Hamilton Cuffe, 5th Earl of Desart

Hamilton John Agmondesham Cuffe, 5th Earl of Desart, KP, KCB, PC (30 August 1848 – 4 November 1934) was an Irish peer and barrister.

The Earl of Desart

"Public Prosecutions"
The Earl of Desart as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, January 1902.
Lord Lieutenant of Kilkenny
In office
Preceded byThe Marquess of Ormonde
Succeeded byPost abolished
HM Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor
In office
Preceded bySir Augustus Stephenson
Succeeded bySir John Mellor, Bt.
Director of Public Prosecutions
In office
Preceded bySir Augustus Stephenson
Succeeded bySir Charles Mathews, Bt.
Personal details
Born30 August 1848 (1848-08-30)
Died4 November 1934 (1934-11-05) (aged 86)
Political partyConservative
Lady Margaret Joan Lascelles
(m. 1876; her death 1927)
ChildrenLady Joan Elizabeth Cuffe
Lady Sybil Marjorie Cuffe
ParentsJohn Cuffe, 3rd Earl of Desart
Lady Elizabeth Campbell

Early life

Cuffe was the second son of John Cuffe, 3rd Earl of Desart and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Campbell.[1] He had an older sister, Lady Alice Mary Cuffe, and brother, William Cuffe, and a younger brother, Captain Otway Cuffe.[2] His older sister married John Henniker-Major, 5th Baron Henniker and was the mother of twelve children.[3]

His paternal grandparents were John Cuffe, 2nd Earl of Desart, and Catherine, daughter of Maurice O'Connor. His mother was the third daughter of John Campbell, 1st Earl Cawdor (a son of John Campbell, 1st Baron Cawdor) and Lady Elizabeth Thynne, daughter of Thomas Thynne, 2nd Marquess of Bath.[1]


In his early life, he was a midshipman in the Royal Navy, before becoming a barrister in 1872. In 1877, he was appointed as a secretary to the Judicature Committee and as a solicitor to The Treasury a year later. In 1894, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath and as Treasury Solicitor that year, as well as Queen's Proctor and Director of Public Prosecutions.[4]

From 1917 to 1918, he participated as an Unionist delegate to the Irish Convention.

In 1920, he was also appointed Lord Lieutenant of Kilkenny, a post he held until the Irish Free State was formed in 1922, when all lord lieutenancies of Ireland (bar those of Northern Ireland) were abolished.


In 1898, he inherited the earldom of Desart from his elder brother, William (who died without heirs male)[5] and was promoted as a Knight commander of the order of the Bath.[6]

In 1909, Desart was created Baron Desart in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which enabled him to sit in the House of Lords (his other titles being in the Peerage of Ireland, which did not entitle him to a seat).[7] In 1913, he was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed a Knight of St Patrick in 1919.[8]

Personal life

On 19 July 1876, Lord Desart had married his second cousin, Lady Margaret Joan Lascelles (1853–1927), the second daughter of Henry Lascelles, 4th Earl of Harewood by his first wife, Lady Elizabeth Joanna de Burgh, daughter of Ulick de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde. They had two daughters:[1]

As Desart was the last male descendant of the 1st Earl and died without male heirs in 1934, his titles became extinct.[1]


  1. "Desart, Earl of (I, 1793 - 1934)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Cracroft's Peerage. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  2. "The Earl and the Actor.; Criminal Love of a Countess. a Divorce Suit in an English Court of Justice--Why the Earl of Desart Got Rid of His Wife--Intercepted Love-Letters from an Actor to Her Ladyship--a Divorce Granted on the Ground of Adultery" (PDF). The New York Times. 25 May 1878. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  3. "Obituary - Lord Henniker". The Times (36806). London. 28 June 1902. p. 9.
  4. The history of the Crown Prosecution Service at www.cps.gov.uk
  5. "The Earl of Desart Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. 17 September 1898. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  6. of), Melville Amadeus Henry Douglas Heddle de La Caillemotte de Massue de Ruvigny Ruvigny and Raineval (9th marquis (1914). The Titled Nobility of Europe: An International Peerage, Or "Who's Who", of the Sovereigns, Princes and Nobles of Europe. Harrison & Sons. p. 571. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  7. Raineval, Melville Henry Massue marquis de Ruvigny et (1994). The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: Being a Complete Table of All the Descendants Now Living of Edward III, King of England. The Clarence volume : containing the descendants of George, Duke of Clarence. Genealogical Publishing Company. p. xi. ISBN 9780806314327. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  8. Galloway, Peter (1999). The Most Illustrious Order: The Order of St Patrick and Its Knights. Unicorn. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  9. Lundy, Darryl. "Joan Verena Verney". The Peerage.
  10. "THE CUTTING-CUFFE WEDDING; W. Bayard Cutting, Jr., Married to Lady Sybyl Cuffe at All Saints' Church, London--Few Guests Present" (PDF). The New York Times. 1 May 1901. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  11. "MISS CUTTING ENGAGED.; Daughter of Late W. Bayard Cutting to Wed the Marchese Origo" (PDF). The New York Times. 7 October 1923. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  12. "MISS KING TO WED LIEUT. C. DERHAM. JR.; Sister of Lieut. Col. Van R.C. King Betrothed to Officer at Camp Upton. BROTHER ALSO TO MARRY Col. King Engaged to Mrs. Jewell Minturn -- Troth of Lady Cutting and Geoffrey Scott" (PDF). The New York Times. 5 April 1918. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  13. "DIVORCES GEOFFREY SCOTT.; Lady Sybil, Whose First Husband Was W. Bayard Cutting, Gets Decree" (PDF). The New York Times. 21 April 1926. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  14. Catalog of Copyright Entries. New Series: 1928. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. 1929. p. 695. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Augustus Stephenson
HM Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor
Succeeded by
Sir John Mellor, 1st Baronet
Preceded by
Sir Augustus Stephenson
Director of Public Prosecutions
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Mathews
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Ormonde
Lord Lieutenant of Kilkenny
Post abolished
(Irish Free State)
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
William Cuffe
Earl of Desart
Title extinct
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Desart
Title extinct
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