NORTH, Hon. Francis (1704-90), of Wroxton Abbey, Oxon.
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Family and Education
b. 13 Apr. 1704, 1st s. of Francis North, 2nd Baron Guilford, ld. of Trade 1712-14, by Alice, da. and coh. of Sir John Brownlow, 3rd Bt., of Humby, Lincs. educ. Eton 1718; Trinity, Oxf. 1721; Grand Tour c.1722. m. (1) 17 June 1728, Lady Lucy Montagu (d. 7 May 1734), da. of George, 1st Earl of Halifax, 1s. 1da.; (2) 24 Jan. 1736, Elizabeth (d. 21 Sept. 1745), da. of Sir Arthur Kaye, 3rd Bt., of Woodsome, Yorks., wid. of George Legge, Visct. Lewisham, 2s. 3da.; (3) 13 June 1751, Catherine, da. and eventually h. of Sir Robert Furnese, 2nd Bt., wid. of Lewis Watson, 2nd Earl of Rockingham, s.p. suc. fa. as 3rd Baron Guilford, 17 Oct. 1729; cos. William as 7th Baron North 31 Oct. 1734; cr. Earl of Guilford 8 Apr. 1752.
Gent. of the bedchamber to Frederick, Prince of Wales Oct. 1730-51; gov. to Prince George, later George III, Sept. 1750-Apr. 1751; treasurer to Queen Consort Dec. 1773-d.
High steward, Banbury 1766-d.
North’s family acquired Wroxton, three miles from Banbury, in the reign of Charles II, by the marriage of Lord Keeper Guilford to Lady Frances Pope, the daughter and heir of Thomas, 3rd Earl of Downe. His father, a Tory, was dismissed from office on the accession of George I, but went over to ‘the court interest for some trifling pension’ in 1725.1 After coming of age, he was returned for Banbury as a Whig on his family’s interest, succeeding to the peerage two years later. He then entered the household of Frederick, Prince of Wales, eventually becoming for a short time governor to the future George III, whose resemblance to his own son, the future prime minister, was so striking that Frederick is said to have remarked that ‘one of their wives had played her husband false’.2 George II called him ‘a very good poor creature, but a very weak man’,3 and Horace Walpole ‘an amiable worthy man, of no great genius’.4 He died 4 Aug. 1790, only two years before the death of his son, the great Lord North.