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His Grace
 The Duke of Leeds 

Portrait by Benjamin West, circa 1769

In office
December 23, 1783 – May 1791
Monarch George III
Prime Minister Hon. William Pitt the Younger
Preceded by The Earl Temple
Succeeded by The Lord Grenville

Born 29 January 1751 (2010-01-16T18:34:09)
Died 31 January 1799 (2010-01-16T18:34:10)
Nationality British
Political party Tory
Spouse(s) (1) Lady Amelia Darcy
Catherine Anguish
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

Francis Godolphin Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds KG, PC (29 January 1751 – 31 January 1799), styled Marquess of Carmarthen until 1789, was a British politician. He notably served as Foreign Secretary under William Pitt the Younger from 1783 to 1791.


Background and education

Leeds was the son of Thomas Osborne, 4th Duke of Leeds, by his wife Lady Mary, daughter of Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, and Henrietta Godolphin, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough. He was educated at Westminster School and at Christ Church, Oxford.

Political career

Leeds was a Member of Parliament for Eye in 1774 and for Helston from 1774 to 1775; in 1776 having received a writ of acceleration as Baron Osborne, he entered the House of Lords, and in 1777 Lord Chamberlain of the Queen's Household. In the House of Lords he was prominent as a determined foe of the prime minister, Lord North, who, after he had resigned his position as chamberlain, deprived him of the office of Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1780. He regained this, however, two years later.

Early in 1783 Leeds was selected as ambassador to France, but he did not take up this appointment, becoming instead Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs under William Pitt the Younger in December of the same year. As secretary he was little more than a cipher, and he left office in April 1791. Subsequently he took little part in politics.


Leeds married firstly Lady Amelia, daughter of Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, who became Baroness Conyers in her own right in 1778, in 1773. They were divorced in 1779. He married secondly Catherine, daughter of Thomas Anguish, in 1788. There were children from both marriages. Leeds died in London in January 1799, aged 48, and was succeeded in the dukedom by his eldest son from his first marriage, George. His second son from his first marriage, Lord Francis Osborne, was created Baron Godolphin in 1832. The Duchess of Leeds died in October 1837, aged 73. Leeds's Political Memoranda were edited by Oscar Browning for the Camden Society in 1884, and there are eight volumes of his official correspondence in the British Museum.


Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Richard Burton Phillipson
William Cornwallis
Member of Parliament for Eye
With: Richard Burton Phillipson
Succeeded by
Richard Burton Phillipson
John St John
Preceded by
William Evelyn
The Earl of Clanbrassil
Member of Parliament for Helston
1774 – 1775
With: Francis Owen
Succeeded by
Francis Cockayne Cust
Philip Yorke
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl De La Warr
Lord Chamberlain to The Queen
1777 – 1780
Succeeded by
The Earl of Ailesbury
Preceded by
The Earl Temple
Foreign Secretary
1783 – 1791
Succeeded by
The Lord Grenville
Preceded by
The Lord Sydney
Leader of the House of Lords
1789 – 1790
Honorary titles
Title last held by
The Viscount of Irvine
Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire
1778 – 1780
Succeeded by
The Earl of Carlisle
Preceded by
The Earl of Carlisle
Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire
1782 – 1799
Succeeded by
The Earl of Carlisle
Title last held by
The Marquess of Rockingham
Vice-Admiral of Yorkshire
1795 – 1799
Title next held by
The Lord Mulgrave
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Osborne
Duke of Leeds
1789 – 1799
Succeeded by
George Osborne
Baron Osborne
(writ in acceleration)

1776 – 1799


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