George Sclater-Booth, 1st Baron Basing

The Right Honourable
The Lord Basing

"The safe man". Caricature by Ape published in Vanity Fair in 1874.
President of the Local Government Board
In office
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli
Preceded by James Stansfeld
Succeeded by John George Dodson
Personal details
Born 19 May 1826 (1826-05-19)
Died 22 October 1894 (1894-10-23) (aged 68)
Hoddington House, Hampshire
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lydia Birch (d. 1881)
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford

George Limbrey Sclater-Booth, 1st Baron Basing PC, FRS, DL (19 May 1826 – 22 October 1894), known as George Sclater-Booth before 1887, was a British Conservative politician. He served as President of the Local Government Board under Benjamin Disraeli between 1874 and 1880.

Background and education

Born George Sclater, Basing was the son of William Lutley Sclater, of Hoddington House, Hampshire, and Anna Maria, daughter of William Bowyer. His brother was the naturalist Philip Sclater. He was educated at Winchester and Balliol College, Oxford, and was called to the Bar, Inner Temple, in 1851. In 1857 he assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Booth to fulfil the will of Anna Maria Booth.[1]

Political career

Basing was elected Member of Parliament for North Hampshire in 1857, which constituency he would represent until 1885, when the constituency was divided.[2] He was then returned for Basingstoke, one of the new divisions of the his old constituency, for which he sat until being made a peer in 1887.[3] His first position in government was that of Parliamentary Secretary to the Poor Law Board in Lord Derby's third and final ministry, replacing Ralph Anstruther Earle (formerly Disraeli's private secretary), who had resigned over the Reform Bill of 1867. He later served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury in Benjamin Disraeli's short-lived 1868 government. When the Conservatives returned to power in 1874 under Disraeli he was made President of the Local Government Board, which post he held until the fall of the government in 1880. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1874[4] and in 1887 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Basing, of Basing Byflete and of Hoddington, both in the County of Southampton.[5]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1876.[6]


Lord Basing married Lydia Caroline, daughter of George Birch, in 1857. They had four sons and six daughters. She died in July 1881. Lord Basing survived her by thirteen years and died at Hoddington House, Hampshire, in October 1894, aged 68. He was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son, George.[7]

In 1898 his daughter Hon. Eleanor Birch Sclater-Booth married Henry Wilson-Fox, who was later a Conservative MP.[8]


<div class="reflist columns references-column-width" style="-moz-column-width: 2 [8]; -webkit-column-width: 2 [8]; column-width: 2 [8]; list-style-type: decimal;">

  1. Lundy, Darryl. " George Sclater-Booth, 1st Baron Basing of Basin Byflete and of Hoddington". The Peerage.
  2. House of Commons: Hackney-Harwich
  3. House of Commons: Baillieston-Beckenhahm
  4. The London Gazette: no. 24072. p. 1519. 6 March 1874.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 25718. p. 3626. 5 July 1887.
  6. "Library Archive". Royal Society. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  7. Lundy, Darryl. " George Sclater-Booth, 1st Baron Basing of Basin Byflete and of Hoddington". The Peerage.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Arthur G. M. Hesilrige, ed. (1918). Debrett's House of Commons and The Judicial Bench 1918. London: Dean and Son. p. 59. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Shaw-Lefevre
James Scott
Member of Parliament for North Hampshire
1857 – 1885
With: William Wither Beach
Constituency divided
New constituency Member of Parliament for Basingstoke
1885 – 1887
Succeeded by
Arthur Frederick Jeffreys
Political offices
Preceded by
Ralph Anstruther Earle
Parliamentary Secretary to the Poor Law Board
1867 – 1868
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Hicks Beach, Bt
Preceded by
George Ward Hunt
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Acton Smee Ayrton
Preceded by
James Stansfeld
President of the Local Government Board
1874 – 1880
Succeeded by
John George Dodson
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Basing
1887 – 1894
Succeeded by
George Sclater-Booth
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