SACKVILLE (afterwards GERMAIN), Lord George (1726-85), of Stoneland Lodge, Suss. and Drayton, Northants.
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Family and Education
b. 26 Jan. 1716, 3rd s. of Lionel Cranfield, 1st Duke of Dorset; bro. of Charles, Earl of Middlesex, and Lord John Sackville. educ. Westminster 1723-31; Trinity, Dublin, 1731; Irish bar 1734. m. 3 Sept. 1754, Diana, da. and coh. of John Sambrooke (bro. of Sir Samuel Sambrooke, or Vanacker-Sambrooke, 3rd Bt. M.P.), 2s. 3da. suc. fa. in estate of Stoneland Lodge 1765; and to Drayton on d. of Lady Elizabeth Germain in 1769, taking name of Germain; cr. Visct. Sackville 11 Feb. 1782.
M.P. [I] 1733-69.
Capt. 6 Drag. Gds. 1737; lt.-col. 28 Ft. 1740; col. army 1745; col. 20 Ft. 1746-9, 12 Drags. 1749-50, 6 Drag. Gds. 1750-7; maj.-gen. 1755; col. 2 Drag. Gds. 1757-9; lt.-gen. of the Ordnance 1757-9; lt.-gen. 1758; c.-in-c. British forces, Germany Oct. 1758; dismissed the service 1759.
Ranger, Phoenix Park 1736-d.; clerk of the Council [I] 1737-d.; P.C. [I] 19 Sept. 1751; chief sec. [I] 1751-5; P.C. [GB] 27 Jan. 1758-25 Apr. 1760, 20 Dec. 1765-d.; jt. vice-treasurer [I] Dec. 1765-July 1766; first ld. of Trade Nov. 1775-Nov. 1779; sec. of state for American dept. Nov. 1775-Feb. 1782.
When the Duke of Dorset went to Ireland as lord lieutenant in 1731 he took Lord George Sackville with him, bringing him into the Irish Parliament at the age of 17, appointing him to two Irish sinecures, and giving him a commission in a regiment on the Irish establishment, from which he exchanged into an English regiment in 1740. Returned for Dover in 1741 by the Duke of Dorset as warden of the Cinque Ports, he served in Flanders and Scotland, was wounded at Fontenoy, and was commended by the Duke of Cumberland for showing ‘not only his courage but also a disposition to his trade that I don’t always find in those of a higher rank.’1 In Parliament he is described as defending Cumberland ‘in a masterly manner’ against attacks on his administration of the army.2 When Dorset went back to Ireland in 1751, Sackville, as his chief secretary, and Archbishop Stone, the primate, became the real rulers of the country, where they aroused violent opposition, marked by attacks on their personal characters.
The chronicle is rather scandalous [Horace Walpole wrote to Mann, 13 May 1752]. Lord George, the Duke’s third son and governor, a very brave man and a very good speaker, is supposed to have a seraglio which is not at all in the style of a country that is famous for furnishing rich widows with second husbands. His friend, the primate ... is accused of other cardinalesque dispositions too.
Horace Walpole elaborates this theme in a passage omitted from the published edition of his Memoirs of George II:
Yet in so Cyprian an isle was the metropolitan himself accused of wayward passions, more consonant to the life of a cardinal than to the supremacy of so orthodox a flock. His friend, Lord George, was suspected of the same heresy, for certainly in both it was mere matter of suspicion, and had brought over a young Scotch officer, who being professed to be aide-de-camp to the primate, was picked out as the centre at which all the arrows of satire were discharged.
In 1755 Sackville returned to England with the prospect of rising to the top of the tree, either in politics or in the army. Four years later his career seemed to have been irrevocably closed by Minden, but he made a new one in the next reign. He died 26 Aug. 1785.