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Post Lot Text
Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, 1784-1865, was born at Broadlands near Romsey Hampshire, a descendant of the Irish branch of the ancient English family of Temple. A British statesman, he served as both Foreign Secretary and twice as Prime Minister. A vivacious aristocrat Palmerston was first elected at the age of 26 and served under Tory Prime Ministers as Junior Lord of the Admiralty and Secretary for War for twenty years. In 1830 he defected to the Whigs due to his support for Catholic Emancipation and in 1855 he became Prime Minister when Lord Aberdeen was blamed for the disasters of the Crimean War.
Palmerston was considered by many as a ladies man with The Times labelling him "Lord Cupid". He had a long term affair with Lady Cowper (née Emily Lamb), the sister of Lord Melbourne and married her in 1839 two years after the death of her husband. In 1863 at the age of 79 he was cited in a court case involving a Mrs O'Kane who having visited Palmerston in the House of Commons accused him of adultery. Her husband claimed damages of £20,000 but the case was dismissed and only served to increase Palmerston's popularity.
In 1865, following a vote of censure, Palmerston called a general election which he won, however he was never to see the new parliament convened, he contracted a fever and died on the 18th October. His last words were "Die, my dear Doctor! That is the last thing I shall do!"