Posts Tagged ‘Sir Robert Peel 2nd Baronet’

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 Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood
9 May 1801 – 12 April 1866


Sir Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood

Peter Hesketh was born in 1801 at Wennington Hall, in Wennington, near Lancaster, the second son of Robert and Maria (née Rawlinson) Hesketh. He had an older brother, Edward, a younger brother, Charles, and a younger sister, Anna. He was descended (through his paternal grandmother) from the Fleetwood family who had owned the large Rossall estate in West Lancashire for over 200 years. Robert inherited the estate in 1819 on the death of his elder brother, Bold, and the family relocated to the manor house, Rossall Hall, on the Fylde coast. On Robert’s death in 1824, the estate passed to Peter, his elder brother Edward having predeceased him in 1820. By that time the family’s land extended from Heysham in the north, to North Meols, near Southport, in the south, and encompassed most of the Fylde.

Hesketh was educated, along with his younger brother Charles, at Trinity College, Oxford. Although Charles was a studious young man, who planned to enter the church on graduation, Peter had an active social life in both Oxford and London. He holidayed in southern resorts including St Leonards-on-Sea, a new development in Sussex, where he admired the work of architect James Burton. He became close friends with Burton’s son Decimus, who was also an architect. The two men were involved in the formation of London’s Athenaeum Club and Burton designed the club’s building in Pall Mall. Hesketh received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1823 and his Master of Arts degree in 1826. That same year, he married Eliza Debonnaire Metcalfe, the daughter of Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, 2nd Baronet, commonly known by her middle name. Debonnaire’s father gave the couple a house in Dover, but they also spent time at the Rossall estate. The couple were very close to Charles and his new wife Anna, and their sister Anna, and her husband Thomas Knowlys. Charles was ordained in 1828 and as patron of St Chad’s Church in Poulton-le-Fylde, Peter presented his brother with that curacy.

Hesketh enjoyed looking after the Rossall estate (which had no steward or agent), but struggled to keep on top of finances; he was an indulgent landlord. He became an enthusiastic member of the Lancashire Agricultural Society and was concerned about the fate of local farm workers who were losing their jobs because of increased mechanisation. Hesketh was gradually becoming more interested in the lives and conditions of the working classes.

The Heskeths’ first child, Anna Maria (known as Maria to distinguish her from three close relatives named Anna), was born in 1827. Three more children—named Metcalfe Bold, Debonnaire and Frances—all died in infancy. In 1831 Hesketh changed his name by royal license to Hesketh-Fleetwood, incorporating the better-known family name of his ancestors into his own. Debonnaire contracted tuberculosis and died in early 1833. Shortly before Debonnaire’s death Hesketh-Fleetwood contracted scarlet fever. This was followed by erysipelas, a bacterial infection so severe that it necessitated the removal of one of his eyes. At the end of the year, the Rossall estate was severely flooded and suffered damage costing about £3,000 to repair. Hesketh-Fleetwood subsequently spent very little time at Rossall.

In 1837 in Belgium, Hesketh-Fleetwood married Virginie Marie Garcia, the daughter of a Spanish nobleman. Maria, his daughter with Debonnaire, contracted tuberculosis and died in 1838 at Regent’s Park, aged 11. She was interred in a glass coffin in the family vault at St Chad’s, Poulton. Around the same time as Maria’s death, Virginie gave birth to a son, Peter Louis. In 1841, on the death of his aunt, Anna Maria Hesketh, Hesketh-Fleetwood succeeded to Tulketh Hall in Preston.

Hesketh was appointed High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1830. In 1831 he was invited to stand as a Tory Party candidate for the constituency of Preston. He had similar views to Tory statesman Robert Peel and readily agreed to stand. Hesketh-Fleetwood opposed monopolies, slavery and capital punishment and was in favour of reforming the Corn Laws. At the 1832 general election, he was elected—along with his friend, Henry Stanley—Member of Parliament for Preston, in the first parliament following the Reform Act. He made his maiden speech to parliament in 1834.

Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, and in June the following year Hesketh-Fleetwood was knighted in the Coronation honours list and created Baronet Fleetwood. He was remained MP for Preston until the 1847 general election, although towards the end of his parliamentary career he was recorded as a Liberal MP. In 1840 he translated Victor Hugo’s pamphlet, The Last Day of a Condemned Man, with a foreword entitled “Observations on capital punishment” that made clear Hesketh-Fleetwood’s abolitionist stance on the issue.

As a student holidaying in coastal towns, Hesketh had become aware of the lack of resorts in Lancashire. He was concerned that the working classes of Lancashire could not afford to travel south for their holidays as wealthy people like him could. The number of railways in Great Britain steadily increased in the first half of the 19th century, and Hesketh was impressed by the arrival in 1828 of the steam locomotive in Lancashire. As High Sheriff of Lancashire, he attended the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway on 15 December 1830. The event filled him with great excitement at the idea of bringing the railway to the coast and enabling Lancashire mill workers to take day-trips to the seaside.
As he discussed the idea with his brother Charles, Hesketh soon realised that day-trippers would need certain facilities that were not yet available, and decided that a new town would need to be built. He initially planned to site his town and railway terminus near the village of Thornton, but it was not close enough to the coast for his liking. He eventually decided on Rossall Point, a small peninsula north of Rossall Hall, at the mouth of the River Wyre, which was then an uninhabited rabbit warren. Although bleak and waterlogged, the area had views of Morecambe Bay and the Lake District.

Hesketh was influenced in the early planning stages by his friends, including mill owners Samuel Fielden and Benjamin Whitworth. They pointed out that mill workers would not wish to make day trips to the seaside all year round, and wondered how the people of the new town would be occupied during the winter months. They encouraged Hesketh to build a new port; because charges at Liverpool were on the rise, and there were no reasonable alternatives for Manchester mill owners, both Whitworth and Fielden agreed that they would make good use of a port on the Fylde coast. Hesketh soon found that he was not the only one thinking of extending the railway, or of building a new port. He had competition from the residents of Lytham, a village about 13 miles (21 km) south of Rossall, at the mouth of the River Ribble. They were already planning the formation of the Preston Port Company; Hesketh acted quickly and applied to the official railway committee to have a port built on the River Wyre. The committee agreed to hear all applications.

Charles met Frederick Kemp, a land agent newly arrived in Poulton from his native Essex, and introduced him to his brother, who was on the lookout for a steward or agent. Kemp, well-dressed and charming, made a good impression on Hesketh, who employed him immediately. At the meeting of the railway committee Hesketh put forward a persuasive argument. Despite opposition from the Lytham contingent the committee decided that Rossall Point was the best place for the railway terminus to be built, and the Railway and Port Company was formed. In the early 19th century it was thought that steam locomotives would be unable to negotiate hilly terrain, and that Lake District hills like Shap Fell would prevent the railway from reaching Scotland. The Fylde terminus would have even more importance than Hesketh had hoped, providing a sea link for passengers from London to travel on to Scotland. Initially Hesketh had considered naming his new town New Liverpool or Wyreton, but after changing his name to Hesketh-Fleetwood in 1831 he decided to call it Fleetwood. With a new career in parliament to prepare for, he readily handed over financial management of the project to his manager, Frederick Kemp.

After Debonnaire’s death in 1833, Hesketh-Fleetwood immersed himself in his development plans. Southport, a town he owned much of, was becoming a popular sea bathing resort, and Hesketh-Fleetwood organised the construction of a promenade. He was becoming concerned over delays on the part of the Railway and Port Company and decided to get on with building Fleetwood. He hired his old friend Decimus Burton, who had become a successful architect, and together they discussed what buildings would be required. Hesketh-Fleetwood wanted a church, docks, housing, a gas office, a school and a hotel. Burton agreed that a hotel would be important for passengers to spend the night before travelling on to Scotland. Because those passengers would be arriving from Euston railway station in London, Hesketh-Fleetwood decided to call the hotel the North Euston Hotel. Burton’s plans were ready by 1835.

In 1835, still frustrated by the lack of activity on the part of the Railway and Port Company, Hesketh-Fleetwood organised the formation of the Preston and Wyre Railway Company to raise the funds required to bring the railway to Fleetwood. The estimated cost was £122,000. The company obtained Royal assent to start construction, with an underwritten guarantee from Hesketh-Fleetwood. The following year Hesketh-Fleetwood and Burton oversaw the marking out of Fleetwood’s first street, and the first railway lines were laid.

By 1838 it had become clear that construction costs for the town were spiralling out of control. To make matters worse, the railway’s engineer informed Hesketh-Fleetwood that the cost of the railway was expected to exceed £300,000. The company had also sold far fewer shares than had been hoped. Frederick Kemp was collecting rents and rates from tenants, and Hesketh-Fleetwood repeatedly asked him for money to pay some of the mounting bills. Kemp, a more forceful character than his employer, kept claiming that there was no money. Hesketh-Fleetwood turned to his brother Charles and asked him to get £4,000 out of Kemp. Charles was more assertive, but Kemp said that the money had been spent on workers’ wages and produced yet more invoices that needed to be paid. During Hesketh-Fleetwood’s many absences from the Fylde, Kemp managed to involve himself in a number of enterprises in the town, to his own financial advantage. The railway was taking longer than expected and, with mounting debts, Hesketh-Fleetwood grew increasingly depressed and began to withdraw from society.

Construction of the railway was finally completed in 1840, and in July the Preston and Wyre Railway opened. The following year St Peter’s Church was finished, and Hesketh-Fleetwood appointed as vicar the Rev. St. Vincent Beechey of Hilgay in Norfolk. Also in 1841, the North Euston was the fourth hotel to open in the town. Steamer services opened to the Isle of Man, Whitehaven, Ardrossan and Belfast. Fleetwood initially flourished, but Hesketh-Fleetwood had run out of money and was compelled to take out mortgages. He lost the £75,000 he had invested in the Preston and Wyre Railway Company owing to a lack of accounts. Kemp claimed that Hesketh-Fleetwood owed him money, but Kemp refused to explain his book-keeping. In the face of enormous debts Hesketh-Fleetwood sold his estates at Blackpool, Southport, Meols Hall, and Tulketh Hall. Charles bought the Churchtown estate, where he and his wife had been living, from his brother. In 1844 Hesketh-Fleetwood auctioned off his personal possessions from Rossall Hall and left Lancashire. The Rev. St. Vincent Beechey had set up the Northern Church of England School for boys. Close to bankruptcy, Hesketh-Fleetwood leased the buildings at Rossall Hall to the school for six years, with the option to buy it after nine for £7,000. Thereafter, the school was called Rossall School.

Fleetwood continued to grow without its principal investor, albeit slowly. As a port, it soon faced competition from Lytham and Preston. In 1847 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert travelled through Fleetwood on their way to London from Scotland, but that year saw the decline of the town’s importance on the route to Scotland. More powerful locomotives were now able to travel over hilly terrain, and the railway was extended over Shap Fell all the way to Scotland; Fleetwood was no longer needed as a sea link.

Hesketh-Fleetwood moved to London with Virginie and their son Louis. He rarely visited Lancashire again, and in 1847 he retired from politics. The family spent some time living in Virginie’s home country, Spain. In 1861 Hesketh-Fleetwood expressed an intention to return to politics, but was prevented from doing so by his failing health. He died at his home in Piccadilly, London on 12 April 1866, following a lengthy illness. He is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. His son Rev. Peter Louis Hesketh-Fleetwood (1838–1880) succeeded to the baronetcy, which became extinct on his death. What was left of Hesketh-Fleetwood’s land in Lancashire was bought by the Fleetwood Estate Company in 1875.

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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 Sheridan Knowles
12 May 1784 – 30 November 1862


James Sheridan Knowles

James Sheridan Knowles was born in Cork. His father was the lexicographer James Knowles (1759–1840), cousin of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. The family moved to London in 1793, and at the age of fourteen Knowles published a ballad entitled The Welsh Harper, which, set to music, was very popular. His talents secured him the friendship of William Hazlitt, who introduced him to Charles Lamb and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He served for some time in the Wiltshire and afterwards in the Tower Hamlets militia, leaving the service to become a pupil of Dr Robert Willan (1757–1812). He obtained the degree of M.D., and was appointed vaccinator to the Jennerian Society.

Although Dr Willan offered him a share in his practice, Knowles decided to give up medicine for the stage, making his first appearance as an actor probably at Bath, and played Hamlet at the Crow Theatre, Dublin. At Wexford he married, in October 1809, Maria Charteris, an actress from the Edinburgh Theatre. In 1810 he wrote Leo, a successful play in which Edmund Kean appeared; another play, Brian Boroihme, written for the Belfast Theatre in the next year, attracted crowds; nevertheless, Knowles’s earnings were so small that he was obliged to become assistant to his father at the Belfast Academical Institution. In 1817 he moved from Belfast to Glasgow, where, besides keeping a flourishing school, he continued to write for the stage.

His first important success was Caius Gracchus, produced at Belfast in 1815; and his Virginius, written for Edmund Kean, was first performed in 1820 at Covent Garden. In William Tell (1825), Knowles wrote for William Charles Macready one of his favourite parts. His best-known play, The Hunchback, was produced at Covent Garden in 1832, and Knowles won praise acting in the work as Master Walter. The Wife was brought out at the same theatre in 1833; and The Love Chase in 1837.

In his later years he forsook the stage for the pulpit, and as a Baptist preacher attracted large audiences at Exeter Hall and elsewhere. He published two polemical works: the Rock of Rome and the Idol Demolished by Its Own Priests in both of which he combated the special doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Knowles was for some years in the receipt of an annual pension of £200, bestowed by Sir Robert Peel in 1849. In old age he befriended the young Edmund Gosse, whom he introduced to Shakespeare. Knowles makes a happy appearance in Gosse’s Father and Son. He died at Torquay on 30 November 1862.

A full list of the works of Knowles and of the various notices of him will be found in the The Life of James Sheridan Knowles (1872), privately printed by his son, Richard Brinsley Knowles (1820–1882), who was well known as a journalist. It was translated into German.


  • Leo; or, The Gipsy (1810)
  • Brian Boroihme; or, The Maid of Erin (1811)
  • Caius Gracchus (1815)
  • Virginius (1820) A Tragedy in Five Acts
  • William Tell (1825)
  • The Beggar’s Daughter of Bethnal Green (1828)
  • Alfred the Great; or The Patriot King (1831)
  • The Hunchback (1832)
  • A Masque (in one act and in verse on the death of Sir Walter Scott) (1832)
  • The Wife; A Tale of Mantua (1833)
  • The Beggar of Bethnal Green (1834)
  • The Daughter (1837)
  • The Love Chase (1837)
  • Woman’s Wit; or, Loves Disguises (1838)
  • The Maid of Mariendorpt (1838)
  • Love (1839)
  • John of Procida; or, The Bridals of Messina (1840)
  • Old Maids (1841)
  • The Rose of Arragon (1842)
  • The Secretary (1843)
  • The Bridal (1847) (An adaptation of The Maid’s Tragedy)
  • Alexina; or, True unto Death (1866)

Novels and short stories

  • The Magdalen and Other Tales (1832)
  • Fortescue (1847)
  • George Lovell (1852)
  • Old Adventures (1859)
  • Tales and Novelettes etc. (1874)


  • A Collection of Poems on Various Subjects (1810)
  • Fugitive Pieces
  • The Senate, or Social Villagers of Kentish Town, a Canto (1817)

Theological writings

  • The Rock of Rome; or, The Arch Heresy (1849)
  • The Idol Demolished by Its Own Priest (1852) (An answer to Cardinal Wiseman’s Lectures on Transubstantiation.)
  • The Gospel Attributed to Matthew in the Record of the Whole Original Apostlehood (1855)


  • The Elocutionist (1831) (A collection of pieces in prose and verse; peculiarly adapted to display the art of reading…)
  • A Treatise on the Climate of Madeira (1850)
  • The Debater’s Handbook (1862)
  • Lectures on Dramatic Literature (1875)

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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.

Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos
11 February 1797 – 29 July 1861


Richard Plantagenet


Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos was born at Stowe House, Buckinghamshire, Buckingham was the son of the Earl Temple (later created The 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos) and Lady Anne, daughter of The 3rd Duke of Chandos. He was a paternal grandson of The 1st Marquess of Buckingham and a great-grandson of Prime Minister George Grenville. He was educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford.

Buckingham sat as Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire between 1818 and 1839, when he succeeded his father in the dukedom and entered the House of Lords. Two years later, in September 1841, he was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Lord Privy Seal by Sir Robert Peel, a post he only held until February 1842. He was created a Knight Grand Cross of the Hanoverian Order in 1835, elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1840 and made a Knight of the Garter in 1842.

In 1847, eight years after succeeding his father as Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, George was declared bankrupt with debts over a million pounds. This occasioned the auction sale of the contents of Stowe House in August–September 1848, one of the handful of most prominent English country house contents auctions of the 19th century.

In 1819, Buckingham married Lady Mary, daughter of Lt-General The 4th Earl of Breadalbane (later created The 1st Marquess of Breadalbane). They had one son and one daughter, but were divorced in 1850. At that time, divorce required an Act of Parliament. Buckingham died at the Great Western Hotel, Paddington, London, in July 1861, aged 64, and was succeeded in the dukedom by his only son, Richard. His sometime wife died less than a year later in June 1862, aged 66.

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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 George Grey 3rd Earl Grey
28 December 1802 – 9 October 1894


Henry George Grey


Henry George Grey 3rd Earl Grey was the eldest son of Prime Minister Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, by his wife the Hon. Mary, daughter of William Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby.

He entered parliament in 1826, under the title of Viscount Howick, as member for Winchelsea, which constituency he left in 1831 for Northumberland. On the accession of the Whigs to power in 1830, when his father became prime minister, he was made Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. This gave him responsibility for Britain’s colonial possessions, and laid the foundation of his intimate acquaintance with colonial questions. He belonged at the time to the more advanced party of colonial reformers, sharing the views of Edward Gibbon Wakefield on questions of land and emigration, and resigned in 1834 from dissatisfaction that slave emancipation was made gradual instead of immediate. In 1835 he entered Lord Melbourne’s cabinet as Secretary at War, and effected some valuable administrative reforms, especially by suppressing malpractices detrimental to the troops in India. After the partial reconstruction of the ministry in 1839 he again resigned, disapproving of the more advanced views of some of his colleagues.

These repeated resignations gave him a reputation for crotchetiness, which he did not decrease by his disposition to embarrass his old colleagues by his action on free trade questions in the session of 1841.

After being returned unopposed at the first three general elections in Northern division of Northumberland, Howick was defeated at the 1841 general election. He returned to the Commons after a few months absence, when he was elected for the borough of Sunderland at by-election in September 1841.

During the exile of the Liberals from power he went still farther on the path of free trade, and anticipated Lord John Russell’s declaration against the corn laws. When, on Sir Robert Peel’s resignation in December 1845, Lord John Russell was called upon to form a ministry, Howick, who had become Earl Grey by the death of his father in the preceding July, refused to enter the new cabinet if Lord Palmerston were foreign secretary. He was greatly censured for perverseness, and particularly when in the following July he accepted Lord Palmerston as a colleague without remonstrance. His conduct, nevertheless, afforded Lord John Russell an escape from an embarrassing situation.

Becoming colonial secretary in 1846, he found himself everywhere confronted with arduous problems, which in the main he encountered with success. His administration formed an epoch. He was the first minister to proclaim that the colonies were to be governed for their own benefit and not for the mother countries; the first systematically to accord them self-government so far as then seemed possible; the first to introduce free trade into their relations with Great Britain and Ireland. The concession by which colonies were allowed to tax imports from the mother-country ad libitum was not his; he protested against it, but was overruled. In the West Indies he suppressed, if he could not overcome, discontent; in Ceylon he put down rebellion; in New Zealand he suspended the constitution he had himself accorded, and yielded everything into the hands of Sir George Grey. The least successful part of his administration was his treatment of the convict question at the Cape of Good Hope, which seemed an exception to his rule that the colonies were to be governed for their own benefit and in accordance with their own wishes, and subjected him to a humiliating defeat.

In 1848 Grey was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council representing the City of Melbourne despite never visiting the colony; his seat was declared vacant in 1850 due to his non-attendance. This election was a protest against rule from Sydney and in 1850 Grey introduced the Australian Colonies Government Act which separated the district from New South Wales to become the colony of Victoria.

After his retirement he wrote a history and defence of his colonial policy in the form of letters to Lord John Russell (Colonial Policy of Lord John Russell’s Administration, 1853). He resigned with his colleagues in 1852. No room was found for him in the Coalition Cabinet of 1853, and although during the Crimean struggle public opinion pointed to him as the fittest man as minister for war, he never again held office. During the remainder of his long life he exercised a vigilant criticism on public affairs. In 1858 he wrote a work (republished in 1864) on parliamentary reform; in 1888 he wrote another on the state of Ireland; and in 1892 one on the United States tariff. In his latter years he was a frequent contributor of weighty letters to The Times on land, tithes, currency and other public questions. His principal parliamentary appearances were when he moved for a committee on Irish affairs in 1866, and when in 1878 he passionately opposed the policy of the Beaconsfield cabinet in India. He nevertheless supported Lord Beaconsfield at the dissolution, regarding William Ewart Gladstone’s accession to power with much greater alarm. He was a determined opponent of Gladstone’s Home rule policy.

Lord Grey married Maria, daughter of Sir Joseph Copley, 3rd Baronet, in 1832. They had no children. She died in September 1879. Lord Grey survived her by fifteen years and died on 9 October 1894, aged 91. He was succeeded in the earldom by his nephew, Albert Grey (born 1851). The suburb of Howick in Auckland, New Zealand is named after the earl.

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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 Robert Inglis
12 January 1786 – 5 May 1855)


Sir Robert Inglis

Sir Robert Inglis was the son of Sir Hugh Inglis, a minor politician and MP for Ashburton.

Robert succeeded to his father’s baronetcy in 1820, and served as MP for Dundalk 1824–1826, Ripon 1828–1829 and Oxford University from 1829 to 1854. He was appointed High Sheriff of Bedfordshire for 1824.

Inglis was strongly opposed to measures which, in his view, weakened the Anglican Church. When Robert Grant, MP for Inverness Burghs, petitioned for Jewish relief in 1830, Inglis was violently opposed. (Clearly showing his Bigotry and Anti-Semitism. Where was such indignation against the emancipation of Roman Catholicism?) Inglis alleged that the Jews were an alien people, with no allegiance to England, and that to admit Jews to parliament would “separate Christianity itself from the State.” He also alleged that if they were admitted to parliament “within seven years…Parliamentary Reform would be carried.” Inglis was joined in his public opposition by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Henry Goulburn, and the Solicitor General and future Lord Chancellor, Sir Edward Sugden. Although the Jews were not emancipated fully until 1858, Parliamentary Reform occurred in 1832, just two years later. Inglis also likened Buddhism to “idolatry” in connection with the British colony of Ceylon during a debate over the relationship of “Buddhist priests” to the British colonial government in 1852.

In 1845 he broke with Sir Robert Peel and opposed the Maynooth Grant, which would have granted a yearly £26,000 subsidy to the Catholic Maynooth seminary. Other opponents included, oddly enough, John Bright and Benjamin Disraeli, although on different grounds.

In 1851, when Lord Stanley (who became the Earl of Derby later that year) attempted to form a protectionist administration, Inglis was offered the presidency of the Board of Control, which he accepted initially, only to withdraw a few days later. A major activity of Inglis’s political career was the chairing of the select committee that controlled the House of Commons Library, of which he was a member for 14 years. However, his rather narrow view of its scope was overturned by Sir Robert Peel in 1850. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1854, and died the next year, at the age of 69. On his death the baronetcy became extinct.

Inglis’s Journals are in the Canterbury cathedral Library and archives.

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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.

Charlotte Montagu Douglas Scott Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry
10 April 1811 – 18 March 1895


Charlotte Montagu Douglas Scott

Lady Charlotte Anne Thynne was born at the Thynne family seat of Longleat in Wiltshire on 10 April 1811. She was the youngest daughter and tenth child of Thomas Thynne, 2nd Marquess of Bath and the Hon. Isabella Elizabeth Byng, daughter of George Byng, 4th Viscount Torrington. Her siblings included Henry Thynne (later 3rd Marquess of Bath) and Louisa Lascelles (later Countess of Harewood as the wife of Henry Lascelles, 3rd Earl of Harewood).

On 13 March 1829 Charlotte married Walter Montagu-Douglas-Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch at St George’s, Hanover Square, London, becoming Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry. He had succeeded to the dukedom at the age of thirteen upon his father’s death, and was five years older than his wife. According to the contemporary journal The Lady’s Realm, their “romantic” engagement resulted when the young Duke visited her father and met Lady Charlotte. Upon their parting, he saw tears in her eyes which prompted him to turn his coach around and approach her father directly to ask for her hand in marriage. The couple would produce three daughters and four sons. Among their children were William Montagu Douglas Scott, 6th Duke of Buccleuch and Henry Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Beaulieu.

In 1841, she succeeded the Duchess of Sutherland as Mistress of the Robes to Queen Victoria. The new prime minister, Robert Peel, personally selected her to be a member of his newly formed ministry. The post would later also be filled by her daughter-in-law Louisa. Her husband was a staunch Conservative and became Lord Privy Seal in Peel’s ministry from 1842 to 1846; the Duchess used the connection to help her brothers gain patronage.

The Duchess of Buccleuch and Queen Victoria were lifelong friends, and the latter considered the Duchess to be “an agreeable, sensible, clever little person.” In 1842 at Buckingham Palace, during Queen Victoria’s preparations to visit Scotland, the Duchess helped advise her on the country. The Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch helped entertain the Queen and Prince Albert when they arrived at Dalkeith. Historian Alex Tyrrell writes that the Duchess helped “consolidate Conservative influence in the royal household and counteract memories of the Bedchamber Crisis.” The Queen stood as godmother for the Duchess’ eldest daughter Victoria Alexandrine, who was christened at Buckingham Palace in April 1845. The Montagu-Douglas-Scotts were patrons of the artist Robert Thorburn, and commissioned him to paint several portraits of the Duchess, including a double portrait of her and Lady Victoria; this was given to Queen Victoria in 1847.

The Duchess of Buccleuch resigned the post of Mistress of the Robes in 1846, and was succeeded by the Duchess of Sutherland. She was a member of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, Third Class.

The Duchess’s high church faith was an influence of her brother Revd Lord John Thynne, who was high church canon of Westminster Abbey. She and her husband built St Mary the Virgin, an Episcopal church in Dalkeith. To the Duke’s distress, she converted to Roman Catholicism in 1860, “after struggling with her conscience for many years over the distress it would cause her Presbyterian husband.” Soon after being married, she befriended Cecil, Marchioness of Lothian, another prominent Roman Catholic in Scotland. The two engaged in philanthropic work in Edinburgh together, and Lady Lothian helped persuade the Duchess to come to the decision to convert. Her brother Lord Charles also converted to Catholicism.

The Duchess enjoyed gardening and landscaping, and spent much time overseeing the gardens of Drumlanrig Castle. Her husband died in April 1884, and she moved to Ditton Park in Slough, Buckinghamshire. She was much affected by the death of her son Lord Walter; The Lady’s Realm wrote that the Dowager Duchess “never recovered” from this. She died at Ditton Park on 28 March 1895, and was buried at Dalkeith Palace. She supported the religious congregation Poor Servants of the Mother of God until her death, and had engaged in other fund-raising activities as well.

  • The Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch had a total of seven children, three daughters and four sons:
  • William Henry Walter Montagu Douglas Scott, 6th Duke of Buccleuch 9 September 1831
  • Henry John Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Beaulieu 5 November 1832
  • Lord Walter Charles Montagu Douglas Scott 2 March 1834
  • Admiral Lord Charles Thomas Montagu Douglas Scott, GCB 20 October 1839
  • Lady Victoria Alexandrina Montagu Douglas Scott 20 November 1844
  • Lady Margaret Elizabeth Montagu Douglas Scott 10 October 1846
  • Lady Mary Charlotte Montagu Douglas Scott 6 August 1851

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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 John Beckett 2nd Baronet
17 May 1775 – 31 May 1847

Sir John Beckett 2nd Baronet was a British lawyer and Tory politician.

Beckett was the son of Sir John Beckett, 1st Baronet (1743–1826), and his wife Mary, daughter of Christopher Wilson. He was also a descendant of Edmund Gibson, Bishop of London.

He was elected to Parliament for Cockermouth in 1818, a seat he held until 1821, and then sat for Haslemere from 1826 to 1832 and for Leeds from 1835 to 1837.

Beckett was admitted to the Privy Council in 1817 and appointed Judge Advocate General by Prime Minister Lord Liverpool the same year. He held this office until 1827, and again under the Duke of Wellington from 1828 to 1830 and under Sir Robert Peel from 1834 to 1835.

Beckett married Lady Anne Lowther, daughter of William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale, in 1817.
He died in Brighton on 31 May 1847, aged 72, and is buried at All Saints Church, Fulham, London.

He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his younger brother, Thomas Beckett.

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