WYNDHAM, Charles (1710-63), of Orchard Wyndham, Som.
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Family and Education
b. 19 Aug. 1710, 1st s. of Sir William Wyndham. educ. Westminster 1719; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1725; Grand Tour (Germany, France, Italy) 1728-30 with George Lyttelton and Henry Bathurst. m. 12 Mar. 1751, Alicia Maria, da. of George Carpenter, 2nd Baron Carpenter of Killaghy [I], 4s. 3da. suc. fa. as 4th Bt. 17 June 1740, and mat. uncle Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset, as 2nd Earl of Egremont 7 Feb. 1759.
Ld. lt. Cumb. 1751-9; custos rot. Cumb. 1751-d.; v.-adm. Cumb. 1755-d.; first plenip. to intended congress at Augsburg and P.C. 8 July 1761; sec. of state, southern dept. Oct. 1761-d.; ld. lt. Suss. 1762-d.
Wyndham was ‘the son of the great Sir William Wyndham, and grandson of the old Duke of Somerset, whose prodigious pride he inherited more than his father’s abilities, though he had a great deal of humour’.1 Returned at a by-election for Bridgwater in 1735, after unsuccessfully contesting Launceston as a Tory in 1734, he voted with the Opposition. In 1741 he was tricked out of his seat by George Bubb Dodington, who, apparently through the good offices of Lord Gower, had also been returned by Lord Thanet for Appleby in case he failed at Bridgwater.
The treachery I met with from Mr. Dodington [Wyndham told Gower] could not be suspected of any man, wherefore I beg that the protection you gave him may give you no uneasiness ... However mortified I am at being out of Parliament, I am far from envying Mr. Dodington his seat for Bridgwater, if I was to have got it by the means he did, and he had long ago taken care that it was impossible for me to get it by any other. I humbly thank you for being so kind as to write to Lord Thanet about Appleby.2
The Prince of Wales, Lord Carteret, and all the heads of the Opposition were anxious that he should be adopted as a candidate for Westminster, should the sitting Member there be unseated on petition, as was expected.3 But in the end he was returned for the seat vacated by Dodington at Appleby.
After Walpole’s fall Wyndham went over to the Administration, attaching himself to Carteret, his kinsman. In the debate on the Hanoverians on 18 Jan. 1744, a Tory wrote:
There was not an opprobrious word in the English language that was not made use of and applied to Hanover— and almost as much dirt flung at Lord Carteret, which only Sir Ch. Wyndham endeavoured to wipe off, but stuck himself in the mire and, plunged as deep in the mud as any hero in the Dunciad.4
A month later, he seconded the loyal address upon the threatened French invasion to restore the Stuarts.5
In 1747 Wyndham’s change of party made it necessary for him to seek a new seat, which he found at Taunton. On the death of his uncle, the 7th Duke of Somerset, in 1750, he succeeded to the Percy estates at Cockermouth in Cumberland and to Petworth in Sussex. Having ‘miscarried with Lord Granville’ [Carteret], he paid ‘assiduous court to Newcastle’, then attached himself to Fox,6 and under George III was made secretary of state by Bute. He died of apoplexy caused by over-eating, 21 Aug. 1763.7