Charles Yorke, 5th Earl of Hardwicke

Charles Philip Yorke, 5th Earl of Hardwicke, PC, DL (23 April 1836 – 18 May 1897), styled Viscount Royston until 1873, and nicknamed Champagne Charlie for his love of the high life, was a British aristocrat, Conservative politician, dandy and bankrupt.[2]

The Earl of Hardwicke

Master of the Buckhounds
In office
2 March 1874 – 21 April 1880
Prime MinisterBenjamin Disraeli
Preceded byThe Earl of Cork
Succeeded byThe Earl of Cork
Personal details
Born(1836-04-23)23 April 1836
Died18 May 1897(1897-05-18) (aged 61)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Lady Sophia Wellesley (1840–1923)
EducationHarrow School[1]
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge[1]


Hardwicke was the eldest son of Admiral Charles Yorke, 4th Earl of Hardwicke, and the Hon. Susan, daughter of Thomas Liddell, 1st Baron Ravensworth. Elliot Yorke was his younger brother.[3]


While studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, Hardwicke played first-class cricket on four occasions for Cambridge University Cricket Club in 1856 and 1857.[4]

Political careerEdit

Hardwicke was returned to Parliament for Cambridgeshire in 1865[3][5] (succeeding his uncle Eliot Yorke) and served under the Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli as Comptroller of the Household between 1866 and 1868.[3][6][7] He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1866.[8]

Wimpole Hall

In 1873 he succeeded his father in the earldom and to his estates, including Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire, and entered the House of Lords.[3] The following year he was appointed Master of the Buckhounds under Disraeli,[9] and continued in this post until the government fell in 1880.[10]

In 1879 Lord Hardwicke had a horse race, the Hardwicke Stakes, named after him.[11][12]

An inveterate gambler, the 5th Earl racked up huge debts with the Agar-Robartes Bank and was obliged to put the Wimpole Hall Estate up for sale by auction in 1891. When it failed to raise the reserve price Lord Robartes, as Chairman of Agar-Robartes Bank, accepted the estate in settlement.


Lord Hardwicke married Lady Sophia Georgiana Robertina, daughter of Henry Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley, in 1863. They had one son and two daughters. He died in May 1897, aged 61, and was succeeded in the earldom by his only son, Albert. The Countess of Hardwicke died in June 1923.[3]


  1. ^ a b HARDWICKE, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2016 (online edition, Oxford University Press, 2014, accessed 12 Nov 2016)
  2. ^ F. M. L. Thompson, ‘Yorke, Charles Philip , fifth earl of Hardwicke (1836–1897)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 9 March 2011
  3. ^ a b c d e Charles Philip Yorke, 5th Earl of Hardwicke
  4. ^ "Player profile: Viscount Hardwicke". CricketArchive. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  5. ^ " House of Commons: Caernarfon to Cambridgeshire South West". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2009.
  6. ^ "No. 23137". The London Gazette. 13 July 1866. p. 3984.
  7. ^ "No. 23452". The London Gazette. 22 December 1868. p. 6776.
  8. ^ "No. 23136". The London Gazette. 11 July 1866. p. 3981.
  9. ^ "No. 24072". The London Gazette. 6 March 1874. p. 1525.
  10. ^ "No. 24842". The London Gazette. 7 May 1880. p. 2915.
  11. ^ The Hardwicke Stakes
  12. ^ Gazeteer: Race Courses of Great Britain and Ireland

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Eliot Yorke
Henry John Adeane
Lord George Manners
Member of Parliament for Cambridgeshire
With: Lord George Manners 1863–1874
Richard Young 1865–1868
Hon. Sir Henry Brand 1868–1874
Succeeded by
Lord George Manners
Hon. Elliot Yorke
Hon. Sir Henry Brand
Political offices
Preceded by
Lord Proby
Comptroller of the Household
Succeeded by
Lord Otho FitzGerald
Preceded by
The Earl of Cork
Master of the Buckhounds
Succeeded by
The Earl of Cork
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Charles Philip Yorke
Earl of Hardwicke
Succeeded by
Albert Edward Phillip Henry Yorke