SACKVILLE, Charles, Earl of Middlesex (1711-69).
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Family and Education
b. 6 Feb. 1711, 1st s. of Lionel Cranfield, 1st Duke of Dorset, by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Gen. Walter Colyear (bro. of David, 1st Earl of Portmore [S]); bro. of Lord George and Lord John Sackville. educ. Westminster 1720-8; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1728; Grand Tour. m. 30 Oct. 1744 (with £130,000)1 Grace, da. and h. of Richard Boyle, 2nd Visct. Shannon [I], s.p.; styled Lord Buckhurst till 1720 and Earl of Middlesex 1720-65. suc. fa. as 2nd Duke 10 Oct. 1765.
Ld. of the Treasury 1743-7; master of the horse to Prince of Wales 1747-51; P.C. 10 Feb. 1766; 1d. 1t. Kent 1766-d.
In 1734 Lord Middlesex contested Kent unsuccessfully but was returned for the family borough of East Grinstead, which he represented till 1742, when Newcastle arranged for him to be brought in as knight of the shire at a by-election for Sussex.2 During the last weeks of Walpole’s Administration he and his brother, Lord John, abstained from divisions on contested election petitions.3 Returning to his allegiance after Walpole’s fall, he was appointed to the Treasury board when Pelham reconstituted it on becoming chancellor of the Exchequer. The only member of the board not to resign in February 1746, he was allowed to retain his place on Pelham’s return to office, but next year he joined the new Opposition launched by the Prince of Wales. Dismissed from the Treasury, he was not re-nominated for Sussex at the general election, nor, having quarrelled with his father, was he returned for East Grinstead. After unsuccessfully contesting Queenborough and Seaford on the Prince’s interest he was brought in for Old Sarum by Frederick’s election manager, Thomas Pitt. Appointed master of the horse to the Prince, he co-operated with Bubb Dodington at Leicester House, where his wife, the Prince’s reputed mistress, was mistress of the robes to the Princess and his brother, Lord John, was a lord of the bedchamber.4 In 1750 he intervened unsuccessfully against his father at East Grinstead.5 When the heir-apparent’s household was reconstituted after Frederick’s death in 1751
the King offered the Princess a master of the horse, but told her it must be a nobleman, and there was one to whom he had an objection: this was Lord Middlesex. She desired none; if she had been disposed to contend, it would not have been of all men in favour of the Lord in question.6
Remaining in opposition, he voted in favour of a reduction of the army in November 1751.7 In 1752 Dodington negotiated a reconciliation between him and the Duke of Dorset, who consented to see him ‘on condition that he would form no pretention to have his debts paid, or to a seat in Parliament, or to a place’.8 His debts appear to have been due to subsidising opera, to which he was passionately addicted. On 4 May 1743 Horace Walpole wrote to Mann:
Lord Middlesex is the impresario, and must ruin the house of Sackville by a course of these follies. Besides what he will lose this year, he has not paid his share to the losses of the last, and yet is singly undertaking another for next season, with the almost certainty of losing between four or five thousand pounds to which the deficiences of the opera generally amount now. The Duke of Dorset has desired the King not to subscribe; but Lord Middlesex is so obstinate, that this will probably only make him lose a thousand pound more.
He died 5 or 6 Jan. 1769.
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: Romney R. Sedgwick
- 1. Walpole to Mann, 16 Aug. 1744.
- 2. Hen. Pelham to Newcastle, 29 May 1741, Add. 32697, f. 13.
- 3. Owen, Pelhams, 31, 33.
- 4. Walpole, Mems. Geo. II, i. 76; Pelham to Middlesex, 14 and 20 June 1747, Newcastle (Clumber) mss.
- 5. Hardwicke to Newcastle, 3 Aug. 1750, Add. 32722, f. 42.
- 6. Mems. Geo. II, i. 96-97.
- 7. Coxe, Pelham, ii. 207.
- 8. Dodington Diary, 185.