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Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Arms: Quarterly, 1 & 4, Quarterly Ermine and Gules

SOURCE, NOTES and CREDITS: arms, BGA, page 961, column 1; Illustration: none;
Text: dqw from “The New Extinct Peerage, L.G. Pine, pp 65-68 and Wikipedia article.

Philip Dormer Stanhope, KG, 1694-1773, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, was born on 22 September 1694 in London, educated in Cambridge and did the “Grand Tour" of the continent. With the accession of George I, he went into politics first in the Commons and in 1726, Lords. He is most famous for his Letters to his Son, published posthumously in 1774, written for the edification of his illegitimate son who, in the end, predeceased him. In January 1725 on the revival of the Order of the Bath, he declined the honour of the red riband. He was verra successful as Ambassador to the Hague 1728 for which service Walpole saw to it that he got the Garter. His most gratifying and successful assignment was as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland 1744-46. He then served as Secretary of State (Northern Secretary) 1746-48 and then declined a dukedom from George II around 1750. In retirement in the 1760’s he opposed the Stamp Act of Grenville’s parliament, stating: “It could not be properly enforced, and even if it was effective, the tax would bring in not more than 80,000 pounds a year while the reduced trade from the American colonies would be at least a million pounds a year” (The actual loss has been estimated near two million a year according to Wikipedia, proving that reality should never be permitted to interfere with principle). Chesterfield exercised a mordant wit, as in his celebrated description of sexual intercourse, “the posture ridiculous, the pleasure transient and the price damnable." Lord Chesterfield died 24 March 1773, age 79. dqw 20091018

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor

Wedvick Armorial, 119, Stanhope, 20091018
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