Earl of Selborne

November 27, 1812, Mixbury, Oxfordshire, England.

May 4, 1895.


Palmer’s father was William Jocelyn Palmer, Rector of Mixbury. His mother Dorothea was the daughter of minister William Roundell of Gledstone Hall, Yorkshire. Hymnist William Palmer was his brother. Roundell was educated at Rugby School, Winchester College, and the University of Oxford. At Oxford, he began in Christ Church, moving to Trinity College upon receiving a scholarship, and became a Fellow of Magdalen College. He graduated BA in 1834 and MA in 1836. While at University he became a close friend of hymnist Frederick Faber. He was called to the bar in 1837.

Selborne entered parliament as a Conservative in 1847. He joined the Peelite Conservatives who eventually helped create the Liberal party in 1859. He served under Lord Palmerston and Lord Russell as Solicitor General (1861-63) and as Attorney General (1863-66).

Under Gladstone, he became Lord Chancellor in 1872 and was created Baron Selborne, of Selborne in the County of Southampton. His first tenure in the office saw the passage of the Judicature Act of 1873, which reorganized the judiciary. He served in the same office in Gladstone’s Second Cabinet (1880-85), and was created Viscount Wolmer, of Blackmoor in the County of Southampton, and Earl of Selborne in 1882. He broke with Gladstone over Irish Home Rule in 1885, and joined the Liberal Unionists.

Palmer was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June 1860. His works include:

  1. Lord, When My Soul Her Secrets Doth Reveal
  1. With Hymns the Heavenly Courts Are Ringing

Palmer’s place of death or burial