkshire, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which entitled him to an automatic seat in the House of Lords. The title was created with special remainder to his younger brother Percy Barrington later served under Lord Salisbury as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard from 1885 to January 1886 and as Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms between August 1886 and his sudden death at Grimsthorpe Castle in November of the same year.