The Earl succeeded his brother, Edward Henry Stuart Bligh, in 1900. He also served as a Representative Peer for Ireland, a Justice of the Peace, a Deputy Lieutenant, and a County Alderman for Kent. He earned a B.A. degree at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was for a time Honorary Colonel of the 4th Volunteer Batallion, Royal West Kent Regiment. In 1884 he married Florence Rose Morphy of Australia [d. 1944]; they had two sons and a daughter.