Buxton first came to prominence with the publication of his Handbook to the Political Questions of the Day, a popular work which went through 11 editions. In parliament, Buxton represented Peterborough 1883-85 and Poplar 1886-1914 and gained his first ministerial post at the Colonial Office in Gladstone’s last administration. He joined the 1905 Liberal cabinet as Postmaster General, later succeeding Winston Churchill as President of the Board of Trade. In February 1914 Buxton accepted a peerage and was appointed the second Governor General of South Africa. He served in that post throughout World War One, forming an effective partnership with Prime Minister Louis Botha. Buxton retired in 1920 and returned to the United Kingdom retiring at the same time from frontline politics.