Paul Sanford Methuen was born on 1 September 1845, at the home of his father's family in Corsham, Wiltshire. His mother, Anna Horatia Caroline Sanford, was the only child of John Sanford, a clergyman from Nynehead in nearby Somerset. His father, Frederick Henry Paul Methuen (1818-91), was the eldest living son of Paul, 1st Baron Methuen. Frederick would inherit the title in 1849 and later serve as Lord-in-waiting to Queen Victoria.1 The Methuen family had dedicated itself to state service for several generations. They had served mostly as politicians and diplomats, a tradition started by the ardent Whig MP John Methuen, in the seventeenth century.2 As appreciation for their commitment to public service, they had been granted a barony by Queen Victoria in 1838. As the eldest of ten children, Paul stood first in line to inherit his father's title as well as his lands. For Paul, following in his father's footsteps should have meant a short political career and a life of luxury at his ancestral home in Wiltshire, but he chose a different path.