Tweedmouth first held office in Gladstone’s short lived third government. In 1892 he was appointed Liberal Chief Whip and in 1894 new Prime Minister Lord Rosebery appointed him Lord Privy Seal and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster with a seat in the cabinet. When the Liberals returned to power in 1905, Tweedmouth joined the new cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty. In 1908 Tweedmouth hit the headlines when correspondence between the First Lord and the German Kaiser was leaked to the press; in it Tweedmouth gave details of the British shipbuilding programme. The resulting outcry caused political damage to the government and Tweedmouth was moved to the Lord Presidency of the Council. Illness forced his resignation late in 1908 and he died the following year.