In the Liberal administration of 1892-1895 he was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with John Morley as Chief Secretary. From 1905 to 1908 he was Lord President of the Council under Campbell-Bannerman; in 1908, in Asquith’s cabinet, he became Secretary of State for the Colonies (1910-15) and was Liberal leader in the House of Lords from 1908-1916. He served as President of the Board of Education (1916) and Chancellor of Sheffield University. He was also chairman of the London County Council in 1917. He was later Ambassador to France (1922-28), and Secretary of State for War in 1931.