LENNOX, Lord George Henry (1737-1805), of West Stoke, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. 29 Nov. 1737, 2nd surv. s. of Charles, 2nd Duke of Richmond, by Sarah, da. and coh. of William, 1st Earl Cadogan. educ. Westminster 1749. m. 25 Dec. 1759, Louisa, da. of William Henry Kerr, Lord Ancram, 1s. 3da.
Ensign 2 Ft. Gds. 1754; a.d.c. to Duke of Cumberland in Germany 1757; lt.-col. 33 Ft. 1758; served on expedition to Cherbourg Aug. 1758; in Germany 1760-1; col. 1762; col. 25 Ft. Dec. 1762- d.; brig.-gen. in Portugal 1763; maj-gen. 1772; lt.-gen. 1777; constable of the Tower of London 1784-5; gov. Plymouth 1784- d.; gen. 1793.
Sec. of embassy at Paris Aug. 1765-July 1766; minister July-Oct. 1766; P.C. 9 Feb. 1784.
Lennox served in Germany during the seven years’ war, and was present at the battles of Minden and Campen. The King had a high opinion of him as a soldier.1 Politically, he lived in the shadow and under the protection of his brother the Duke of Richmond. He sat in Parliament on the family interest, and followed his brother in politics. In 1760 Richmond quarrelled with the King because officers junior to Lennox had been promoted over his head.2 Lennox supported the Administrations of Bute and Grenville (but voted against Government, 29 Jan. 1765, on Meredith’s motion condemning general warrants3), and went over to the Rockinghams in 1765. In 1767 he declined the offer of the embassy to Russia, and wrote to Conway on 1 Sept.:4
Never having had any view of getting employed in this line, I have not given sufficient application to it, and the short practice I had in business at Paris does not qualify me for so important a trust; besides, as I have already spent a great deal of my time abroad and that it is uncertain how soon my profession may again call me away, I wish to enjoy my own home at least for some time longer.
In 1769 he went with his regiment to Minorca. In 1771 he quarrelled with the governor, John Mostyn; was court martialled for using disrespectful language to a superior officer; and ordered to make a verbal apology. He seems to have returned to England c.1773: on 25 Feb. 1774 he voted for the motion to make Grenville’s Election Act permanent. In 1774 there was a contested election for Sussex, but Lennox’s seat was not in dispute. ‘The friends of both parties found it necessary to disclaim all intentions of disturbing Lord George in his seat’, wrote the Gentleman’s Magazine in its obituary;5 and according to a writer in the Public Ledger in 1779 Lennox was ‘beloved to a degree approximating [to] adoration in the county where he lives’.
From 1774 to 1782 Lennox voted consistently with the Opposition. When the Rockinghams returned to office Richmond claimed for him the governorship of Portsmouth, and engaged in a hot dispute on his behalf with Lord Pembroke. He wrote to Shelburne on 23 May 1782:6
My brother has through life acted a most honourable and affectionate part to me, and his public conduct has of course made him lose the common advantages of his profession ... His circumstances are but indifferent and his family is large, and now that the only thing he wishes for is vacant and those he has acted with in power, I cannot but feel most anxious for his success.
Lennox was not appointed. He did not vote on Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783; but voted for parliamentary reform, 7 May 1783; against Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783; and supported Pitt’s Administration. He retired from Parliament in 1790, and was succeeded in his seat by his son.
He died 22 Mar. 1805.