Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere

Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere

Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere KG PC (1 January 1800–18 February 1857) was the second son of the 1st Duke of Sutherland and his wife, Elizabeth.

Career and public life

He was known by his patronymic as Lord Francis Leveson-Gower until 1833, when 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. Educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, he entered Parliament soon after attaining his majority as member for the pocket borough of Bletchingly in Surrey. He afterwards sat for Sutherland and for South Lancashire, which he represented when he was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Brackley, of Brackley in the County of Northampton, and Earl of Ellesmere in 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.

His 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 his very agreeably written "Mediterranean Sketches" (1843), and in the notes to a poem entitled "The Pilgrimage". He published several other works in prose and verse, all displaying a fine literary taste. 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 splendid collection of pictures which he inherited from his great-uncle, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, he made numerous additions, and he built a noble 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. Ellesmere Island was named after him.

He was succeeded by his son (1823-1862) as 2nd Earl, and his grandson (b. 1847) as 3rd Earl. On the extinction of the senior line of the Dukedom of Sutherland in 1963, his great-great-grandson, the 5th Earl, succeeded as 6th Duke of Sutherland.

Family and children

On 18 June 1822, he married Harriet Catherine née Greville, a great-great-granddaughter of the 5th Baron Brooke. They had eleven children, of whom seven are known:
* George Granville Francis 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 Henry Charles Byng, 3rd Earl of Strafford in 1854; they had no issue;
* Lady Blanche Egerton (1832-1894), who married John William 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.



NAME = Egerton, Francis, 1st Earl of Ellesmere
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Earl of Ellesmere and politician
DATE OF BIRTH = 1 January 1800
DATE OF DEATH = 18 February 1857

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