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Posts Tagged ‘John Petty 2nd Marquess of Lansdowne’

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 Petty 2nd Earl of Shelburne, Marquess of Lansdowne
2 May 1737 – 7 May 1805

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William Petty

He was born William Fitzmaurice in Dublin in Ireland, the first son of John Fitzmaurice, who was the second surviving son of the 1st Earl of Kerry; himself a descendant of King Edward I. William’s brother was The Honourable Thomas Fitzmaurice (1742–1793). Lord Kerry had married Anne Petty, the daughter of Sir William Petty, Surveyor General of Ireland, whose elder son had been created Baron Shelburne in 1688 and (on the elder son’s death) whose younger son had been created Baron Shelburne in 1699 and Earl of Shelburne in 1719. On the younger son’s death the Petty estates passed to the aforementioned John Fitzmaurice, who changed his branch of the family’s surname to “Petty” in place of “Fitzmaurice”, and was created Viscount Fitzmaurice later in 1751 and Earl of Shelburne in 1753 (after which his elder son John was styled Viscount Fitzmaurice). His grandfather Lord Kerry died when he was four, but Fitzmaurice grew up with other people’s grim memories of a “Tyrant” whose family and sevants lived in permanent fear of him.

Fitzmaurice spent his childhood “in the remotest parts of the south of Ireland,” and, according to his own account, when he entered Christ Church, Oxford, in 1755, he had “both everything to learn and everything to unlearn”. From a tutor whom he describes as “narrow-minded” he received advantageous guidance in his studies, but he attributes his improvement in manners and in knowledge of the world chiefly to the fact that, as was his “fate through life”, he fell in “with clever but unpopular connexions”.

Shortly after leaving the university he served in 20th Foot regiment commanded by James Wolfe during the Seven Years’ War. He became friends with one of his fellow officers Charles Grey whose career he later assisted. In 1757 he took part in the amphibious Raid on Rochefort which withdrew without making any serious attempt on the town. The following year he was sent to serve in Germany and distinguished himself at Minden and Kloster-Kampen. For his services he was appointed aide-de-camp to the new King, George III, with the rank of Colonel. This brought protests from several members of the cabinet as it meant he was promoted ahead of much more senior officers. In response to the appointment Duke of Richmond resigned a post in the royal household. Though he had no active military career after this, his early promotion as colonel meant that he would be further promoted through seniority to major-general in 1765, lieutenant-general in 1772 and general in 1783.

On 2 June 1760, while still abroad, Fitzmaurice had been returned to the British House of Commons as member for Wycombe. He was re-elected unopposed at the general election of 1761, and was also elected to the Irish House of Commons for County Kerry. However, on 14 May 1761, before either Parliament met, he succeeded on his father’s death as 2nd Earl of Shelburne in the Peerage of Ireland and 2nd Baron Wycombe in the Peerage of Great Britain. As a result he lost his seat in both Houses of Commons and moved up to the House of Lords, though he would not take his seat in the Irish House of Lords until April 1764. He was succeeded in Wycombe by one of his supporters Colonel Isaac Barré who had a distinguished war record after serving with James Wolfe in Canada.

Shelburne’s new military role close to the King brought him into communication with Lord Bute, who was the King’s closest advisor and a senior minister in the government. In 1761 Shelburne was employed by Bute to negotiate for the support of Henry Fox. Fox held the lucrative but unimportant post of Paymaster of the Forces, but commanded large support in the House of Commons and could boost Bute’s powerbase. Shelburne was opposed to Pitt, who had resigned from the government in 1761. Under instructions from Shelburne, Barré made a violent attack on Pitt in the House of Commons.

During 1762 negotiations for a peace agreement went on in London and Paris. Eventually a deal was agreed but it was heavily criticised for the perceived leniency of its terms as it handed back a number of captured territories to France and Spain. Defending it in the House of Lords, Shelburne observed “the security of the British colonies in North America was the first cause of the war” asserting that security “has been wisely attended to in the negotiations for peace”. Led by Fox, the government was able to push the peace treaty through parliament despite opposition led by Pitt. Shortly afterwards, Bute chose to resign as Prime Minister and retire from politics and was replaced by George Grenville.

Shelburne joined the Grenville ministry in 1763 as First Lord of Trade. By this stage Shelburne had changed his opinion of Pitt and become an admirer of him. After failing to secure Pitt’s inclusion in the Cabinet he resigned office after only a few months. Having moreover on account of his support of Pitt on the question of Wilkes’s expulsion from the House of Commons incurred the displeasure of the King, he retired for a time to his estate.

After Pitt’s return to power in 1766 he became Southern Secretary, but during Pitt’s illness his conciliatory policy towards America was completely thwarted by his colleagues and the King, and in 1768 he was dismissed from office. During the Corsican Crisis, sparked by the French invasion of Corsica, Shelburne was the major voice in the cabinet who favoured assisting the Corsican Republic. Although secret aid was given to the Corsicans it was decided not to intervene military and provoke a war with France, a decision made easier by the departure of the hard-line Shelburne from the cabinet.

In June 1768 the General Court incorporated the district of Shelburne, Massachusetts from the area formerly known as “Deerfield Northeast” and in 1786 the district became a town. The town was named in honour of Lord Shelburne, who, in return sent a church bell, which never reached the town.

Shelburne went into Opposition where he continued to associate with William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. They were both critical of the policies of the North government in the years leading up to the outbreak of the American War of Independence in 1775. As the war progressed Shelburne co-operated with the Rockingham Whigs to attack the government of Lord North. After a British army was compelled to surrender at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, Shelburne joined other leaders of the Opposition to call for a total withdrawal of British troops.

In March 1782 following the down fall of the North Government Shelburne agreed to take office under Lord Rockingham on condition that the King would recognise the United States. Following the sudden and unexpected death of Lord Rockingham on 1 July 1782 Shelburne succeeded him as Prime Minister. Shelburne’s appointment by the King provoked Charles James Fox and his supporters, including Edmund Burke, to resign their posts on 4 July 1782. Burke scathingly compared Shelburne to his predecessor Rockingham. One of the figures brought in as a replacement was the 23-year-old William Pitt, son of Shelburne’s former political ally, who became Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Shelburne’s government continued to negotiate for peace in Paris using Richard Oswald as the chief negotiator. Shelburne entertained a French peace envoy Joseph Matthias Gérard de Rayneval at his country estate in Wiltshire, and they discreetly agreed on a number of points which formed a basis for peace. Shelburne’s own envoys negotiated a separate peace with American commissioners which eventually led to an agreement on American independence and the borders of the newly created United States. Shelburne agreed to generous borders in the Illinois Country, but rejected demands by Benjamin Franklin for the cession of Canada and other territories.

Fox’s departure led to the unexpected creation of a coalition involving Fox and Lord North which dominated the Opposition. In April 1783 the Opposition forced Shelburne’s resignation. The major achievement of Shelburne’s time in office was the agreement of peace terms which formed the basis of the Peace of Paris bringing the American War of Independence to an end.

His fall was perhaps hastened by his plans for the reform of the public service. He had also in contemplation a Bill to promote free trade between Britain and the United States.

When Pitt became Prime Minister in 1784, Shelburne, instead of receiving a place in the Cabinet, was created Marquess of Lansdowne. Though giving a general support to the policy of Pitt, he from this time ceased to take an active part in public affairs. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1803.

Lord Lansdowne was twice married. First to Lady Sophia Carteret (26 August 1745 – 5 January 1771), daughter of the 1st Earl Granville, through whom he obtained the Lansdowne estates near Bath. They had at least one child:

Secondly to Lady Louisa FitzPatrick (1755 – 7 August 1789), daughter of the 1st Earl of Upper Ossory. They had at least two children:

Lord Shelburne’s Government, July 1782 – April 1783

  • Lord Shelburne – First Lord of the Treasury and Leader of the House of Lords
  • Lord Thurlow – Lord Chancellor
  • Lord Camden – Lord President of the Council
  • The Duke of Grafton – Lord Privy Seal
  • Thomas Townshend – Secretary of State for the Home Department and Leader of the House of Commons
  • Lord Grantham – Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
  • Lord Keppel – First Lord of the Admiralty
  • Henry Seymour Conway – Commander in Chief of the Forces
  • The Duke of Richmond – Master-General of the Ordnance
  • William Pitt – Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Lord Ashburton – Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Changes

  • January 1783 – Lord Howe succeeds Lord Keppel at the Admiralty.
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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.

John Petty, 2nd Marquess of Lansdowne
May 2 1765 to November 15 1809

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The eldest son of the 1st Marquess, William Petty, who also served as Prime Minister of Great Britain between 1782 and 1783.

John sat as member for Wycoombe from 1786 to 1802. He was in ill health during his life, but was able to travel widely. A further difficulty in that he inherited a great many debts from his father.

To recover from these debts he had to sell almost all of his father’s collections, leaving Bowood House, the family seat, uninhabitable for awhile.

He married Mary Arabella Maddox, but their marriage was short, and was childless. His younger brother inherited the Lansdowne title.

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III George IV Georgiana Cavendish
William IV Lady Hester Stanhope Lady Caroline Lamb
Princess Charlotte Queen Charlotte Charles James Fox
Queen Adelaide Dorothea Jordan Jane Austen
Maria Fitzherbert Lord Byron John Keats
Princess Caroline Percy Bysshe Shelley Cassandra Austen
Edmund Kean Thomas Clarkson Sir John Moore
John Burgoyne William Wilberforce Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sarah Siddons Josiah Wedgwood Emma Hamilton
Hannah More John Phillip Kemble John Jervis, Earl St. Vincent
Ann Hatton Stephen Kemble Mary Robinson
Harriet Mellon Zachary Macaulay George Elphinstone
Thomas Babington George Romney Mary Moser
Ozias Humphry William Hayley Daniel Mendoza
Edward Pellew Angelica Kauffman Sir William Hamilton
David Garrick Pownoll Bastard Pellew Charles Arbuthnot
William Upcott William Huskisson Dominic Serres
Sir George Barlow Scrope Davies Charles Francis Greville
George Stubbs Fanny Kemble Thomas Warton
William Mason Thomas Troubridge Charles Stanhope
Robert Fulke Greville Gentleman John Jackson Ann Radcliffe
Edward ‘Golden Ball’ Hughes John Opie Adam Walker
John Ireland Henry Pierrepoint Robert Stephenson
Mary Shelley Sir Joshua Reynolds Francis Place
Richard Harding Evans Lord Thomas Foley Francis Burdett
John Gale Jones George Parker Bidder Sir George Warren
Edward Eliot William Beechey Eva Marie Veigel
Hugh Percy-Northumberland Charles Philip Yorke Lord Palmerston
Samuel Romilly


There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

John Romilly

Sir John Herschel

John Horne Tooke

William Godwin

James Mill

Robert Owen

Jeremy Bentham

Joseph Hume

Henry Thomas Colebrooke

Charles Lamb

John Stuart Mill

Thomas Cochrane

James Paull

Claire Clairmont

William Lovett

Sir James Hall

Sir John Vaughan

Fanny Imlay

William Godwin

Mary Wollstonecraft

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot

Harriet Fane Arbuthnot

Joseph Antonio Emidy
James Edwards (Bookseller)
William Gifford
John Wolcot (Peter Pindar)
Amelia Opie
Sir Joseph Banks
Richard Porson
Edward Gibbon
James Smithson
William Cowper
Richard Cumberland
Richard Cosway
Jacob Phillipp Hackert
Maria Foote
John Thomas Serres
Wellington (the Military man)
Horatio Nelson
William Vincent
Cuthbert Collingwood
Admiral Sir Graham Moore
Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith
Admiral Sir Joseph Sydney Yorke
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
Howe
Viscount Hood
Thomas Hope
Colin Mccaulay
Baroness de Calabrella
Thomas Babington Macaulay
Napoleon Bonaparte
Packenham
Admiral Israel Pellew
General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Francis Leggatt Chantrey
Stapleton Cotton
Sir Charles Grey
Thomas Picton
Constable
Thomas Lawrence
James Northcote
Cruikshank
Thomas Gainsborough
James Gillray
George Stubbs
Joseph Priestley
William Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk 9th Duke of St. Albans
Horace Walpole
John Thomas ‘Antiquity’ Smith
Thomas Coutts
Angela Burdett-Coutts
Rowlandson
William Blake
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Sir Marc Brunel
Marquis of Stafford Granville Leveson-Gower
Marquis of Stafford George Leveson-Gower
George Stephenson
Nicholas Wood
Edward Pease
Thomas Telford
Joseph Locke
Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
Henry Herbert Southey
John Nash
Matthew Gregory Lewis
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Thomas Hope
Henry Holland
Sir Walter Scott
Lord Elgin
Henry Moyes
Jeffery Wyatville
Hester Thrale
William Windham
Madame de Stael
James Boswell
Edward John Eliot
Edward James Eliot
Edward Law, 1st Baron Ellenborough
George Combe
William Harrison Ainsworth
Sir Harry Smith
Thomas Cochrane
Warren Hastings
Edmund Burke
William Petty
Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice
Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond
Juana Maria de Los Dolores de Leon (Lady Smith)
Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839)
Lord Barrymore, Richard Barry (1769-1794)
Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802)
Mr. G. Dawson Damer (1788-1856)
Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811)
Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824)
Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822)
Lord Yarmouth, Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram (1777-1842)
Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers (1735-1805)
Sir John , John Lade (1759-1838)
Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815)
Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827)
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d’ Orleans (1747-1793)
Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d’ Orleans (1773-1850)
Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)
Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810)
Duke of Rutland, John Henry Manners(1778-1857)
Lord Sefton, William Philip Molyneux (1772-1838)
Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)
Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington Baronet (1771 – 1850)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1766-1835)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1792-1853)
Hon. Frederick Gerald aka “Poodle” Byng

The Dandy Club
        Beau Brummell
        William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
        Henry Mildmay

Patronesses of Almacks
        Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
        Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
        Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
        Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
        Mrs. Drummond Burrell
        Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
        Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

If there are any requests for personalities to be added tot he list, just let us know in the comments section

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