Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland

  (Redirected from Baron Prudhoe)

Admiral Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland, KG, PC (15 December 1792 – 12 February 1865), styled Lord Algernon Percy from birth until 1816 and known as Lord Prudhoe between 1816 and 1847, was a British naval commander, explorer and Conservative politician.

The Duke of Northumberland

Algernon Percy (1792–1865), 4th Duke of Northumberland by Francis Grant.jpg
Duke of Northumberland by Francis Grant
First Lord of the Admiralty
In office
28 February 1852 – 17 December 1852
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Derby
Preceded bySir Francis Baring, Bt
Succeeded bySir James Graham, Bt
Personal details
Born15 December 1792 (1792-12-15)
Died12 February 1865 (1865-02-13) (aged 72)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Lady Eleanor Grosvenor
(d. 1911)
ParentsHugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland
Frances Julia Burrell
Alma materSt John's College, Cambridge
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceRoyal Navy
Years of service1805–c.1862
CommandsHMS Cossack
Battles/warsNapoleonic Wars
AwardsKnight of the Order of the Garter
Shield of arms of Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland, KG, PC

Early lifeEdit

Northumberland was the second son of General Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland, and his second wife Frances Julia, daughter of Peter Burrell.[1] He was educated at Eton and St John's College, Cambridge.[1]

Naval careerEdit

Northumberland entered the Royal Navy in March 1805, aged 12, on board HMS Tribune and served in the Napoleonic Wars.[2] In 1815, when only 22, he was promoted to captain, taking command of HMS Cossack in August, and commanding her until she was broken up some 10 months later.[3] The following year, aged 23, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Prudhoe, of Prudhoe Castle in the County of Northumberland (Prudhoe being a town in Northumberland). Between 1826 and 1829 he was part of an expedition to Egypt, Nubia and The Levant.[3] In 1834, he travelled to the Cape of Good Hope with John Herschel to study the southern constellations.[3]

Northumberland was president of the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck from 1851 to 1865 (partly due to encouragement by George Palmer[4]) during which time he undertook a reorganisation,[5] changing its name to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in October 1854. In 1851 he offered a prize of £200 for a new design of self-righting lifeboat, won by James Beeching, which became the standard model for the new Royal National Lifeboat Institution fleet.[6]

In 1862 he became a full admiral in the Royal Navy on the Reserved List.[7][8]

Political careerEdit

Northumberland succeeded his childless elder brother in the dukedom in 1847. In 1852 he was sworn of the Privy Council[9] and appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, with a seat in the cabinet, by the Earl of Derby, a post he held until the fall of the government in December 1852. In 1853 he was made a Knight of the Garter.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Northumberland married, aged 49, Lady Eleanor Grosvenor, daughter of Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster, on 25 August 1842 at St George's, Hanover Square. They had no children. As a result of gout in his right hand, he died in February 1865, aged 72 at Alnwick Castle and was buried in the Northumberland Vault, within Westminster Abbey.[1][2][11] He was succeeded in his titles by his cousin, George Percy, 2nd Earl of Beverley, except for the barony of Percy, which passed through the female line to his great-nephew, John Stewart-Murray, 7th Duke of Atholl. The Duchess of Northumberland died on 4 May 1911.[12]

He was a fellow of the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Astronomical Society, president of the Royal United Services Institute and the Royal Institution, a director of the British Institution and a trustee of the British Museum.[2]

Northumberland was a good friend of Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, and Prudhoe Bay, on the north coast of Alaska, was named after him.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit

  • O'Byrne, William Richard (1849). "Percy, Algernon" . A Naval Biographical Dictionary . John Murray – via Wikisource.


  1. ^ a b c "Percy, Algernon (Lord Prudhoe) (PRCY835AL)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b c Sussex Advertiser, 14 February 1865, page 4
  3. ^ a b c Starkey, Paul, and Starkey, Janet. Travellers in Egypt. Chapter 9: The Journeys of Lord Prudhoe and Major Orlando Felix in Egypt, Nubia and the Levant, 1826–1829. London/New York: Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2001.
  4. ^ "MP of the Month: George Palmer, a 'firm friend of the shipwrecked'". The Victorian Commons. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  5. ^ . Lifeboat Magazine Archive. "The Duke of Northumberland, K.G." The Lifeboat. Royal National Lifeboat Institution. 28 (303). September 1930. Retrieved 8 December 2020.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ Lewis, Richard (1874). "History of the life-boat, and its work". MacMillan & Co. pp. 14, 183–. Retrieved 8 December 2020 – via Internet Archive.
  7. ^ "No. 7267". The Edinburgh Gazette. 17 October 1862. p. 1593.
  8. ^ Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.
  9. ^ "No. 21296". The London Gazette. 27 February 1852. p. 633.
  10. ^ "No. 21404". The London Gazette. 21 January 1853. p. 162.
  11. ^ "Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland – Westminster Abbey". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  12. ^ Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Francis Baring, Bt
First Lord of the Admiralty
Succeeded by
Sir James Graham, Bt
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Hugh Percy
Duke of Northumberland
Succeeded by
George Percy
Baron Percy
Succeeded by
John Stewart-Murray
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Prudhoe
Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Charles Thorp
President of the Surtees Society
Succeeded by
The Duke of Buccleuch