STANHOPE, Charles, Visct. Petersham (1753-1829).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



6 Sept. - 30 Sept. 1774
17 Dec. 1776 - 1 Apr. 1779

Family and Education

b. 20 Mar. 1753, 1st s. of William, Visct. Petersham, and bro. of Hon. Henry Fitzroy Stanhope.  educ. Eton 1767-9.  m. 22 May 1779, Jane. da. and coh. of Sir John Fleming, 1st Bt., of Brompton Park, Mdx., 8s. 3da.  suc. fa. as 3rd Earl of Harrington 1 Apr. 1779; G.C.H. 1821.

Offices Held

Ensign 2 Ft. Gds. 1769; capt. 29 Ft. 1773; capt. 3 Ft. Gds. and lt.-col. 1778; lt.-col. 85 Ft. 1780; col. army 1782; col. 65 Ft. 1783-8; col. 29 Ft. 1788-92; col. 1 Life Gds. 1792- d.; maj.-gen. 1793; lt.-gen. 1798; gen. 1803.


Petersham was returned as a stop-gap for Thetford by his cousin the Duke of Grafton, who declared ‘he would not be bound for the ensuing Parliament’,1 and, though lord privy seal, was not aware that the sitting Parliament was about to be dissolved. In February 1776 Petersham embarked with his regiment for Canada. In his absence he was returned unopposed for Westminster, supported by Government and the Dukes of Bedford, Newcastle and Northumberland. As aide-de-camp to General Burgoyne, he returned to England in December 1777 with the news of the surrender at Saratoga. A principal witness at the subsequent inquiry his evidence, according to Walpole (to Conway, 5 June 1779), ‘did himself and Burgoyne much honour’, but otherwise he is not known to have spoken in the House. His only known vote was given for Administration, 3 Mar. 1779, on a motion of censure against the Admiralty.

As a peer, he gave his proxy for Fox’s East India bill in 1783, but voted with Pitt on the Regency in 1788.

He died 15 Sept. 1829.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Walpole, Last Jnls. i. 380.