George Henry Robert Child-Villiers was born on 2 June 1873. He was the eldest son of Victor Albert George Child-Villiers, 7th Earl of Jersey and his wife Margaret Elizabeth Leigh.
Child-Villiers succeeded to the title of Earl of Jersey upon his father’s death in 1915, becoming the 8th Earl of Jersey. He also became principal proprietor and managing partner of the family’s banking firm, Child & Co.
At the end of the First World War a series of bank amalgamations led to the emergence of the so-called ‘big five’ banks, and in 1922 the Earl entered negotiations with Lloyds Bank for the sale to them of Child & Co. There was, however, significant resistance to the proposed acquisition among Child’s staff. Additionally, public concern was growing over the effects on competition of the increasing dominance of the big five.
Following the Earl's death at the end of 1923 his executors reached an agreement with Glyn, Mills & Co, one of the few other remaining private banks in the City. The amalgamation went ahead in 1924, although Child & Co retained its own name and separate identity within the merged bank.
The Earl held the political office of Lord-in-Waiting briefly in 1919. He also served as a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex, Justice of the Peace for Oxfordshire and Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire.
Family life and death
On 8 October 1908 George Henry Robert Child-Villiers married Lady Cynthia Almina Constance Mary Needham, daughter of Francis Charles Needham, 3rd Earl of Kilmorey. They had four children together: George Francis; Joan; Edward Mansel; and Ann.
The 8th Earl of Jersey died on 31 December 1923, at the age of 50. His eldest son George Francis Child-Villiers succeeded to his title, becoming the 9th Earl of Jersey.