Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer
Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer KG, CB, PC (14 April 1798 – 27 December 1857), styled The Honourable Frederick Spencer until 1845, was a British naval commander, courtier, and Whig politician. He initially served in the Royal Navy and fought in the Napoleonic Wars and the Greek War of Independence, eventually rising to the rank of Vice-Admiral. He succeeded his elder brother as Earl Spencer in 1845 and held political office as Lord Chamberlain of the Household between 1846 and 1848 and as Lord Steward of the Household between 1854 and 1857. In 1849 he was made a Knight of the Garter.
The Earl Spencer
The Earl Spencer by Stephen Catterson Smith.
|Lord Chamberlain of the Household|
8 July 1846 – 5 September 1848
|Prime Minister||Lord John Russell|
|Preceded by||The Earl De La Warr|
|Succeeded by||The Marquess of Breadalbane|
|Lord Steward of the Household|
10 January 1854 – 23 November 1857
|Prime Minister||The Earl of Aberdeen |
The Viscount Palmerston
|Preceded by||The Duke of Norfolk|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of St Germans|
|Born||14 April 1798|
Admiralty Building, Whitehall, London, England
|Died||27 December 1857 (aged 59)|
Althorp, Brington, Northamptonshire, England
(m. 1830; her death 1851)
Adelaide Horatia Seymour
(m. 1854; his death 1857)
|Children||Lady Georgiana Spencer|
John Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer
Lady Sarah Spencer
Lady Victoria Mansfield
Charles Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer
|Parents||George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer|
Lady Lavinia Bingham
|Alma mater||Eton College|
Through his second son, Charles, Lord Spencer was the great-great-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales, the three-times-great-grandfather of future British Monarch Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and the four-times-great-grandfather of William's son, Prince George.
Spencer was born on 14 April 1798 at the Admiralty Building, London and was baptised in St Martin-in-the-Fields. He was the fifth son born to George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer, and Lady Lavinia Bingham. Among his siblings was older brothers John Spencer, 3rd Earl Spencer (whose wife died in childbirth) and Sir Robert Cavendish Spencer, who died unmarried at sea. His older sister Lady Sarah Spencer was the wife of William Lyttelton, 3rd Baron Lyttelton.
His paternal grandparents were Home Secretary John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer, and his wife Margaret Georgiana Poyntz, daughter of the diplomat and courtier Stephen Poyntz. His maternal grandparents were Irish peer Charles Bingham, 1st Earl of Lucan and his wife, the portrait miniature painter Margaret Smyth.
Spencer then joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman on 18 September 1811, and fought in the Napoleonic Wars in the Mediterranean between 1811 and 1815. He served for a time under his brother, Captain the Hon. Robert Cavendish Spencer as a lieutenant aboard his ship HMS Owen Glendower, before receiving his own command, that of the brig HMS Alacrity on the South America Station. He was promoted to the rank of captain on 26 August 1822.
During the Greek War of Independence he commanded HMS Talbot at the Battle of Navarino on 20 October 1827 and was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in November of that year. The following year he fought with the Naval Brigade in the Morea expedition. For his actions he was made a Knight of the Order of St Louis of France and awarded the Order of St Anne of Russia and the Order of the Redeemer of Greece.
Spencer then retired from naval life and was elected Whig Member of Parliament for Worcestershire in 1831. He held this seat until 1832 and then represented Midhurst between 1832 and 1834 and again between 1837 and 1841. He was later an equerry in the household of the Duchess of Kent (Queen Victoria's mother) from 1840 to 1845. The latter year he succeeded his elder brother in the earldom and took his seat in the House of Lords.
When the Whigs came to power under Lord John Russell in 1846, Lord Spencer was appointed Lord Chamberlain of the Household. He was sworn of the Privy Council the same year. He resigned as Lord Chamberlain in 1848 but returned to the government as Lord Steward of the Household in early 1854 under Lord Aberdeen, a post he held until shortly before his death in 1857, the last two years under the premiership of Lord Palmerston. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1849.
Lord Spencer was twice married. He married firstly his cousin, Georgiana Poyntz (1799–1851), on 23 February 1830. They had three children:
- Lady Georgiana Frances Spencer (1832–1852), who died unmarried.
- John Poyntz Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer (1835–1910), who married Charlotte Seymour, a granddaughter of Vice-Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour.
- Lady Sarah Isabella Spencer (1838–1919), who died unmarried.
After Georgiana's death in 1851 he married, secondly, Adelaide Horatia Seymour (1825–1877), daughter of Sir Horace Seymour and a great-granddaughter of Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford, on 9 August 1854. They had two children:
- Lady Victoria Alexandrina Spencer (1855–1906), who married William Mansfield, 1st Viscount Sandhurst, and had issue.
- Charles Robert Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer (1857–1922), who married the Hon. Margaret Baring, daughter of Edward Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke.
Lord Spencer died at the family seat at Althorp, Brington, Northamptonshire, in December 1857, aged 59, and was succeeded in the earldom by his only son from his first marriage, John, who became a Liberal politician. Spencer's son from his second marriage, Charles, who succeeded in the earldom in 1910, was also a Liberal politician. He was the great-great-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales. The Countess Spencer died at Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, in October 1877, aged 52.
Coat of armsEdit
|Ancestors of Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer|
- thepeerage.com Vice-Admiral Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer
- "Spencer, Earl (GB, 1765)". cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Cracroft's Peerage. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
- Lester 2004.
- Foreman 1998, p. 72.
- J. K. Laughton, "Spencer, Sir Robert Cavendish (1791–1830)", rev. Andrew Lambert, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 28 April 2009.
- Laughton. "Spencer, Sir Robert Cavendish (1791–1830)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
- "No. 18414". The London Gazette. 13 November 1827. p. 2331.
- "leighrayment.com House of Commons: Witney to Wythenshawe and Sale East". Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- "leighrayment.com House of Commons: Mayo to Minehead". Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- "No. 20621". The London Gazette. 10 July 1846. p. 2533.
- "No. 20621". The London Gazette. 10 July 1846. p. 2529.
- "No. 20894". The London Gazette. 5 September 1848. p. 3275.
- "No. 21511". The London Gazette. 13 January 1854. p. 109.
- "No. 22067". The London Gazette. 27 November 1857. p. 4127.
- "No. 20961". The London Gazette. 27 March 1849. p. 1004.
- "No. 21366". The London Gazette. 12 October 1852. p. 2665.
- "No. 22070". The London Gazette. 8 December 1857. p. 4329.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer.|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer
- Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer at Find a Grave
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Hon. Thomas Foley
Hon. Henry Lygon
| Member of Parliament for Worcestershire
With: Hon. Thomas Foley
George Robert Smith
Martin Tucker Smith
| Member of Parliament for Midhurst
William Stephen Poyntz
William Stephen Poyntz
| Member of Parliament for Midhurst
Sir Horace Seymour
The Earl De La Warr
| Lord Chamberlain of the Household
The Marquess of Breadalbane
The Duke of Norfolk
| Lord Steward of the Household
The Earl of St Germans
|Peerage of Great Britain|
| Earl Spencer