Derby’s was a somewhat chequered career. He served his father as Foreign Secretary in Derby’s third administration and again held the post under Disraeli in the 1870s. During the latter period, Derby was out of sympathy with his prime minister, particularly with the Conservative government’s policy towards Russia and he resigned in 1878. Always sympathetic to the Liberals, in 1880 he joined the Liberal Party and entered the cabinet in 1882 as Colonial Secretary. He split with Gladstone in 1886 over Ireland and joined the Liberal Unionists, leading the party in the House of Lords until 1891. He died in 1893 aged 66.