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Prime Minister Morel's

Watson-Wentworth, Charles, 1730-1782

  • GB-2014-WSA-17788
  • Person
  • 1730-1782

WATSON-WENTWORTH, CHARLES, 2ND MARQUIS OF ROCKINGHAM, brother of William Watson-Wentworth, Viscount Higham (qv); b. 13 May 1730; adm. Apr 1738 (Morel's); styled Viscount Higham 1739-46, Earl of Malton 1746-50; it is related that on one occasion while he was at school he “dressed himself up in a hoop and petticoat” and hiring a sedan chair called upon Dr. Nicoll, the Head Master, and asked to be shown over the School (Mrs Stirling, ed., The Hothams, ii, 16); served as a volunteer under the Duke of Cumberland during the insurrection of 1745-6 (Lord Albemarle, Fifty Years of my Life, 1876, ii, 331-2); Grand Tour (Italy, Germany) 1748-50; created Earl of Malton (I) 17 Sep 1750; succ. father as 2nd Marquis of Rockingham 14 Dec 1750; a Lord of the Bedchamber 18 Jul 1751 – Oct 1762; Lord Lieut., Yorkshire West Riding 18 Jul 1751 – 25 Feb 1763, and from 12 Sep 1765; Vice-Adm., Yorkshire 1755- Jan 1763 and from 1776; KG 6 May 1760; bearer of sceptre and orb at Coronation of George III 22 Sep 1761; resigned from Bedchamber Oct 1762 and dismissed from Lieutenancy and Vice-Admiralty of Yorkshire Jan-Feb 1763; on Pitt’s refusal of office in Jul 1765 Rockingham formed a new administration; Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury 10 Jul 1765 – Jul 1766; Privy Councillor 10 Jul 1765; annoyed George III by repealing the Stamp Act, refusing allowances to the King’s brothers, and condemning General Warrants; dismissed from office Jul 1766; led opposition in House of Lords 1767-82; declared for the independencve of the American Colonies, and supported Sir George Savile’s bill for the partial enfranchisement of Roman Catholics; formed his second ministry in Mar 1782; Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury from 27 Mar 1782; conceded legislative independence to Ireland and initiated reforms to curtail the power of the Crown; FRS 7 Nov 1751; FSA 13 Feb 1752; member, Society of Dilettanti 1755; Busby Trustee 14 Apr 1763; a prominent Whig politician; a patron of the Turf and owner of Allabaculia, winner of the first St. Leger in 1776; m. 26 Feb 1752 Mary, dau. of Thomas Bright (formerly Liddell), Badsworth, Yorks .; d. 1 Jul 1782. DNB.