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Posts Tagged ‘William Lamb 2nd Viscount Melbourne’

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 Atherton Powys 3rd Baron Lilford
2 December 1801 – 15 March 1861

Thomas Powys 3rd Baron Lilford was the son of Thomas Powys, 2nd Baron Lilford, and Henrietta Maria Atherton of Atherton Hall. He succeeded his father as third Baron Lilford in 1825. In 1837 he was appointed a Lord-in-Waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) in the Whig administration of Lord Melbourne, a post he held until the government fell in August 1841. He never returned to office.

Lord Lilford married the Hon. Mary Elizabeth Fox, daughter of Henry Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland, and Lady Holland, in 1830, and had ten children. He inherited Lilford Hall in Northamptonshire from his father in 1825. In 1860, he inherited Bank Hall in Bretherton, Lancashire, on the death of his brother-in-law George Anthony Legh Keck. A year after inheriting he died in March 1861, aged 59, and was succeeded by his eldest son Thomas, a prominent ornithologist. Lady Lilford died in 1891.

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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.

Isaac Nathan
1790 – 15 January 1864

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Isaac Nathan

Isaac Nathan was born in 1790 in the English city of Canterbury to a hazzan (Jewish cantor) of Polish birth, Menahem Monash “Polack” (the Pole) and his English Jewish wife, Isaac Nathan was initially destined for his father’s career and went to the school of Solomon Lyon in Cambridge. Showing an enthusiasm for music, he was apprenticed to the London music publisher Domenico Corri. He also claimed to have had five years of voice lessons with Corri, who had studied with Nicola Porpora. In 1813 he conceived the idea of publishing settings of tunes from synagogue usage and persuaded Lord Byron to provide the words for these. The result was the poet’s famous Hebrew Melodies. Nathan’s setting of these remained in print for most of the century.

The Hebrew Melodies used, for the most part, melodies from the synagogue service, though few if any of these were in fact handed down from the ancient service of the Temple in Jerusalem, as Nathan claimed. Many were European folk-tunes that had become absorbed into the synagogue service over the centuries with new texts (contrafacta). However they were the first attempt to set out the traditional music of the synagogue, with which Nathan was well acquainted through his upbringing, before the general public. To assist sales, Nathan recruited the famous Jewish singer John Braham to place his name on the title page, in return for a share of profits, although Braham in fact took no part in the creation of the Melodies.

The success of the Melodies gave Nathan some fame and notoriety. Nathan was later to claim that he had been appointed as singing teacher to the Princess Royal, Princess Charlotte, and music librarian to the Prince Regent, later George IV. There is no evidence for this, although his edition of the Hebrew Melodies was dedicated to the Princess by royal permission.

In 1816, Byron left England, never to return (nor to communicate further with Nathan). In 1817 Nathan’s royal pupil Princess Charlotte died in childbirth. He thus lost his two major patrons.

Nathan undertook a runaway marriage with a music pupil, and another after his first wife’s early death. Both spouses were Christian; however for both, Nathan also undertook and arranged synagogue marriages after the church ceremony. His hot temper probably accounts for a duel he fought over the honour of Lady Caroline Lamb, and his assault on an Irish nobleman who he thought had impugned one of his female pupils. The latter saw Nathan prosecuted, although he was acquitted. Nathan felt a special attachment for Lady Caroline; she was godmother to one of his children and he wrote her an appreciative poem in Hebrew, which he reprints in his Recollections of Lord Byron.

Gambling on prize-fights was one cause of his financial problems. He may have spent at least some months in debtors’ prisons. He wrote frequently for the popular press in London on boxing and music. He wrote comic operas for the London stage, and four of these were produced between 1823 and 1833. His copyright for Hebrew Melodies ought to have brought him income – at one point he sold it to his married sister, presumably to avoid it being lost in bankruptcy – but it became involved in complex legal disputes. He attempted a publishing business in partnership with his brother Barnett Nathan, who later became proprietor of Rosherville Gardens. Nathan published a history of music (1823), dedicated by permission to King George IV, which shows in its treatment of Jewish music a great deal of understanding of the Bible and of Jewish traditions.

Nathan also attracted some renown as a singing teacher. One of his pupils was another great English poet, the very young Robert Browning, who 60 years later recalled: ‘As for singing, the best master of four I have, more or less, practised with was Nathan, Author of the Hebrew Melodies; he retained certain traditional Jewish methods of developing the voice’.

Nathan claimed to have undertaken some mysterious services for the Royal Family, but the Whig government under Lord Melbourne refused payment to him, leading to his financial embarrassment. He emigrated to Australia with his children, arriving in April 1841. There he became a leader of local musical life, acting as music adviser both to the synagogue and to the Roman Catholic cathedral in Sydney. He gave first or early performances in Australia of many of the works of Mozart and Beethoven. On 3 May 1847 his Don John of Austria, the first opera to be written, composed and produced in Australia, was performed at the Victoria Theatre, Sydney. He was the first to research and transcribe indigenous Australian music, and also set lyrics by the poet Eliza Hamilton Dunlop.

The London Jewish Chronicle of 25 March 1864 reported from Sydney:
Mr. Nathan was a passenger by No. 2 tramway car […] [he] alighted from the car at the southern end, but before he got clear of the rails the car moved onwards […] he was thus whirled round by the sudden motion of the carriage and his body was brought under the front wheel.

The horse-drawn tram was the first in Sydney: Nathan was Australia’s (indeed the southern hemisphere’s) first tram fatality.

He was buried in Sydney; his tomb is at Camperdown Cemetery.

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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 Lamb (politician and Writer)
11 July 1784 – 2 January 1834

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George Lamb

George Lamb was the youngest son of Peniston Lamb, 1st Viscount Melbourne, and his wife Elizabeth, and the brother of William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (The Prime Minister), Frederick Lamb, 3rd Viscount Melbourne, and Emily Lamb, Countess Cowper, he was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated MA in 1805.

On 17 May 1809, he married Caroline Rosalie Adelaide St. Jules, the illegitimate daughter of William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire, by his mistress (and eventual second wife) Lady Elizabeth Foster. The Lambs had no children and it was speculated that the marriage was never consummated.

He became a barrister at Lincoln’s Inn, and was Member of Parliament for Westminster from March 1819 to March 1820, and for Dungarvan from 1822 until his death. He served in Earl Grey’s (Charles Grey, had a child with the Duchess of Devonshire, the wife of Lamb’s wife’s father) administration as Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department from 1830 until his death.

His comic opera Whistle for it was produced in 1807, and his adaptations of Timon of Athens in 1816. His most important work, a translation of the poems of Catullus, was published in 1821.

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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.

Peniston Lamb 1st Viscount Melbourne
29 January 1745 – 22 July 1828

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Peniston Lamb

Peniston Lamb 1st Viscount Melbourne was the son of Sir Matthew Lamb, 1st Baronet, and his wife Charlotte (née Coke), and succeeded in the baronetcy on his father’s death in 1768. The same year he was returned to Parliament for Ludgershall, a seat he held until 1784, and then represented Malmesbury from 1784 to 1790 and Newport, Isle of Wight from 1790 to 1793. In 1770 he was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Lord Melbourne, Baron of Kilmore, in the County of Cavan, and in 1781 he was created Viscount Melbourne, of Kilmore in the County of Cavan, also in the Peerage of Ireland. In 1815 he was even further honoured when he was made Baron Melbourne, of Melbourne in the County of Derby, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which gave him an automatic seat in the House of Lords.

He inherited Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire.

Lord Melbourne married Elizabeth Milbanke, daughter of Sir Ralph Milbanke, 5th Baronet, in 1769. She was a young woman of great beauty, intelligence and strong character, who quickly came to dominate her husband completely, and steered them into the centre of polite society. The couple had six children, (though only the first-born son can be definitively attributed to Lord Melbourne due to his wife’s many affairs}George is reputed to be the son of George IV; with William and Emily allegedly fathered by Lord Egremont.

Whether Melbourne was made unhappy by his wife’s affairs is unclear: he was a mild, easygoing and rather stupid man who avoided trouble, and generally deferred to his wife, who was by far the stronger and more intelligent partner in the marriage. Their one serious quarrel was caused by the death of their eldest son Pen (who was undoubtedly Melbourne’s child ); he angrily refused to make the same allowance to William (who was almost certainly not Melbourne’s child), suggesting that he felt some degree of resentment of his wife’s conduct. Lady Melbourne, on her side, tolerated his affair with the courtesan Sophia Baddeley.

His children regarded him with what has been described as “kindly contempt”; his daughter Emily said that he was always going wrong and they were always having to put him right; and that although not a heavy drinker, he always seemed drunk

  • Hon. Peniston (3 May 1770 – 24 January 1805)
  • William (15 March 1779 – 24 November 1848), 2nd Viscount Melbourne
  • Frederick (17 April 1782 – 29 January 1853), 3rd Viscount Melbourne
  • Hon. George (11 July 1784 – 2 January 1834)
  • Emily Lamb, Countess Cowper(1787–1869)
  • Harriet Lamb (1789-1803)

Melbourne died in July 1828, aged 83. He was succeeded in his titles by his 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 George Grey 3rd Earl Grey
28 December 1802 – 9 October 1894

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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.

Henry Richard Vassall-Fox 3rd Baron Holland
21 November 1773 – 22 October 1840

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Henry Vassall-Fox

Henry Vassall-Fox 3rd Baron Holland was born at Winterslow House, Wiltshire, the son of Stephen Fox, 2nd Baron Holland and Lady Mary, daughter of John FitzPatrick, 1st Earl of Upper Ossory and Lady Evelyn, daughter of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower. His paternal grandparents were Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland, and Lady Caroline Lennox, the eldest of the famous Lennox Sisters and a great-granddaughter (through an illegitimate line) of King Charles II.

He succeeded in the barony in December 1774, aged one, on the early death of his father, while his mother died shortly before his fifth birthday. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he became the friend of George Canning and John Hookham Frere. Lord Holland’s uncle was the great Whig orator Charles James Fox, and he remained steadily loyal to the Whig party.

On a visit to Paris in 1791 Holland became acquainted with Lafayette and Talleyrand. He took his seat in the House of Lords on 5 October 1796. According to the 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica he for a while “almost … constituted the Whig party in the upper house.” He was appointed to negotiate a treaty with American envoys James Monroe and William Pinkney, was admitted to the Privy Council on 27 August 1806, and on the 15th of October entered the Ministry of All the Talents led by Lord Grenville as Lord Privy Seal, retiring with the rest of his colleagues in March 1807.

Holland led the opposition to the Regency bill in 1811, and he attacked the orders in council and other strong measures of the government taken to counteract Napoleon’s Berlin decrees. He denounced the treaty of 1813 with Sweden which bound Britain to consent to the forcible union of Norway, and he resisted the bill of 1816 for confining Napoleon in Saint Helena. He was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between 1830 and 1834 and 1835 and 1840 in the cabinets of Lord Grey and Lord Melbourne, and he was still in office when he died in October 1840.

Holland’s protests against the measures of the Tory ministers were collected and published, as the Opinions of Lord Holland (1841), by Dr Moylan of Lincoln’s Inn. Lord Holland’s Foreign Reminiscences (1850) contain much amusing gossip from the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era. His Memoirs of the Whig Party (1852) is an important contemporary authority. He also published a small work on Lope de Vega (1806).

After visiting Paris in 1791 Holland again went abroad to travel in France and Italy in 1793. At Florence he met Elizabeth Vassall, at that time Lady Webster, wife of Sir Godfrey Webster, 4th Baronet. She and her husband obtained a divorce, and she married Holland on 6 July 1797, becoming Elizabeth Fox, Baroness Holland. An illegitimate son, Charles Richard Fox, was born to them. He later rose to become a General in the British Army.

They had three more children: the Hon. Stephen Fox (d. 1800), Henry Edward Fox, 4th Baron Holland, and Hon. Mary Elizabeth Fox, married to Thomas Powys, 3rd Baron Lilford. In 1800 he was authorized to take the name of Vassall, and after 1807 he signed himself Vassall Holland, though the name was no part of his title. Lord Holland died in October 1840, aged 66, and was succeeded in his titles by his eldest and only surviving legitimate son, Henry. Lady Holland died in November 1845.

Vassall ward in the London Borough of Lambeth is named after Henry Richard Vassall-Fox who was responsible for the first building development in the area in the 1820s. Roads in the area such as Lord Holland Lane or Foxley Square commemorate this connection.

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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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