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Rupert Clement Carington (1852–1929)

by G. P. Walsh

This article was published:

Rupert Clement Carington (1852-1929), soldier, grazier and politician, was born on 18 December 1852 at Whitehall, London, third son of Robert John, second Baron Carrington, and his second wife Charlotte Augusta Annabella, daughter of Peter Robert, Lord Willoughby D'Eresby. His grandfather, the first baron, was the banker Robert Smith, friend of William Pitt. From 1839 the family used the surname Carrington. Educated at Eton, Rupert was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards in October 1871.

Coming from such a well-known Liberal family it was not surprising that he turned his attention to politics, and when the elevation of Disraeli to the peerage left a vacant seat in Buckinghamshire, he unsuccessfully contested it in 1876. He served in the Zulu War in 1879 as acting adjutant of the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot, and later commanded a troop of mounted infantry. In August 1880 he and his brothers were authorized, by royal licence, to continue the use of the family name Carington, in lieu of Carrington which was the title of the barony. That year he became Liberal member for Buckinghamshire; he supported land reform and lowering the county franchise. He was defeated for High Wycombe in the general election of 1885.

In 1884 Carington had retired from the Grenadier Guards with a gratuity and in 1887 came to New South Wales where his brother Charles was governor. He was appointed a captain on the headquarters staff, New South Wales Military Forces, and next year on 23 March was made aide-de-camp to his brother; he held this post until 1890. On 23 March 1891 at St Matthew's Anglican Church, New Norfolk, Tasmania, he married Edith, daughter of John Sutcliffe Horsfall and became a grazier and part-owner, with his father-in-law, of Momalong station in the Riverina. His share in the property was financed by a £10,000 loan which Horsfall had negotiated with Goldsbrough, Mort & Co.

Carington was placed on the reserve of officers in 1900 but in February 1901 went to the South African War as a major in the 2nd Regiment, New South Wales Mounted Rifles; he was promoted lieutenant-colonel in May 1902 and that month at Klerksdorp, Transvaal, formed and commanded the 3rd New South Wales Imperial Bushmen's Regiment. This unit was made up of time-expired men from other Australian regiments and was later augmented by a draft of 200 Riverina bushmen raised by his father-in-law. Letters to his brother Charles give a vivid account of the actions and skirmishes of this stage of the war and he and his men received high commendation from Major General R. S. Fetherstonhaugh for their services in western and eastern Transvaal; Carington was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and mentioned in dispatches.

He returned to Momalong in July 1902 and was appointed C.V.O. in 1905. Carington commanded the 6th Australian Light Horse Regiment in 1904-10 and the 2nd A.L.H.B. in 1910-15, and was an honorary aide-de-camp to the governors-general in 1912-17; he had been promoted colonel in 1911 and retired from the Australian Military Forces in 1918. In May 1915 his brother's only son had been killed in action and Carington became heir to the barony. He returned to England after World War I and in 1928 succeeded as fourth baron. He died of heart disease on 11 November 1929 at his residence in Eaton Place, Westminster, and was buried at Moulsoe, Buckinghamshire. His wife had died in 1908 and his only son succeeded to the title.

Select Bibliography

  • Australian Defence Department, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, P. L. Murray ed (Melb, 1912)
  • London Gazette, 29 July, 31 Oct 1902, 9 Nov 1905
  • 'Obituary', Times (London), 12 Nov 1929, p 18
  • 'Funerals', Times (London), 13 Nov 1929, p 17
  • Marquess of Lincolnshire letters (privately held).

Additional Resources

Citation details

G. P. Walsh, 'Carington, Rupert Clement (1852–1929)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1979, accessed online 14 April 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7, (Melbourne University Press), 1979

View the front pages for Volume 7

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Carrington, Rupert Clement
  • Carrington, fourth Baron

18 December, 1852
London, Middlesex, England


13 November, 1929 (aged 76)
London, Middlesex, England

Cause of Death

heart disease

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