Lord Carnarvon was born in London on 24th June 1831 as Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert. He was known as Lord Porchester until 1849 and became the 4th Earl of Carnarvon. He had a nickname 'Twitters' because of his nervous tic and twitchy behaviour. He was a prominent conservative but did not get on well with Disraeli, resigning twice because of his policies. He was a cultured man and was a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquities. He was at one time Lord Lieutenant of Ireland but resigned from that post because of differences with Charles Parnell over Home Rule.
He twice held the post of Secretary of State for the Colonies. In 1866 he concerned himself with Canada and brought his pet scheme of confederation to the country. In 1874 he tried to impose the same thing on South Africa, with a less satisfactory result. He appointed Sir Bartle Frere to the post of Governor of Cape Colony, with the instruction that he force the Boers and the native tribes to become part of a confederation of British South Africa. Thus, although Frere is regarded as the man who started the Zulu War of 1879, it was really because of Carnarvon's influence.
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