CECIL, James, Visct. Cranborne (1748-1823).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



20 Dec. 1774 - 1780
8 Sept. - 19 Sept. 1780

Family and Education

b. 4 Sept. 1748, o.s. of James, 6th Earl of Salisbury, by Elizabeth, da. of Edward Keet of Canterbury, sis. of John Keet, rector of Hatfield. educ. Eton 1757-65. m. 2 Dec. 1773, Lady Emily Mary Hill, da. of Wills, 1st Earl of Hillsborough, 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 19 Sept. 1780; cr. Mq. of Salisbury 25 Aug. 1789; K.G. 12 June 1793.

Offices Held

Ld. Lt. Herts. 1771- d.; P.C. 27 Sept. 1780; treasurer of the Household 1780-2; ld. chamberlain Dec. 1783-1804; jt. postmaster general 1816- d.


Cranborne was returned on Lord Bruce’s interest at Great Bedwyn, and voted regularly with Administration. In 1780 Robinson noted in his survey: ‘Lord Cranborne will most likely be a peer very soon, and therefore desires to have only a temporary seat.’ He was returned at Launceston on the interest of the Duke of Northumberland, and at Plympton on Lord Edgcumbe’s interest, but almost immediately succeeded to the peerage. According to the Gentleman’s Magazine (1833, i. 564) he was ‘not ... remarkable for any active part in Parliament’, and his only recorded speech, 11 Feb. 1780, was against the Hertfordshire petition presented by William Plumer.1

He died 13 June 1823.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Almon, xvii. 91.