4 things you need to know about Arthur Balfour

Following the centenary of the Balfour declaration, we look at the life of its framer - Arthur Balfour.

100 years on from the Balfour declaration, which pledged Britain to supporting the creation of an Israeli state, we look at its writer, former Prime Minister Arthur Balfour.

Here are five things you need to know:

He succeeded his uncle as Prime Minister

It all sounds very monarchistic. Arthur Balfour's uncle, Lord Salisbury, won two massive electoral victories for the Conservative Party in 1895 and 1900. Balfour took over the reins of Party leadership in 1902, just after the Boer War.

His first ministerial post was as Chief Secretary for Ireland

And it's argued that his work in Ireland was amongst his most significant. Balfour is credited with introducing 'Unionism' into the United Kingdom, and achieved prominence during his time in the post. He put a heavy emphasis on the development of Ireland and focussed strongly on social mobility.

He was very detached

"Nothing matters very much and few things matter at all," is a quote accredited to Balfour. He never married, and is said to have had a very detached attitude towards life. Margot Tennant supposedly wanted to marry him, though he turned her down, and she instead married one of Balfour's successors - Liberal Prime Minister Herbert Asquith.

He wrote the Balfour declaration

It's in the name, that one. The Balfour Declaration, written in 1917, committed Britain to promoting Israeli interests and the long-term goal of an Israeli state. The declaration is often blamed partially for some of the tensions in Israel, and arguably goes against British commitments to Palestine in return for aid during the World Wars.

Have something to tell us about this article?