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Posts Tagged ‘Frederick John Robinson 1st Viscount Goderich’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Geographical Society of London (1830)
1830 –

The Geographical Society of London was founded in 1830 under the name Geographical Society of London as an institution to promote the ‘advancement of geographical science’. It later absorbed the older African Association, which had been founded by Sir Joseph Banks in 1788, as well as the Raleigh Club and the Palestine Association.

Like many learned societies, it had started as a dining club in London, where select members held informal dinner debates on current scientific issues and ideas.

Founding members of the Society included Sir John Barrow, Sir John Franklin and Sir Francis Beaufort. Under the patronage of King William IV it later became known as The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and was granted its Royal Charter under Queen Victoria in 1859.

From 1830 – 1840 the RGS met in the rooms of the Horticultural Society in Regent Street.

The history of the Society was closely allied for many of its earlier years with ‘colonial’ exploration in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the polar regions, and central Asia especially.

It has been a key associate and supporter of many notable explorers and expeditions, including those of Darwin, Livingstone, Stanley, Scott, Shackleton, Hunt and Hillary.

The early history of the Society is inter-linked with the history of British Geography, exploration and discovery. Information, maps, charts and knowledge gathered on expeditions was sent to the RGS, making up its now unique geographical collections. The Society published its first journal in 1831.

The society also presents many awards to geographers that have contributed to the advancement of geography.

The most prestigious of these awards are the Gold Medals (Founder’s Medal 1830 and the Patron’s Medal 1838). The award is given for “the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery”. The awards originated as an annual gift of fifty guineas from King William IV, first made in 1831, “to constitute a premium for the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery”.

Presidents

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Charles Elliot
15 August 1801 – 9 September 1875

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Charles Elliot

Sir Charles Elliot was born in Dresden, Saxony, on 15 August 1801 to Margaret and Hugh Elliot. He was one of nine children. His uncle was Scottish diplomat Gilbert Elliott, 1st Earl of Minto, and Gilbert Elliott, 2nd Earl of Minto and George Eden were cousins. He was educated in Reading, Berkshire, England. On 26 March 1815, Elliot joined the Royal Navy as a first-class volunteer on board HMS Leviathan, which served in the Mediterranean Station. In July 1816, he became a midshipman on board HMS Minden, in which he served in the bombardment of Algiers against Barbary pirates in August 1816. He then served in the East Indies Station for four years under Sir Richard King. In 1820, he joined the cutter Starling under Lieutenant-Commander John Reeve in the Home Station, and HMS Queen Charlotte under James Whitshed.

In 1821, Elliot joined HMS Iphigenia under Sir Robert Mends in the West Africa Squadron. On 11 June 1822, he became a lieutenant while serving in HMS Myrmidon under Captain Henry John Leeke. He again served in the Iphigenia on 19 June, and in HMS Hussar under Captain George Harris in the West Indies Station. There, he was appointed to the schooners Union on 19 June 1825 and Renegade on 30 August. On 1 January 1826, he was nominated acting-commander of the convalescentship Serapis in Port Royal, Jamaica, where on 14 April, he served in the hospital ship Magnificent. After further employment on board HMS Bustard and HMS Harlequin, he was promoted to captain on 28 August 1828.

After retiring from active military service, Elliot followed a career in the Foreign Office. In 1830, the Colonial Office sent Elliot to Demerara in British Guiana to be Protector of Slaves and a member of the Court of Policy from 1830 to 1833. He was brought home to advise the government of administrative problems relating to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. In a letter to the Treasury in 1833, Prime Minister Lord Howick wrote:
Lord Goderich [Secretary of State for the Colonies] feels himself bound to acknowledge that His Majesty’s Government are indebted to him [Elliot], not only for a zealous and efficient execution of the duties of his office, but for communications of peculiar value and importance sent from the Colony during the last twelve months, and for essential services rendered at a critical period since his arrival in this country … Elliot has contributed far beyond what the functions of his particular office required of him.

In late 1833, Elliot was appointed as Master Attendant to the staff of Lord Napier, Chief Superintendent of British Trade. His position was involved with British ships and crews operating between Macao and Canton. He was appointed Secretary in October 1834, Third Superintendent in January 1835, and Second Superintendent in April 1835. In 1836, he became Plenipotentiary and replaced Sir George Robinson as Chief Superintendent of British Trade. Elliot wrote to Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston in December 1839, “No man entertains a deeper detestation of the disgrace and sin of this forced traffic on the coast of China. I have steadily discountenanced it by all the lawful means in my power, and at the total sacrifice of my private comfort in the society in which I have lived for some years past.”

During the First Anglo-Chinese War, he was on board the Nemesis during most of the battles. In January 1841, he negotiated terms with Chinese Imperial Commissioner Qishan in the Convention of Chuenpi. Elliot declared, among other terms, the cession of Hong Kong Island to the United Kingdom. However, Palmerston recalled Elliot and, accusing him of disobedience and treating his instructions as “waste paper”, dismissed him. Henry Pottinger was appointed to replace him as plenipotentiary in May 1841. On 29 July, HMS Phlegeton arrived in Hong Kong with dispatches informing Elliot of the news. His administration ended on 10 August. On 24 August, he left Macao, with his family for England. As he embarked on the Atlanta, a Portuguese fort fired a thirteen gun salute.

Historian George Endacott wrote, “Elliot’s policy of conciliation, leniency, and moderate war aims was unpopular all round, and aroused some resentment among the naval and military officers of the expedition.” Responding to the accusation that “It has been particularly objected to me that I have cared too much for the Chinese”, Elliot wrote to Foreign Secretary Lord Aberdeen on 25 June 1842:
But I submit that it has been caring more for lasting British honour and substantial British interests, to protect friendly and helpful people, and to return the confidence of the great trading population of the Southern Provinces, with which it is our chief purpose to cultivate more intimate, social and commercial relations.

On 23 August 1842, Elliot arrived in the Republic of Texas, where he was chargé d’affaires and consul general until 1846. He served as Governor of Bermuda (1846–54), Governor of Trinidad (1854–56), and Governor of Saint Helena (1863–69). In the retired list, he was promoted to rear-admiral on 2 May 1855, vice-admiral on 15 January 1862, and admiral on 12 September 1865.

In Sir Henry Taylor’s play, Edwin the Fair (1842), the character Earl Athulf was based on Elliot. Taylor also mentioned Elliot in his poem, “Heroism in the Shade” (1845). Elliot was made Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1856. He died in retirement at Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth, Devon, England, on 9 September 1875. He is buried in the churchyard of St John-in-the-Wilderness, Exmouth. The weathered headstone inscription to his grave reads in worn lead lettering “To the memory of/Adm Sir Charles Elliot KCB/Born 15th August 1801/Died 9th September 1875/The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God”. This is the only known memorial to him anywhere in the world.

During Elliot’s naval service in the West Indies, he met Clara Genevieve Windsor (1806–1885) in Haiti, where she was born and raised. After marrying in 1828, they had two daughters and three sons:

  • Harriet Agnes Elliot (1829–1896); married Edward Russell, 23rd Baron de Clifford, in 1853; four children.
  • Hugh Hislop Elliot (1831–1861); Captain 1st Bombay Light Cavalry; married Louise Sidonie Perrin on 15 March 1860 in Byculla, Bombay; no known children; died at sea and memorialised in St James Cathedral, St Helena.
  • Gilbert Wray Elliot (1833–1910); Bombay Civil Service; married three times, one child to each marriage; studied at Haileybury; weightlifter Launceston Elliot was his son by his third marriage.
  • Frederick Eden Elliot (1837–1916); Bengal Civil Service; married in 1861; four children.
  • Emma Clara Elliot (1842–1865); married George Barrow Pennell in 1864 in St Helena, where her father was governor; one child. She died in St Helena where she is memorialised in St James Cathedral.

Elliot’s wife accompanied him to Guiana from 1830 to 1833, and to China from 1834 to 1841 as well as to all of his subsequent postings around the world. After ten years of widowhood, she died on 17 October 1885 aged 80 years at the home of her husband’s nephew Capt (RN retired) Hugh Maximilian Elliot, The Bury, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. She is buried at the Heath Lane Cemetery, Hemel Hempstead where a stone cross bears a worn inscription to her memory.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck 4th Duke of Portland
24 June 1768 – 27 March 1854

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William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck 4th Duke of Portland

William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck 4th Duke of Portland was the eldest son of Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland and Lady Dorothy, daughter of William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire and Charlotte Boyle, Baroness Clifford. He was the elder brother of Lord William Bentinck and Lord Charles Bentinck.

He was educated first in Ealing under the tutelage of Samuel Goodenough graduating in 1774, followed by Westminster School (1783). He attended Christ Church, Oxford for two years but did not take a degree. The third Duke, who spared no expense for his heir, sent him to The Hague in 1786 for experience working with the crown’s envoy, Sir James Harris. He returned in 1789.

He later received an honorary Doctor of Civil Law from Oxford in 1793. He also served as a Family Trustee of the British Museum; in 1810, he loaned the famed Portland Vase to the museum.

 

Portland was Member of Parliament for Petersfield between 1790 and 1791 and for Buckinghamshire between 1791 and 1809.

He served under his father as a Lord of the Treasury between March and September 1807. He remained out of office until April 1827 when he was appointed Lord Privy Seal by his brother-in-law George Canning. He was sworn of the Privy Council the same year. When Lord Goderich became Prime Minister in August 1827, Portland became Lord President of the Council, an office he retained until the government fell in January 1828. Over time the Duke became less of a staunch Conservative, softening to some of the more liberal stances of Canning.

Portland also held the honorary post of Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex between 1794 and 1841.

Portland married Henrietta, eldest daughter and heiress of Major-General John Scott of Fife and his wife Margaret (née Dundas), in London on 4 August 1795. At the time of his marriage he obtained Royal Licence to take the name and arms of Scott in addition to that of Cavendish-Bentinck. They were parents of nine children:

  • (William) Henry, Marquess of Titchfield (22 October 1796 – 5 March 1824)
  • Lady Margaret Harriet (21 April 1798 – 9 April 1882)
  • Lady Caroline (6 July 1799 – 23 January 1828)
  • (William) John, Marquess of Titchfield, later 5th Duke of Portland (12 September 1800 – 6 December 1879)
  • (William) George Frederick (27 February 1802 – 21 September 1848)
  • Lord Henry William Bentinck (9 June 1804 – 31 December 1870)
  • Lady Charlotte (14 Jan 1806 – 30 September 1889); married John Evelyn Denison, 1st Viscount Ossington
  • Lady Lucy Joan (27 August 1807 – 29 July 1899); married Charles Ellis, 6th Baron Howard de Walden
  • Lady Mary (8 July 1809 – 20 July 1874); married Sir William Topham

The Duchess of Portland died 24 April 1844. Nearly 10 years later, Portland died at the family seat of Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, in March 1854, aged 85. Two of their sons predeceased their parents; their eldest dying of a brain lesion and their third son dying of a heart attack.

The duke expressed a desire to be buried in the open churchyard in Bolsover, Derbyshire, near the other family seat at Bolsover Castle. However he was instead interred in the ancient Cavendish vault, that had previously been unopened for 138 years.

He was succeeded in the dukedom by his second but eldest surviving son, William.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Thomas Philip de Grey 2nd Earl de Grey
8 December 1781 – 14 November 1859

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Thomas Philip de Grey

Thomas de Grey 2nd Earl de Grey known as The Lord Grantham (DWW-for reals, not the fictitious lord of the Downton Abbey) from 1786 to 1833 was the eldest son of Thomas Robinson, 2nd Baron Grantham and his wife, Mary, a daughter of the Jemima Yorke, 2nd Marchioness Grey and younger sister of the Amabel Hume-Campbell, 1st Countess de Grey. Prime Minister Lord Goderichwas his younger brother. He succeeded his father as third baron in 1786, and became the sixth baronet Robinson of Newby in 1792. In 1833 he succeeded his aunt as second Earl de Grey according to a special remainder and also inherited the Wrest Park estate in Silsoe, Bedfordshire. In 1798 he was admitted to St John’s College, Cambridge, graduating MA in 1801. He became second Earl de Grey and Baron Lucas of Crudwell in 1833.

He was made Privy Counsellor in December 1834 while holding office as first Lord of the Admiralty till April 1835, and a Knight of the Garter in 1844. He was colonel-commandant of the Yorkshire Hussar Regiment of Cavalry for over forty years and was appointed yeomanry aide-de-camp to William IV and held similar position under Queen Victoria. Thomas de Grey was nominated as Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire in 1818, an office which he held until his death. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from September 1841 to July 1844. During his time in Ireland he disagreed with Peel’s religious conciliation of Ireland, claiming that economic conciliation was a greater priority. He called for more legislation focused on Ireland whilst Peel pursued economic legislation aimed at benefitting the UK as a whole.

On the founding of the Institute of British Architects in London in 1834 he was invited to become its first president remaining so till his death in 1859. The institute received its Royal Charter in 1837 becoming Royal Institute of British Architects in London. Earl de Grey was also a fellow of the Royal Society, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and served as one of the New Buckingham Palace Commissioners from 1848. Besides remodelling his London home at No.4 St James’s Square (now the Naval & Military Club) he designed the new Wrest House inspired by French architecture at his Wrest Park estate in Bedfordshire between February 1833 and October 1839, assisted by James Clephan, and maintained the Park adding a number of decorations and statues.

Lord de Grey married Lady Henrietta, daughter of William Cole, 1st Earl of Enniskillen, in 1805. They had two daughters – Ann Florence and Mary Gertrude. His wife Henrietta died in 1848. Lord de Grey survived her by eleven years and died in November 1859, aged 77.

He was succeeded in the barony of Lucas of Crudwell by his daughter, Ann, who married the 6th Earl of Cowper, as well as Baroness Lucas in her own right.

His other titles passed to his nephew, George Robinson, 2nd Earl of Ripon.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

James Abercromby 1st Baron Dunfermline
7 November 1776 – 17 April 1858

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James Abercromby

James Abercromby 1st Baron Dunfermline was the third son of General Sir Ralph Abercromby, who fell at the Battle of Alexandria, and Mary, 1st Baroness Abercromby, daughter of John Menzies of Fernton, Perthshire. He was the younger brother of George Abercromby, 2nd Baron Abercromby and Sir John Abercromby and the elder brother of Alexander Abercromby. He attended the Royal High School, Edinburgh, and was called to the English Bar, Lincoln’s Inn, in 1801. He became a commissioner of bankruptcy and later appointed steward of the Duke of Devonshire’s estates.

Abercromby sat as Whig Member of Parliament for Midhurst between 1807 and 1812 and for Calne between 1812 and 1830. He brought forwards two motions for bills to change the representation for Edinburgh in parliament. He received great support but no change was made until the Reform Act 1832. In 1827 he sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Judge-Advocate-General by George Canning, a post he held until 1828, the last months under the premiership of Lord Goderich.

In 1830 Abercromby was made Lord Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer in Scotland, a position he retained until 1832, when the office was abolished. He received a pension of £2,000 a year. In 1832 returned to the House of Commons as one of two members for Edinburgh, whose representation had now been increased from one to two members. In July 1834 he entered Lord Melbourne’s cabinet as Master of the Mint, but only held the post until November of the same year, when the Whigs lost power.

Abercromby was considered for the speakership of the House of Commons by his party in 1833, but Edward Littleton was eventually chosen instead (he was defeated by Charles Manners-Sutton). However, in 1835 he was chosen as the Whig candidate. Due to an evenly balanced House of Commons the election rendered great interest and was fiercely contested. On 19 February 1835 Abercromby was elected, defeating Manners-Sutton by 316 votes to 306. The Dictionary of National Biography writes that “As speaker Abercromby acted with great impartiality while he possessed sufficient decision to quell any serious tendency to disorder.” During his tenure a number of reforms for the introduction of private bills were made. In spite of failing health Abercromby continued as speaker until 1839. On his retirement he was raised to the peerage as Baron Dunfermline, of Dunfermline in the County of Fife.

After his retirement Abercromby continued to take an interest in public affairs, specifically those involving the city of Edinburgh. He was one of the originators of the United Industrial School for the support and training of destitute children. In 1841 he was elected as Dean of Faculty at the University of Glasgow.He also wrote a biography of his father, published posthumously in 1861.

Lord Dunfermline married Mary Anne, daughter of Egerton Leigh, of West Hall, in High Legh, on 14 June 1802. He died at Collinton House, Midlothian, in April 1858, aged 81, and was buried at Grange cemetery, Edinburgh. He was succeeded in the barony by his son, Sir Ralph Abercromby, KCB, who was Secretary of Legation at Berlin and served as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Sardinia between 1840 and 1851 and to The Hague between 1851 and 1858. Lady Dunfermline died in August 1874.

He was the nephew of Robert Bruce, Lord Kennet.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Robert Wardell
1793 – 7 September 1834

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Robert Wardell

Robert Wardell was born in England and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he matriculated 1810, gained his LL.B. in 1817 and a LL.D. in 1823. Wardell was editor and proprietor of the Statesman, a London evening paper, when in 1819 he met William Wentworth. In 1823, Wardell applied for the new position of attorney-general in New South Wales but was unsuccessful; the position went instead to Saxe Bannister.

In 1824 Wardell sold his Statesman paper and formed a partnership with Wentworth. Printing materials were purchased as part of a plan to found an Australian newspaper, and they sailed for Australia, arriving about September. Soon afterwards they started the The Australian, the first number appearing on 14 October 1824 and was to be published weekly at a cost of one shilling. It was the first independent paper to be published in Australia, and Governor Thomas Brisbane who was approaching the end of his term was inclined to welcome it. After the arrival of Governor Ralph Darling in December 1825, friction between the governor and the paper developed. Early in 1827 governor Darling was devising means to control its criticism of his actions; he brought in a newspaper tax of fourpence a copy, but chief justice Francis Forbes refused to sanction the act. In September 1827 Wardell who had referred to the governor in the The Australian as “an ignorant and obstinate man” was charged with libel. Wardell conducted his own defence with great ability and the jury failed to agree. Wardell was again on trial for libel in December, and Wentworth who was defending him asserted that the jurors, who were members of the military, might lose their commissions if they did not return a verdict for Darling. The jury again disagreed.

Wardell was now editor and sole proprietor of the The Australian and his practice as a barrister was increasing; early in 1831 the government was glad to brief him in an action for damages against it. Towards the end of 1831 Governor Darling was informed by Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich that his six-year term as governor would soon be expiring, and after the arrival of Governor Richard Bourke, Wardell’s writing became much more temperate in tone. In 1834, having made a moderate fortune, he was intending to go to England, but on 7 September 1834 when inspecting his estate on horseback at Petersham, New South Wales he came across three runaway convicts and tried to persuade them to give themselves up. The leader of the men, John Jenkins, however, picked up a gun and fatally shot Wardell. The men were arrested a few days later and two of them were subsequently hanged. Wardell was unmarried.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

George William Frederick Osborne 6th Duke of Leeds
21 July 1775 – 10 July 1838

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George William Frederick Osborne

George William Frederick Osborne 6th Duke of Leeds was born in London, the eldest son of Francis Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds and his first wife, Amelia, Baroness Darcy de Knayth, daughter of Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness. Francis Osborne, 1st Baron Godolphin, was his younger brother. His parents divorced in 1779. In January 1784, aged eight, he succeeded as 13th Baron Darcy de Knayth and 10th Baron Conyers on the early death of his mother. In 1799 he also succeeded his father in the dukedom of Leeds.

Leeds was appointed Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1802, a post he held until his death. In May 1827 he entered George Canning’s government as Master of the Horse. He continued in this office under Lord Goderich between August 1827 and January 1828 and under the Duke of Wellington between January 1828 and November 1830. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1827 and made a Knight of the Garter the same month.

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Charlotte Townshend

Leeds married Lady Charlotte Townshend, daughter of George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend, on 17 August 1797. They had three children:

  • Francis Godolphin Osborne, 7th Duke of Leeds (1798–1859)
  • Lady Charlotte Mary Anne Georgiana Osborne (c. 1806–1836), married Sackville Lane-Fox and had issue.
  • Lord Conyers George Thomas William Osborne (1812–1831), died young.

The Duke of Leeds died in London in July 1838, aged 62, and was succeeded in the dukedom by his eldest and only surviving son, Francis. The Duchess of Leeds died in July 1856, aged 80.

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