NORTH, George Augustus (1757-1802).
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Family and Education
b. 11 Sept. 1757, 1st s. of Frederick, Lord North. educ. Eton 1766-74; Trinity, Oxf. 1774. m. (1) 24 Sept. 1785, Maria (d. 23 Apr. 1794), da. of Hon. George Hobart, 1da.; (2) 28 Feb. 1796, Susan, da. of Thomas Coutts, banker, 2da. suc. fa. as 3rd Earl of Guilford 5 Aug. 1792.
Comptroller of the Queen’s Household, 1781-4; under-sec. of state for Home affairs Apr.-Dec. 1783.
George North inherited many of his father’s qualities and something of his appearance. The 3rd Lord Holland wrote about him:1
He was of an indolent, careless disposition, easily satisfied with his company, averse to, if not incapable of, any extraordinary exertion of mind ... Yet he had many of the qualities requisite to form a leading public man—high honour, great frankness, a sound understanding, considerable talents for public speaking, and a temper more conciliatory than any man, Mr. Fox excepted, among the leaders of Opposition ... Even in wit and humour, though confessedly inferior to Lord North, he was by no means deficient.
His first constituency was the Treasury borough of Harwich. His boon companions during his father’s Administration were members of the Opposition, and in 1783 he took a leading part in bringing about the Fox-North Coalition. He was one of the commissioners appointed in Fox’s East India bill. At the general election of 1784 he had some difficulty in finding a seat. Harwich was barred to him, and he was mentioned for Cricklade, Petersfield, and Wells, before being returned for Wootton Bassett on the interest of his relatives, the St. Johns. For the remainder of his life he was a strong supporter of Fox, and in 1787 was appointed one of the managers of Warren Hastings’s impeachment. So long as his father was in the Commons, George North was in the shadow and spoke rarely; but after 1790 he more frequently took part in debate.
He died 20 Apr. 1802.
Ref Volumes: 1754-1790
Author: J. A. Cannon
- 1. Mems. of the Whig Party, 87.