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Posts Tagged ‘John Russell 6th Duke of Bedford’

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 Seguier
9 November 1772 – 5 November 1843

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William Seguier

William Seguier was born in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, the descendant of French Huguenot refugees.

Many of his relatives were involved in the arts on a professional level, from his father David, a picture dealer, to his uncle on the paternal side, the sculptor Peter Seguier.

Initially Seguier worked as an artist; he may have been taught by George Morland and perhaps even William Blake. However, his marriage to Anne Magdalene Clowden (a fellow Huguenot), gave him the independent means to establish a dealership, and he largely gave up painting thereafter. The business, in which his brother also worked, also offered picture-cleaning and restoring services, a useful way of getting to know collectors.

From 1806, when Lord Grosvenor consulted him on the purchase of the Agar collection, Seguier’s clientele became ever more aristocratic and well-connected, including such names as Sir George Beaumont, Sir Abraham Hume, Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington.

Beaumont and Grosvenor were also members of a group of connoisseurs and artists (including David Wilkie and Benjamin Haydon) that called itself “the clique”, to which Seguier was admitted. Through such connections as these, the opportunistic Seguier secured a number of high-ranking official positions, beginning in 1805 with his appointment as Superintendent of the newly formed British Institution. This was followed in 1820 with the post of Surveyor of the King’s Pictures, and upon the foundation of the National Gallery in 1824 he was appointed its Keeper.

The Superintendent was responsible for organizing and hanging the shows at the British Institution, a role that inevitably gave rise to grumbling and worse from artists – at the Royal Academy a committee was responsible for the hang, which allowed someone else to be blamed, but Seguier had no such opportunity to share the blame. In 1833 John Constable wrote with heavy irony of having received a visit in his studio from “a much greater man than the King—the Duke of Bedford—Lord Westminster—Lord Egremont, or the President of the Royal Academy — “MR SEGUIER”.” When in 1832 two pictures by Richard Parkes Bonington, who had been dead only four years, were included in an “Old Masters” exhibition, Constable (who was twenty-six years older than Bonington) wrote that Seguier was “carrying on a Humbugg”.

Seguier held these three positions until his death in 1843; his brother succeeded him at the British Institution. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.

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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 Hamilton 1st Duke of Abercorn
21 January 1811 – 31 October 1885

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James Hamilton

James Hamilton 1st Duke of Abercorn was born at Seymour Place, Mayfair, Abercorn was the son of James Hamilton, Viscount Hamilton, who died when his son was only three, eldest son of John Hamilton, 1st Marquess of Abercorn. His mother was Harriet Douglas, second daughter of the Hon. John Douglas, himself the son of James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton. He was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1818 he succeeded his grandfather in his titles. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Laws by the University of Oxford in 1856.

In 1844, Lord Abercorn was made a Knight of the Garter at the relatively young age of 33, becoming that same year Lord Lieutenant of Donegal. Two years later he was appointed a Privy Counsellor and Groom of the Stole to Prince Albert, and remained a prominent figure in the royal court for the next two decades. In 1866, he was appointed Viceroy of Ireland, and two years later was created Marquess of Hamilton (in the Peerage of the United Kingdom) and Duke of Abercorn (in the Peerage of Ireland), resigning shortly after Gladstone won the 1868 general election. He was reappointed to the post in 1874, and the Duke served as Viceroy until his resignation in 1876, partly on account of his wife’s ill health. In 1874, he was chosen Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, a post he held until his death. Abercorn was Envoy-Extraordinary for the investiture of King Umberto I of Italy with the Order of the Garter on 2 March 1878. He was elected Chancellor of the University of Ireland in 1881, and died four years later at his home of Baronscourt, County Tyrone.

He is buried in the cemetery at Baronscourt Parish Church, the traditional burial place of the Dukes of Abercorn and their families.

Abercorn married Lady Louisa, second daughter of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, in 1832. They had fourteen children, thirteen of whom survived infancy:

  • Lady Harriet Georgiana Louisa Hamilton (1834–1913), married in 1855 to Thomas George Anson, 2nd Earl of Lichfield. They had eight sons and five daughters.
  • Lady Beatrix Frances Hamilton (1835–1871), married in 1854 to George Frederick D’Arcy Lambton, 2nd Earl of Durham
  • Lady Louisa Jane Hamilton (1836–1912), married in 1859 to William Montagu Douglas Scott, 6th Duke of Buccleuch
  • Lady Katherine Elizabeth Hamilton (c. 1838–1874), married in 1858 to William Henry Edgcumbe, 4th Earl of Mount Edgcumbe
  • James Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Abercorn (1838–1913)
  • Lady Georgiana Susan Hamilton (1841–1913), married in 1882 to Edward Turnour, 5th Earl Winterton
  • Lord Claud Hamilton (1843–1925)
  • Lord George Hamilton (1845–1927)
  • Lady Albertha Frances Anne Hamilton (1847–1932), married in 1869 to George Charles Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough. The marriage was annulled in 1883.
  • Lord Ronald Douglas Hamilton (1849–1867)
  • Lady Maud Evelyn Hamilton (1850–1932), married in 1869 to Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne
  • Lord Cosmo Hamilton (1853–1853, on the same day)
  • Lord Frederick Spencer Hamilton (1856–1928)
  • Lord Ernest Hamilton (1858–1939)

Abercorn died in October 1885, aged 74, and was succeeded by his eldest son, James. The Duchess of Abercorn died in March 1905, aged 92. Through his son, the 2nd Duke, Abercorn is a great-great-great grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales. Through his daughter, Lady Louisa, Abercorn is a great-grandfather of HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, and a great-great grandfather of Sarah, Duchess of York.

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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.

Jane Gordon Duchess of Gordon
1748 or 1749 – 14 April 1812

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Jane Gordon

Jane Gordon Duchess of Gordon was the fourth child of Sir William Maxwell, 3rd Baronet of Monreith, and his wife Magdalene Blair. She was born at Myrton Castle the now ruined castle a short distance from the present seat of the family, Monreith House, which was not built until fifty years later.

Her father has been depicted as a drunk who allowed his family to exist in poverty in Edinburgh while he sold most of his 30,000-acre (12,000 ha) estate to make ends meet. In Edinburgh Jane lived together with her mother and her two sisters in a rented second-floor flat in Hyndford’s Close near Royal Mile. As for the family living in an Edinburgh apartment, that would have been normal at that time. Titled Scottish land owning families often rented apartments in Edinburgh so their girls could receive further education, be launched on Edinburgh Society, and attend the balls. This is exactly what happened when Lady Maxwell moved there in 1760 with her three daughters: Catherine, 13; Jane, 11; and Eglantine, 9, the future Lady Wallace of Craigie.

The Monreith Maxwells would have been considered a respectable family in that era. They were closely related to the Maxwells at Caerlaverock, Earls of Nithsdale who in the 17th Century had been considered one of the most powerful families in Scotland. And their grandmother was the daughter of the 9th Earl of Eglinton, head of the great Ayrshire land owning family and distinguished Member of Parliament.

Jane had a nasty accident as a 14 year-old when playing in the High Street in Edinburgh. She somehow got a finger of her right hand jammed in the wheel of a cart which moved away and tore her finger off. There is at Monreith House a letter written, left handed, by her after the accident explaining how it happened. After this, whenever possible, she wore gloves in which a wooden finger replaced the one missing. One of these wooden fingers is still at Monreith House. In later life she used to explain the loss of the finger by saying it was a coaching accident.

When Jane reached 16, she was so strikingly beautiful that a song was written about her: “Bonnie Jennie of Monreith, the Flower of Galloway”. That was also when she fell in love for the first and probably only time. The object of her affections was a young officer who was probably a Fraser, a relative of Lord Lovat. Soon after they met, he left with his regiment, probably to go to America, and word later reached her that he had died.

On 28 October 1767 Jane married the 24-year-old Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon. The young Duke lived in the Gordon townhouse almost opposite the Maxwells, and he had inherited a considerable fortune and the title at the age of nine.

It was while they were on honeymoon at the Fordyce’s country seat, Ayton in Berwickshire, that she received a note from her former love, the young Fraser, very much alive, asking her to marry him. She is said to have read the note and fainted. However, she kept in touch with the young Fraser.

For the next 20 years, the Duke and Duchess lived at Gordon Castle in Morayshire which Jane’s husband enlarged to be one of the largest homes in Scotland—with a facade 600 feet long and an 84 foot high central tower. Part of the town of Fochabers had to be demolished and rebuilt elsewhere tomake room for the extensions. However, years later most of the enlargements were dismantled again.

At Gordon Castle, Jane organised parties, planted trees, and took a keen interest in farming. She was a great enthusiast for local dancing and fiddle and pipe music. She is credited with establishing the Strathspey as a dance form.

The couple had seven children. Her first son, George, Marquess of Huntly, the later George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon was born in 1770. The Duke also had an illegitimate son at about the same time, also called George, by a Mrs. Christie. Jane used to refer to “my George and the Duke’s George”.

Jane entertained on an increasingly lavish scale, with as many as 100 sitting down to dinner and guests staying for three months in the Castle. And in the 1780s, the Duchess started entertaining in Edinburgh, quickly becoming the leading hostess. Jane was the sole arbitress of fashion in Edinburgh. Horace Walpole called her the “Empress of fashion”. She regularly gave soirée evenings where up and coming artists were asked to entertain. It was in her drawing room that Robert Burns first read his poetry to Edinburgh society, and she became his chief sponsor, purchasing all his early published works.

In 1787 the Duke and the Duchess of Gordon moved to London. They first rented a house on Downing Street from Lord Sheffield, then one in Pall Mall from the Marquess of Buckingham, and finally one in St. James’s Square. And Jane continued her party-giving habit, but with a distinctly Scottish flavour. She made everyone dance Scottish dances. King George III adored her, and she supported the King, so she was allowed to promote her Scottish heritage more than others would have dared. She gave a ball at which she and the Duchess of York dressed in tartan when it was officially banned, and she arranged for the King to inspect troops dressed in tartan in Hyde Park.

It was in the Pall Mall house that she held her greatest parties. Close to Parliament in Westminster, she kept open house for the Tories. Pitt, the Prime Minister, and Dundas, the Lord Advocate were frequent visitors. And it was during this time that she arranged a truce between the King and his eldest son, the Prince Regent, whose had run up enormous debts. She arranged for his debts to be met, and this enabled the construction of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton to be continued.

In 1793, the French Revolutionary Government declared war on Great Britain. At that time the British army was short of recruits, since the military service was not very popular among the young men. As a consequence the Government asked Jane’s husband, the Duke of Gordon, to raise another regiment. The outcome of this was a bet between Jane and the Prince Regent, the future King George IV. Jane bet with the Prince Regent that she could raise more men than he, meaning the Government. Although 45 by then, she was still extremely attractive. Her recruiting technique was, to say the least, unusual. She wore a military uniform and a large black feathered hat (highland bonnet), touring Scotland to organise reels. Anyone who joined the reel joined the army and received the King’s shilling, the recruiting payment, from between the Duchess’ lips by kissing her. This was how the Gordon Highlanders were founded. Her total was 940 men. On 24 June 1794, the newly embodied regiment paraded for the first time at Aberdeen. The regiment existed until 1994.

In 1799, Jane became depressed and ill. Her eldest son, George, the later George Gordon, 5th Duke of Gordon, had gone off to the wars, and she wrote in a letter to a friend: “Oh where and oh where has my highland laddie gone?” Her second son, Alexander (1785–1808), died at 23, and her husband had moved his mistress, Jane Christie, into Gordon Castle and built a small house on the Spey, called Kinrara, for his estranged wife. Jane lived there for the next six years, continuing her entertaining and partying.

Having enjoyed life as a Duchess, Jane was determined to get her daughters well married, and she set out securing suitable husbands for them. In 1802, after the Peace of Amiens, she took her younger daughter, Georgiana (1781–1853), to Paris with a view to marrying her to the son of the Empress Joséphine, Eugène de Beauharnais. This would not have been popular so soon after hostilities, but nothing came of it. A short time later, Georgiana was reputed to be friendly, if not engaged, to Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford, but he died before they could marry. Jane then arranged a meeting with the Duke’s younger brother John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford who had inherited the title and recently been widowed with several children. All went as planned, and he soon married his late brother’s fiancée on 23 June 1803 in London. Georgiana had ten children by the Duke, and she followed in her mother’s partying footsteps, entertaining frequently in her Bedford home, Woburn Abbey. The Duchess of Bedford was a great patroness of the arts, and had a long standing relationship with the painter Sir Edwin Henry Landseer.

Jane then turned to finding a husband for Charlotte (1768–1842), the eldest daughter. She plotted to have her marry William Pitt, the Prime Minister, but her plan failed when Pitt’s close friend, Lord Henry Dundas, took an interest in Charlotte. Neither potential husband worked out, and Charlotte later married on 9 September 1789 at Gordon Castle Colonel Charles Lennox, the future 4th Duke of Richmond.

General Cornwallis had returned to England from his disastrous command of the British troops during the American Revolution to be, rather surprisingly, treated as a hero and created a Marquess. Having fought with Jane’s brother at Plessey in India as well as in the American war, he would have been a friend of Jane’s. So his eldest son, Lord Brome, was therefore considered suitable for Louisa (1776–1850), the fourth daughter. Cornwallis refused to approve the marriage, however, citing madness in the Gordon family. The Duchess allayed his fears by swearing that there was “not one drop of Gordon blood” in this particular daughter. The marriage then proceeded on 17 April 1795 in London. History does not relate who Louisa’s natural father was, but it is thought to have been Captain Fraser, her early love from Edinburgh.

Susan (1774–1828), the third daughter, married on 7 October 1793 in Edinburgh to William Montagu, 5th Duke of Manchester, and Madeleine (1772–1847), the second daughter, married firstly on 2 April 1789 in London to Sir Robert Sinclair, 7th Baronet. On 25 November 1805 she married secondly at Kimbolton Castle to Charles Fysche Palmer.

Jane’s own marriage had been more of less an arrangement from the beginning. The return from the dead of her lover during the honeymoon was an inauspicious start. The Duke having an illegitimate son by Jane Christie at the same time as his heir was born was an unfortunate sequence, to be followed by the birth of her illegitimate daughter a few years later. The Duke openly kept his mistress at Gordon Castle while the Duchess seems to have preferred assignations with her lover on the windswept moors.

By 1805, the marriage was officially over, and the couple reached a financial agreement whereby the Duchess would be given a new house, capital payments, and generous annual supplements. The Duke was by then in financial difficulties, however; he acknowledged his liability to the Duchess, but he did not pay all the monies legally due her.

Jane was reduced to living in hotels, and she became increasingly eccentric. She was involved in an acrimonious dispute with her estranged husband over money, and she died in 1812 at Poultney’s Hotel, Piccadilly, London, surrounded by her four daughters and surviving son. Her body was taken north to be buried at the old Celtic Chapel by the banks of the Spey at Kinrara. There her husband carried out her final wish and erected a monument to her on which were recorded the marriages of her children.

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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 Byng 4th Viscount Torrington
11 October 1740 – 14 December 1812

George Byng 4th Viscount Torrington was the son of George Byng, 3rd Viscount Torrington and Elizabeth Daniel.

He gained the title 4th Viscount Torrington at the death of his father in 1750.

On 20 July 1765 he married Lady Lucy Boyle (1744–1792), daughter of John Boyle, 5th Earl of Cork and Margaret Hamilton . They had seven children:

  • Lucy Elizabeth Byng (17 October 1760 – 20 September 1844), married Orlando Bridgman, 1st Earl of Bradford, 29 May 1788.
  • Georgiana Elizabeth Byng (1768 – 11 October 1801), married John Russell, later 6th Duke of Bedford, 1786.
  • William Henry Byng (27 November 1769 – 23 November 1770)
  • Isabella Elizabeth Byng (21 September 1773 – 1 May 1830), married Thomas Thynne, 2nd Marquess of Bath, 14 April 1794.
  • William Henry Byng (baptized 4 June 1775 – 1792)
  • George Byng (baptized 24 March 1777 – 13 October 1792)
  • Emily Byng (? – 3 September 1824), married the Hon Henry Seymour, 1801.

Upon his death, his brother became John became Viscount for not quite a month, dying January 8th 1813, and then his eldest son George became the sixth Viscount.

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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.

Francis Russell 7th Duke of Bedford
13 May 1788 – 14 May 1861

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Francis Russell

Francis Russell 7th Duke of Bedford was the son of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford and his first wife the Hon. Georgiana Byng, second daughter of George Byng, 4th Viscount Torrington. Russell was educated at Westminster School and graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1808, with a Master of Arts. He succeeded his father as duke in 1839.

He entered the British House of Commons in 1809, sitting as Member of Parliament for Peterborough in the next three years. Subsequently Russell represented Bedfordshire until 1832. In the following year, he was summoned to the House of Lords in his father’s junior title Baron Howland of Streatham by a writ of acceleration. Russell was sworn of the Privy Council on 6 July 1846 and was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Garter on 26 March 1847. He was made a Special Deputy Warden of the Stannaries in 1852 and was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire in 1859, a post he held until his death in 1861.

Russell was the elder brother of John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, who was twice Prime Minister of Britain.
On 8 August 1808, he married the Hon. Anna Maria Stanhope, daughter of Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Harrington, and had by her a son.

Russell died in 1861, aged 73, and was buried on 22 May at Chenies, Buckinghamshire. He was succeeded in his titles by his only 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.

Henry Brougham 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux
19 September 1778 – 7 May 1868

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Henry Brougham

Henry Brougham 1st Baron Brougham and Vauxwas born and grew up in Edinburgh, the eldest son of Henry Brougham, of Brougham Hall in Westmorland, and Eleanora, daughter of Reverend James Syme. The Broughams had been an influential Cumberland family for centuries. Brougham was educated at the Royal High School and the University of Edinburgh, where he chiefly studied natural science and mathematics, but also law. He published several scientific papers through the Royal Society, notably on light and colours and on prisms, and at the age of only 25 was elected a Fellow. However, Brougham chose law as his profession, and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1800. He practised little in Scotland, and instead entered Lincoln’s Inn in 1803. Five years later he was called to the Bar. Not a wealthy man, Brougham turned to journalism as a means of supporting himself financially through these years. He was one of the founders of the Edinburgh Review and quickly became known as its foremost contributor, with articles on everything from science, politics, colonial policy, literature, poetry, surgery, mathematics and the fine arts.

In the early 19th century, Brougham, a follower of Newton, launched anonymous attacks in the Edinburgh Review against Thomas Young’s research that proved light was a wave phenomenon that exhibited interference and diffraction. Another example of Lord Brougham’s scientific incompetence is his attack against Sir William Herschel (1738–1822).

The success of the Edinburgh Review made Brougham a man of mark from his first arrival in London. He quickly became a fixture in London society and gained the friendship of Lord Grey and other leading Whig politicians. In 1806 the Foreign Secretary, Charles James Fox, appointed him secretary to a diplomatic mission to Portugal, led by James St Clair-Erskine, 2nd Earl of Rosslyn and John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent. The aim of the mission was to counteract the anticipated French invasion of Portugal. During these years he became a close supporter of the movement for the abolition of slavery, a cause to which he was to be passionately devoted for the rest of his life. Despite being a well-known and popular figure, Brougham had to wait before being offered a parliamentary seat to contest. However, in 1810 he was elected for Camelford, a rotten borough controlled by the Duke of Bedford. He quickly gained a reputation in the House of Commons, where he was one of the most frequent speakers, and was regarded by some as a potential future leader of the Whig Party. However, Brougham’s career was to take a downturn in 1812, when, standing as one of two Whig candidates for Liverpool, he was heavily defeated. He was to remain out of Parliament until 1816, when he was returned for Winchelsea. He quickly resumed his position as one of the most forceful members of the House of Commons, and worked especially in advocating a programme for the education of the poor and legal reform.

In 1812 Brougham had become one of the chief advisers to Caroline of Brunswick, the estranged wife of George, Prince of Wales, the Prince Regent and future George IV. This was to prove a key development in his life. In April 1820 Caroline, then living abroad, appointed Brougham her Attorney-General. Earlier that year George IV had succeeded to the throne on the death of his long incapacitated father George III. Caroline was brought back to Britain in June for appearances only, but the king immediately began divorce proceedings against her. The Pains and Penalties Bill, aimed at dissolving the marriage and stripping Caroline of her Royal title on the grounds of adultery, was brought before the House of Lords by the Tory government. However, Brougham led a legal team (which also included Thomas Denman) that eloquently defended the Princess. The bill passed, but by the narrow margin of only nine votes. Lord Liverpool, aware of the unpopularity over the bill and afraid that it might be overturned in the House of Commons then withdrew the bill. The British public had mainly been on the Princess’s side, and the outcome of the trial made Brougham one of the most famous men in the country. His legal practice on the Northern Circuit rose fivefold, although he had to wait until 1827 before being made a King’s Counsel.

In 1826, Brougham, along with Wellington, was one of the clients and lovers named in the notorious Memoirs of Harriette Wilson. Before publication, Wilson and publisher John Joseph Stockdale wrote to all those named in the book offering them the opportunity to be excluded from the work in exchange for a cash payment. Brougham paid and secured his anonymity.

Brougham remained member of Parliament for Winchelsea until February 1830 when he was returned for Knaresborough. However, he represented Knaresborough only until August the same year, when he became one of four representatives for Yorkshire. His support for abolitionism brought him enthusiastic support. The Reverend Benjamin Godwin of Bradford devised and funded posters that appealed to Yorkshire voters who had supported William Wilberforce to repeat their choice (and Godwin’s) with the new candidate, Henry Brougham.

In November the Tory government led by the Duke of Wellington fell, and the Whigs came to power under Lord Grey. It was considered impossible to leave the popular Brougham out of the government, although his independent political standing was thought to be a possible impediment to the new administration. Grey initially offered him the post of Attorney General, which Brougham refused. He was then offered the Lord Chancellorship, which he accepted, and on 22 November he was raised to the peerage as Baron Brougham and Vaux, of Brougham in the County of Westmorland. He was to remain in this post for exactly four years.

The highlights of Brougham’s tenure was the passing of the 1832 Reform Act, of which he was a staunch supporter, and the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, the cause to which he had been devoted to for so many years. However, he was increasingly considered a dangerous and unreliable colleague due to his perceived arrogance and selfishness, as well as his tendency to interfere with every department of state. This placed him into conflict with the rest of the government.

In 1834 the Lord Chancellor, Lord Brougham and Vaux, was asked, “Do you consider that a compulsory education would be justified, either on principles of public utility or expediency?” to which he replied

I am decidedly of opinion that it is justifiable on neither; but, above all, I should regard anything of the kind as utterly destructive of the end it has in view. Suppose the people of England were taught to bear it, and to be forced to educate their children by means of penalties, education would be made absolutely hateful in their eyes, and would speedily cease to be endured. They who have argued in favour of such a scheme from the example of a military government like that of Prussia have betrayed, in my opinion, great ignorance of the nature of Englishmen. (Report of the Parliamentary Committee on the State of Education. 1834)

He nonetheless kept his post when the government was reconstructed in July 1834 under Lord Melbourne. The Melbourne administration was dismissed by the king in November the same year, and the Tories came to power under Sir Robert Peel. This government lasted only until April 1835, when Lord Melbourne was again summoned to form a government. However, Brougham was now so ill-regarded within his own party that he was not offered to resume the post of Lord Chancellor, which instead was put into commission. Melbourne told him frankly that his conduct had been one of the principal causes of the fall of the government, and when Brougham protested said brutally ” God damn you but you won’t get the Great Seal”. An even greater blow to him was when the post was eventually conferred on Charles Pepys, 1st Baron Cottenham, in January 1836.

Brougham was never to hold office again. However, for more than thirty years after his fall he continued to take an active part in the judicial business of the House of Lords, and in its debates, having now turned fiercely against his former political associates, but continuing his efforts on behalf of reform of various kinds. He also devoted much of his time to writing. He had continued to contribute to the Edinburgh Review, the best of his writings being subsequently published as Historical Sketches of Statesmen Who Flourished in the Time of George III.

In 1834, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

In 1837, Brougham presented a bill for public education, arguing that “it cannot be doubted that some legislative effort must at length be made to remove from this country the opprobrium of having done less for the education of the people than any of the more civilized nations on earth”.

In 1838, after news came up of British colonies where emancipation of the slaves was obstructed or where the ex-slaves were being badly treated and discriminated against, Lord Brougham stated in the House of Lords:
“The slave … is as fit for his freedom as any English peasant, ay, or any Lord whom I now address. I demand his rights; I demand his liberty without stint… . I demand that your brother be no longer trampled upon as your slave!”

Brougham also edited, in collaboration with Sir Charles Bell, William Paley’s Natural Theology and published a work on political philosophy and in 1838 he published an edition of his speeches in four volumes. The last of his works was his posthumous Autobiography. In 1857 he was one of the founders of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science and was its president at a number of congresses.

In 1860 Brougham was given by Queen Victoria a second peerage as Baron Brougham and Vaux, of Brougham in the County of Westmorland and of Highhead Castle in the County of Cumberland, with remainder to his youngest brother William Brougham (died 1886). The patent stated that the second peerage was in honour of the great services he had rendered, especially in promoting the abolition of slavery.

Brougham had married Mary Spalding (d. 1865), daughter of Thomas Eden and widow of John Spalding, MP, in 1821. They had two daughters, both of whom predeceased their parents, the latter one dying in 1839. Lord Brougham and Vaux died in May 1868 in Cannes, France, aged 89, and was buried in the Cimetière du Grand Jas. The cemetery is up to the present dominated by Brougham’s statue, and he is honoured for his major role in building the city of Cannes. His hatchment is in Ninekirks, which was then the parish church of Brougham.

The Barony of 1830 became extinct on his death, while he was succeeded in the Barony of 1860 according to the special remainder by his younger brother William Brougham.

Brougham wrote a prodigious number of treatises on science, philosophy, and history. Besides the writings mentioned in this article, he was the author of Dialogues on Instinct; with Analytical View of the Researches on Fossil Osteology, Lives of Statesmen, Philosophers, and Men of Science of the Time of George III, Natural Theology, etc. His last work was an autobiography written in his 84th year and published in 1871. However, his writings were not of lasting value; he is now especially notable for his services to political and especially legal reform, and to the diffusion of useful literature, which are his lasting monuments.

He was the designer of the brougham, a four-wheeled, horse-drawn style of carriage that bears his name.

Through Lord Brougham the renowned French seaside resort of Cannes became very popular. He had accidentally found the place in 1835, when it was little more than a fishing village on a picturesque coast, and bought there a tract of land and built on it. His choice and his example made it the sanitarium of Europe. The beach front promenade at Nice became known as the Promenade des Anglais (literally, “The Promenade of the English”).

A statue of him, inscribed “Lord Brougham”, stands at the Cannes waterfront, across from the Palais des festivals et des congrès.

Brougham holds the House of Commons record for non-stop speaking at six hours.

He was present at the trial of the World’s first steam powered ship on 14 October 1788 at Dalswinton Loch near Auldgirth, Dumfries and Galloway. William Symington of Wanlockhead built the two-cylindered engine for Patrick Miller of Dalswinton.

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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 Russell 6th Duke of Bedford
6 July 1766 – 20 October 1839

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John Russell

John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford known as Lord John Russell until 1802, was a British Whig politician and notably served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the Ministry of All the Talents. He was the father of Prime Minister John Russell, 1st Earl Russell.

Bedford was a younger son of Francis Russell, Marquess of Tavistock, eldest son and heir of John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford. His mother was Lady Elizabeth, youngest child of Willem van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle and Lady Anne Lennox.

Like most Russells, Bedford was a Whig in politics. He sat as Member of Parliament for Tavistock from 1788 to 1790, and served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the Whig government of 1806–1807. He became, as did many of his party who were strong followers of Bonapartism, opposed to the Peninsular War, believing that it neither could nor should be won. He funded, along with his son, many anti-war publications. Bedford was sworn of the Privy Council in 1806 and appointed a Knight of the Garter in 1830.

Bedford married firstly the Hon. Georgiana Byng, daughter of George Byng, 4th Viscount Torrington, in 1786. They had three sons:

  • Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford
  • Lord George Russell
  • Lord John Russell, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

After Georgiana’s early death in October 1801, Bedford married secondly Lady Georgiana, daughter of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon, in 1803. They had ten children, including:

  • Lady Georgiana Elizabeth Russell, married Charles Romilly and had issue
  • Reverend Lord Wriothesley Russell, married Elizabeth Russell, his second cousin once removed, died without issue
  • Admiral Lord Edward Russell, married Mary Ann Taylor and died without issue
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Charles James Fox Russell, married Isabella Davies and had issue
  • Lady Louisa Jane Russell, married James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn and had issue.
  • General Lord Alexander Russell, married Anne Holmes and had issue
  • Lady Rachel Evelyn Russell, married Lord James Butler and had issue.

The Duchess of Bedford was a great patroness of the arts, and had a longstanding relationship with the painter Sir Edwin Landseer, a man twenty years her junior. The Bedfords’ marriage was nevertheless considered to be a very happy one. Bedford died in October 1839, aged 73, and was succeeded by his eldest son from his first marriage, Francis. The Duchess of Bedford died in February 1853, aged 71.

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