STANHOPE, Philip Dormer, Lord Stanhope (1694-1773).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

3 May 1715 - 1722
1722 - May 1723

Family and Education

b. 22 Sept. 1694, 1st s. of Philip Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Chesterfield; bro. of Hon. Charles, John and Sir William Stanhope. educ. Trinity Hall, Camb. 1712-14; Grand Tour 1714-15. m. 14 May 1733, Petronille Melusine von der Schulenberg, suo jure Countess of Walsingham, illegit. da. of George I by Ermingarde Melusina, suo jure Duchess of Kendal, s.p. legit. suc. fa. as 4th Earl 9 Feb. 1726; K.G. 18 June 1730.

Offices Held

Gent. of the bedchamber to Prince of Wales 1715-27; ld. of the bedchamber 1727-30; capt. yeomen of the guard 1723-5, P.C. 26 Feb. 1728; ambassador to The Hague 1728-32; ld. steward of the Household 1730-3; ld. lt. [I] Jan. 1745-Oct. 1746; one of the lds. justices of the realm May 1745; sec. of state, northern dept. Oct. 1746-Feb. 1748.

Biography

On the accession of George I, the future Lord Chesterfield abandoned the grand tour to return to England, was introduced to the new King by his kinsman, James Stanhope, and was appointed a gentleman of the Prince’s bedchamber.1 Returned for St. Germans on the recommendation of James Stanhope, he wrote that ‘from the day I was elected to the day that I spoke I thought nor dreamed of nothing but speaking’.2

After his maiden speech on 5 Aug. 1715, calling for Ormonde’s impeachment, a Tory Member, drawing him aside, threatened to reveal his being still under age if he voted as he had spoken, whereupon he ‘answered nothing, but making a low bow, quitted the House directly and went to Paris’.3 He spoke for the septennial bill in 1716. As a member of the Prince’s household he voted against the Government during the split in the Whig party, 1717-20, except in the case of the peerage bill, on which he was put down by Craggs as ‘con’ and by Sunderland as ‘pro’, eventually voting for it along with the other Stanhopes in the Commons. Lady Cowper reported in 1720:

the Prince has been so rough with little Lord Stanhope about voting in the South Sea affair [the proposals of the South Sea Company to take over the national debt], that he has talked of resigning for a good while.4

In March 1721, reporting the proceedings against Charles Stanhope, Thomas Brodrick commented:

Lord Stanhope ... carried off a pretty many by mentioning in the strongest terms the memory of the late lord of that name.5

At the opening of the next Parliament he moved the re-election of Spencer Compton as Speaker.6 He did not stand for re-election on vacating his seat by accepting the office of captain of the yeomen of the guard in 1723. Succeeding to the peerage in 1726, he went into opposition over the excise bill in 1733, thereafter holding office only from 1745 to 1748, when he retired.

He died 24 Mar. 1773.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks

Notes

  • 1. Maty, Mems. Life Ld. Chesterfield, i. 19.
  • 2. Letter to his son, 15 Mar. 1754. Letters of Chesterfield, ed. Dobrée, 2102.
  • 3. Mat