Earl of Kimberley, of Kimberley in the County of Norfolk, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1866 for the prominent Liberal politician John Wodehouse, 3rd Baron Wodehouse. During his long political career he notably held office as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Secretary of State for the Colonies, Secretary of State for India and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He was succeeded by his son, the second Earl. At first a Liberal like his father, he later joined the Labour Party, becoming the first Labour member of the House of Lords. His eldest son, the third Earl, represented Norfolk Mid in the House of Commons as a Liberal. As of 2010 the titles are held by the latter's grandson, the fifth Earl, who succeeded his father in 2002.
The title of Baron Wodehouse, of Kimberley in the County of Norfolk, was created in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1797 for Sir John Wodehouse, 6th Baronet, of Wilberhall. He had previously represented Norfolk in Parliament. His son, the second Baron, sat as Member of Parliament for Great Bedwyn and Marlborough. He was succeeded by his grandson, the aforementioned third Baron (the son of the Hon. Henry Wodehouse), who was created Earl of Kimberley in 1866.
The Baronetcy, of Wilberhall in the County of Norfolk, was created in the Baronetage of England in 1611 for Philip Wodehouse, previously Member of Parliament for Castle Rising. His son, the second Baronet, was Member of Parliament for Thetford. He was succeeded by his son, the third Baronet, who represented Thetford as well as Norfolk in the House of Commons. His grandson, the fourth Baronet, was also Member of Parliament for these constituencies. His son, the fifth Baronet, represented Norfolk in Parliament. He was succeeded by his son, the aforementioned sixth Baronet, who was elevated to the peerage in 1797.
Several other members of the Wodehouse family have also gained distinction. The author P. G. Wodehouse was the great-grandson of Reverend Philip Wodehouse, second son of the fifth Baronet. The politician Edmond Wodehouse was the son of Thomas Wodehouse, third son of the fifth Baronet. His eldest son was the colonial administrator Sir Philip Wodehouse, Governor of Bombay from 1872 to 1877. Sir Philip Wodehouse's son Edmond Wodehouse represented Bath in the House of Commons as a Unionist. The Hon. Armine Wodehouse, younger son of the first Earl, was a civil servant and Liberal politician.
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