CHOLMONDELEY, George Horatio, Earl of Rocksavage (1792-1870).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



21 Feb. 1817 - 21 Dec. 1821

Family and Education

b. 16 Jan. 1792 at Paris, 1st s. of George James, 1st Mq. of Cholmondeley, by Lady Georgiana Charlotte Bertie, da. of Peregrine, 3rd Duke of Ancaster. educ. Eton 1805. m. (1) 20 Oct. 1812, Caroline (d. 12 Oct. 1815), da. of Lt.-Gen. Sir Colin Campbell, s.p.; (2) 11 May 1830, Lady Susan Caroline Somerset, da. of Henry Charles Somerset*, 6th Duke of Beaufort, s.p. summ. to Lords in his fa.’s barony as Lord Newburgh 5 Jan. 1822; suc. fa. as 2nd Mq. of Cholmondeley 10 Apr. 1827; mother as jt. hered. gt. chamberlain 1838.

Offices Held

PC 19 July 1830.

Constable, Castle Rising 1858- d.


Viscount Malpas (as he was then styled) was variously described in 1812 as ‘a young man of effeminate manners, not promising much manliness of character’ and as ‘rather a quiz; and has the manners of a man of 50’.1 In that year he was at Palermo and reported to have ‘declared himself a Catholic’, this at a time when his father, a Whig peer, had turned courtier and obtained a Household place from the Prince Regent, to be followed in 1815 by a marquessate. By the time he entered Parliament, Rocksavage (as he was now styled) had forsworn Catholicism and was

strongly combattu ... by an overleaping towards Methodism. Mr Wilberforce has got hold of him and lent him some of his evangelical books which he savours, for his whole mind is upon religion ... Lady Cholmondeley wishes him to remain a Catholic rather than turn Methodist, but Lord Cholmondeley says he prefers the religion that will allow of a seat in Parliament and of being in office.2

Rocksavage was returned on his father’s interest for Castle Rising after Cholmondeley had induced his sitting nominee to vacate for him. He gave a silent support to administration. He voted for the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June 1817, and for the ducal marriage grant, 15 Apr. 1818. On 8 Apr. 1819 he was a defaulter and on 3 May, ironically, his name was struck off the anti-Catholic majority list, because he had arrived late.3 He voted against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May, for the foreign enlistment bill, 10 June, and was in town as late as 23 Dec. 1819 supporting repressive legislation.

Religion remained his chief preoccupation. He died 8 May 1870.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Farington, vii. 104; Add. 48229, f. 288.
  • 2. Jerningham Letters, ii. 17, 102.
  • 3. Parl. Deb. xl. 79.