Robert Rolfe, 1st Baron Cranworth

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Robert Monsey Rolfe, 1st Baron Cranworth, PC (18 December 1790 – 26 July 1868) was a British lawyer and Liberal politician. He twice served as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.

The Lord Cranworth
Full length portrait of Cranworth wearing ceremonial robes and long wig (colour engraving)
Lord Cranworth wearing the parliamentary robes of a baron
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
In office
28 December 1852 – 21 February 1858
Prime Minister
Preceded byThe Lord St Leonards
Succeeded byThe Lord Chelmsford
In office
7 July 1865 – 26 June 1866
Prime Minister
Preceded byThe Lord Westbury
Succeeded byThe Lord Chelmsford
Personal details
Born(1790-12-18)18 December 1790
Cranworth, Norfolk
Died26 July 1868(1868-07-26) (aged 77)
Holwood House
Keston, Kent
United Kingdom
Political partyLiberal
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge

Background and education edit

Born at Cranworth, Norfolk, he was the elder son of the Reverend Edmund Rolfe and Jemima Alexander, James Alexander, 1st Earl of Caledon's niece and a granddaughter of physician Messenger Monsey.[note 1] Rolfe, a relative of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson,[2] was educated at Bury St Edmunds, Winchester, Trinity College, Cambridge,[3] Downing College, Cambridge (of which he was elected fellow) [4] and was called to the bar, Lincoln's Inn, in 1816.[5]

Legal and political career edit

Cranworth represented Penryn and Falmouth in Parliament from 1832 until he was appointed a Baron of the Exchequer in 1839.[3] In 1850 he was appointed a Vice-Chancellor and raised to the peerage as Baron Cranworth, of Cranworth in the County of Norfolk. In 1852 Lord Cranworth became Lord Chancellor in Lord Aberdeen's coalition ministry. He continued to hold the chancellorship also in the administration of Lord Palmerston until the latter's resignation in 1858. Cranworth was not reappointed when Palmerston returned to office in 1859, but on the retirement of Lord Westbury in 1865 he accepted the office for a second time, and held it till the fall of the Russell administration in 1866.[3]

Personal life edit

In 1845, Cranworth married Laura Carr (1807–1868), daughter of Thomas William Carr (born 1770). The couple had no children.

Lord Cranworth died at his seat, Holwood House, on 26 July 1868, aged 77, after a short illness related to the heat.[6] He was childless and the title became extinct on his death.[3]

Cases edit

Arms edit

Coat of arms of Robert Rolfe, 1st Baron Cranworth
A dove Argent in the beak a sprig of olive Proper ducally gorged Gules and resting the dexter foot upon three annulets interlaced Or.
Gyronny of eight Argent and Gules an eagle displayed Sable charged on the breast with a sun in splendour Or.
On either side a stag Or charged on the neck with four bandlets Sable upon the attires a ribbon Gules passing through an annulet Gold.
Post Nubila Phœbus [7]

References edit

  1. ^ "Maryland State Archives, Reference, MSA SC 4885-1-27"
  2. ^ "East Anglian Worthies", by John Lucius Smith-Dampier, published by B. Blackwell, 1949, p. 165.
  3. ^ a b c d   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Cranworth, Robert Monsey Rolfe, Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 379.
  4. ^ Henry Rumsey Forster (1852). The Pocket Peerage of Great Britain and Ireland. D. Bogue. p. 103.
  5. ^ "Rolfe, Robert Monsey (RLF808RM)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  6. ^ "Lord Cranworth, the last Liberal. Lord Chancellor, died after only » 1 Aug 1868 » The Spectator Archive". The Spectator Archive.
  7. ^ Burke's Peerage. 1868.

Notes edit

  1. ^ Monsey was chief medical adviser to the whigs and a friend of Daniel Dulany the Younger.[1]

External links edit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Penryn and Falmouth
With: Lord Tullamore 1832–1835
James William Freshfield 1835–1840
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Solicitor General
Succeeded by
Preceded by Solicitor General
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice-Chancellor
1850 – 1851
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Cranworth