Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere: Wikis


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The Right Honourable
 The Earl of Ellesmere 

Portrait of the Earl of Ellesmere
by Edwin Longsden Long

In office
21 June 1828 – 30 July 1830
Monarch George IV
William IV
Prime Minister The Duke of Wellington
Preceded by Hon. William Lamb
Succeeded by Sir Henry Hardinge

In office
30 July 1830 – 15 November 1830
Monarch William IV
Prime Minister The Duke of Wellington
Preceded by Sir Henry Hardinge
Succeeded by Charles Watkin Williams Wynn

Born 1 January 1800 (1800-01)
Died 18 February 1857 (1857-02-19)
Nationality British
Political party Tory
Spouse(s) Harriet Greville (d. 1866)
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere KG, PC (1 January 1800 – 18 February 1857), known as Lord Francis Leveson-Gower until 1833, was a British politician, writer, traveller and patron of the arts.


Background and education

Ellesmere was the second son of George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland and his wife, Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.

Political career

Ellesmere entered Parliament in 1822 as member for the pocket borough of Bletchingley in Surrey, a seat he held until 1826. He afterwards sat for Sutherland between 1826 and 1831, and for South Lancashire between 1835 and 1846. In politics he was a moderate Conservative of independent views, as was shown by his supporting the proposal for establishing the University of London, by his making and carrying a motion for the endowment of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland, and by his advocating free trade long before Sir Robert Peel yielded on the question. Appointed a Lord of the Treasury in 1827, he held the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1828 till July 1830, when he became Secretary at War for a short time.

In 1833 he assumed, by Royal Licence, the surname of Egerton, having succeeded on the death of his father to the estates which the latter inherited from the Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater.[1] In 1846 he was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Brackley, of Brackley in the County of Northampton, and Earl of Ellesmere, of Ellesmere in the County of Salop.[2]

Writings, travels and art patronage

Ellesmere's claims to remembrance are founded chiefly on, his services to literature and the fine arts. Before he was twenty he printed for private circulation a volume of poems, which he followed up after a short interval by the publication of a translation of Goethe's Faust, one of the earliest that appeared in England, with some translations of German lyrics and a few original poems. In 1839 he visited the Mediterranean and the Holy Land. His impressions of travel were recorded in Mediterranean Sketches (1843), and in the notes to a poem entitled The Pilgrimage. He published several other works in prose and verse. His literary reputation secured for him the position of rector of the University of Aberdeen in 1841.

Lord Ellesmere was a munificent and yet discriminating patron of artists. To the collection of pictures which he inherited from his great-uncle, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, he made numerous additions, and he built a gallery to which the public were allowed free access. Lord Ellesmere served as president of the Royal Geographical Society and as president of the Royal Asiatic Society, and he was a trustee of the National Gallery. He also initiated the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, by donating the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare. Ellesmere Island was named after him.


On 18 June 1822, he married Harriet Catherine née Greville, a great-great-granddaughter of the 5th Baron Brooke. They had eleven children, including:

  • George Egerton, 2nd Earl of Ellesmere (1823-1862);
  • Hon. Francis Egerton (1824-1895), who became an admiral, and was a Member of Parliament for two constituencies; he married in 1865 (Lady) Louisa Caroline née Cavendish, daughter of the 7th Duke of Devonshire (by marriage); they had issue;
  • Hon. Algernon Fulke Egerton (1825-1891), who was a Member of Parliament for three constituencies, and married in 1863 Hon. Alice Louisa Cavendish, a niece of the 7th Duke of Cavendish; they had issue;
  • Hon. Arthur Frederick Egerton (1829-1866), who became Lieutenant-Colonel, and married in 1858 Helen Smith, daughter of Martin Tucker Smith and his wife, Louisa Ridley; they had issue;
  • Lady Alice Harriot Frederica Egerton (1830-1928), who married George Byng, 3rd Earl of Strafford in 1854; they had no issue;
  • Lady Blanche Egerton (1832-1894), who married John Montagu, 7th Earl of Sandwich in 1865 as his second wife; they had no issue;
  • Hon. Granville Egerton (c. 1834-1851), who was killed at sea; unmarried, seemingly no issue.

He was succeeded by his, George. On the extinction of the senior line of the Dukedom of Sutherland in 1963, his great-great-grandson, the fifth Earl, succeeded as 6th Duke of Sutherland.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Marquess of Titchfield
Edward Edwardes
Member of Parliament for Bletchingley
with Edward Edwardes

Succeeded by
Edward Edwardes
William Russell
Preceded by
George Macpherson-Grant
Member of Parliament for Sutherland
Succeeded by
Sir Hugh Innes
Preceded by
George Wood
Viscount Molyneux
Member of Parliament for South Lancashire
with Richard Bootle-Wilbraham 1835–1844
William Entwistle 1844–1846

Succeeded by
William Entwistle
William Brown
Political offices
Preceded by
Lord Stanley
Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
Succeeded by
Horace Twiss
Preceded by
William Lamb
Chief Secretary for Ireland
1828 – 1830
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Hardinge
Preceded by
Sir Henry Hardinge
Secretary at War
Succeeded by
Charles Watkin Williams-Wynn
Academic offices
Preceded by
Rector of the University of Aberdeen
1841 – Date unknown
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Sefton
Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Burlington
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl of Ellesmere
Succeeded by
George Egerton


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