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Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon

Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon

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Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

 (1709 – 11 December 1786) was a British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 politician and diplomat.

Family


Clarendon was the second son of William Villiers, 2nd Earl of Jersey
William Villiers, 2nd Earl of Jersey
William Villers, 2nd Earl of Jersey , known as Viscount Villiers from 1697 to 1711, was an English peerJersey was the son of Edward Villiers, 1st Earl of Jersey, and his wife Barbara . He represented Kent in the House of Commons from 1705 to 1708...

 and his wife Judith Herne, daughter of Frederick Herne.

On 30 March 1752 he married Charlotte Capell, daughter of William Capell, 3rd Earl of Essex
William Capell, 3rd Earl of Essex
William Capell, 3rd Earl of Essex, KG, PC was the son of the 2nd Earl of Essex.Capell was one of the founding governors of the charity, the Foundling Hospital, created in October 1739 to care for abandoned children....

 and his wife Jane Hyde, daughter of Henry Hyde, 4th Earl of Clarendon
Henry Hyde, 4th Earl of Clarendon
Henry Hyde, 4th Earl of Clarendon and 2nd Earl of Rochester, PC was an English nobleman and politician. He was styled Lord Hyde from 1682 to 1711.-Life:...

 (of the 1661 creation) and Jane Leveson-Gower. They had four children:
  • Thomas Villiers, 2nd Earl of Clarendon
    Thomas Villiers, 2nd Earl of Clarendon
    Thomas Villiers, 2nd Earl of Clarendon , known as Lord Hyde from 1776 to 1786, was a British peer and Tory Member of Parliament....

     (25 December 1753 – 7 March 1824).
  • John Villiers, 3rd Earl of Clarendon
    John Villiers, 3rd Earl of Clarendon
    John Charles Villiers, 3rd Earl of Clarendon PC , styled The Honourable until 1824, was a British peer and Member of Parliament....

     (14 November 1757 – 22 December 1838).
  • George Villiers
    George Villiers (1759 - 1827)
    George Villiers , styled The Honourable, was a British courtier and politician. The youngest son of the diplomat Lord Hyde , he was an intimate of Princess Amelia and personal supporter of her father, George III. His favour within the Royal Family and his father's influence brought him a number of...

     (23 November 1759 – 21 March 1827). Father of George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon
    George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon
    George William Frederick Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon KG, GCB, PC , was an English diplomat and statesman.-Background and education:...

    .
  • Lady Charlotte Barbara Villiers (27 March 1761 – 9 April 1810).

Political career


Villiers received his education at Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 and then Queens' College, Cambridge
Queens' College, Cambridge
Queens' College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou , and refounded in 1465 by Elizabeth Woodville...

. Following his graduation, he became a diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

.

Villiers became the British envoy to both the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

 and the Electorate of Saxony
Electorate of Saxony
The Electorate of Saxony , sometimes referred to as Upper Saxony, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire. It was established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356...

 from 1740 to 1747. At the time both realms were in personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 under Augustus III of Poland
Augustus III of Poland
Augustus III, known as the Saxon ; ; also Prince-elector Friedrich August II was the Elector of Saxony in 1733-1763, as Frederick Augustus II , King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1734-1763.-Biography:Augustus was the only legitimate son of Augustus II the Strong, Imperial Prince-Elector...

. He was also sent to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, capital of the Archduchy of Austria
Archduchy of Austria
The Archduchy of Austria , one of the most important states within the Holy Roman Empire, was the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy and the predecessor of the Austrian Empire...

, as an envoy to the court of Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma...

 from 1742 to 1743. He was last sent to Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, capital of the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

, as an envoy to the court of Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II was a King in Prussia and a King of Prussia from the Hohenzollern dynasty. In his role as a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, he was also Elector of Brandenburg. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

 from 1746 to 1748.

Villiers was also involved in domestic politics as a member of the British Whig Party
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 which at the time dominated the Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland...

. He was elected to Parliament in the British general election, 1747
British general election, 1747
The British general election, 1747 returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 10th Parliament of Great Britain to be held, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. The election saw Henry Pelham's Whig government increase its majority and...

. He sat as a Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Tamworth
Tamworth (UK Parliament constituency)
Tamworth is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.- History :...

 from 1747 to 1756. He retired from all diplomatic offices at this time.

He was a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty
Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty
The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty were the members of the Board of Admiralty, which exercised command over the Royal Navy.Officially known as the Commissioners for Exercising the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland &c. The Lords...

, one of seven members of the Board of Admiralty exercising command over the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 from 26 February 1748 to 17 November 1756. He served under First Lords of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, PC, FRS was a British statesman who succeeded his grandfather, Edward Montagu, 3rd Earl of Sandwich, as the Earl of Sandwich in 1729, at the age of ten...

 and George Anson, 1st Baron Anson
George Anson, 1st Baron Anson
Admiral of the Fleet George Anson, 1st Baron Anson PC, FRS, RN was a British admiral and a wealthy aristocrat, noted for his circumnavigation of the globe and his role overseeing the Royal Navy during the Seven Years' War...

 throughout his term.

On 3 June 1756, the barony of Hyde held by his wife's ancestors the Earls of Clarendon was revived. Villiers was raised to the peerage as Baron Hyde of Hindon
Hindon, Wiltshire
Hindon is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire, England, about west of Salisbury and south of Warminster. It is in the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Hindon was a market town but is now a village...

 in the County of Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

.

Hyde served as Postmaster General
United Kingdom Postmaster General
The Postmaster General of the United Kingdom is a defunct Cabinet-level ministerial position in HM Government. Aside from maintaining the postal system, the Telegraph Act of 1868 established the Postmaster General's right to exclusively maintain electric telegraphs...

 from 1763 to 1765. On 9 September 1763, he was admitted to the Privy Council
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

. He also served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is, in modern times, a ministerial office in the government of the United Kingdom that includes as part of its duties, the administration of the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster...

 from 1771 to 1782 and again from 1783 to 1786.

On 14 June 1776 the earldom of Clarendon, which had become extinct with the death of Henry Hyde, 4th Earl of Clarendon
Henry Hyde, 4th Earl of Clarendon
Henry Hyde, 4th Earl of Clarendon and 2nd Earl of Rochester, PC was an English nobleman and politician. He was styled Lord Hyde from 1682 to 1711.-Life:...

 in 1753, was revived and Hyde was made Earl of Clarendon. In 1782 he was also made a Baron of the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

, an honour which he received Royal license to use in Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

.

Clarendon returned to the office of Postmaster-General in commission with Henry Carteret, 1st Baron Carteret
Henry Carteret, 1st Baron Carteret
Henry Frederick Carteret, 1st Baron Carteret PC was a British politician, known as the Honourable Henry Thynne until 1776.-Biography:...

 in September 1786. This was to be his final political assignment.

Lord Clarendon died in December 1786, aged 77. He was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son Thomas
Thomas Villiers, 2nd Earl of Clarendon
Thomas Villiers, 2nd Earl of Clarendon , known as Lord Hyde from 1776 to 1786, was a British peer and Tory Member of Parliament....

.

External links