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George Frederick Samuel Robinson Ripon, 1st marquess of

Ripon, George Frederick Samuel Robinson, 1st marquess of, 1827–1909, British statesman and colonial administrator; son of the first earl of Ripon. As a young man he was interested in the Christian Socialist movement and entered the House of Commons as a Liberal in 1853. He moved to the House of Lords after succeeding to his father's title in 1859. He served as secretary for war (1863–66), secretary for India (1866–68), and lord president of the council (1868–73). His successful chairmanship of the commission to negotiate settlement of the Alabama claims with the United States was rewarded (1871) with the title of marquess. Ripon resigned from public office in 1873, but in 1880 William Gladstone appointed him viceroy of India. He settled the situation in Afghanistan, introduced a system of local self-government in India, and ended restrictions on freedom of the vernacular press. However, his Ilbert Bill (1883), which would have allowed senior Indian judges to try Europeans, raised a storm of opposition among the Europeans and was drastically modified. After his return (1884) to England he served as first lord of the admiralty (1886), colonial secretary (1892–95), and lord privy seal (1905–8).

See biography by L. Wolf (1921); study by S. Gopal (1953).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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