Herbert, George Edward Stanhope Molyneux

Person Key: 
HER021
Family Name: 
Herbert
First Name(s): 
George Edward Stanhope Molyneux
Person Title: 
5th Earl of Carnarvon
Titular Place: 
Carnarvon
Rank In Peerage: 
Earl
Birth Year: 
1866
Death Year: 
1923
Century: 
19-20
County: 
Hampshire
Biography: 
George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, styled Lord Porchester until 1890, is best known as the financial backer of the excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb. He was born at the family seat, Highclere Castle, in Hampshire, the only son of Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon, a distinguished Tory statesman, by his first wife Lady Evelyn Stanhope, daughter of George Stanhope, 6th Earl of Chesterfield. He was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1885 he inherited the Bretby Hall estate in Derbyshire from his maternal grandmother, Anne Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Chesterfield. In 1890 he succeeded his father in the earldom. Exceedingly wealthy, Carnarvon was an owner of racehorses, and a reckless car driver, suffering in 1901 a serious motoring accident near Bad Schwalbach in Germany which left him significantly disabled. In 1902 he established Highclere Stud to breed thoroughbred racehorses. In 1905, he was appointed one of the Stewards at the new Newbury Racecourse. Lord Carnarvon was an enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist, undertaking in 1907 the sponsorship of the excavation of tombs in Thebes. Howard Carter (1874-1939) joined him as his assistant in the excavations. He received in 1914 the concession to dig in the Valley of the Kings, and with Howard Carter opened the tomb of Tutankhamun, exposing treasures unsurpassed in the history of archaeology. Lord Carnarvon married Almina Victoria Maria Alexandra Wombwell, the illegitimate daughter of millionaire banker Alfred de Rothschild at St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, on 26 June 1895. They had two children. On 19 March 1923 Carnarvon suffered blood poisoning after accidentally shaving a mosquito bite infected with erysipelas. On 5 April, he died in the Continental-Savoy Hotel in Cairo, thus giving rise to the story of the "Curse of Tutankhamun". He is buried in a tomb, located within an ancient hill fort overlooking his family seat at Beacon Hill, Burghclere, Hampshire.
Seat / Residence(s): 
Highclere Castle