LENNOX, Charles, Earl of March (1791-1860).
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. 3 Aug. 1791, 1st s. of Charles Lennox*, 4th Duke of Richmond, by Lady Charlotte Gordon, da. of Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon [S]; bro. of Lord John George Gordon Lennox*. educ. Westminster until 1809; Trinity, Dublin 1809. m. 10 Apr. 1817, Lady Caroline Paget, da. of Henry William Paget*, 1st Mq. of Anglesey, 5s. 5da. suc. fa. as 5th Duke of Richmond 28 Aug. 1819; KG 12 May 1829. Took additional surname of Gordon before Lennox when suc. to estates of his maternal uncle, George Gordon*, 5th Duke of Gordon [S], 9 Aug. 1836.
Postmaster-gen. Nov. 1830-May 1834; PC 22 Nov. 1830.
Ensign, 8 garrison batt. 1809; lt. 13 Drag. 1810; capt. 92 Ft. 1812; capt. 52 Ft. 1813, brevet maj. 1815, lt.-col. 1816; a.d.c. to Wellington in the Peninsula 1810-14, to Prince of Orange at Waterloo 1815; capt. commdt. Goodwood vol. horse 1817; col. Suss. militia 1819-d.; militia a.d.c. to King William IV 1832-7, to Queen Victoria 1837-d.
High steward, Chichester 1819-d.; vice-adm. Suss. 1831; ld. lt. Suss. 1835-d.
As early as December 1806 March’s father anticipated that he should stand for the county (Sussex) when he was of age. He was 18 when Lord Egremont informed Richmond that his brother Charles Wyndham wished to retire from the county representation, which augured well for him provided that there was no election for another three years. Meanwhile he joined his regiment in the Peninsula, July 1810. Wellington, who made him one of his secretaries before the year was out, wrote, ‘He is really the finest and best disposed fellow I ever saw’. He remained with Wellington throughout the war and afterwards served at Waterloo.1
March was at home in time for the general election of 1812 and just of age, but his father, still viceroy of Ireland, changed his plan. There was a vacancy on his interest at Chichester, which would certainly be contested if March were not his candidate: so, at least, his friends informed him. March, who was in Ireland with his father, was told to arrive at Chichester on 25 Sept. On 20 Sept. his father wrote ‘I will send March off in time. His going will be a signal of the dissolution so I will not send him sooner than is necessary.’ Egremont, disappointed at Richmond’s giving up the county, substituted Walter Burrell* for March and would not promise to support March in future, when his father hinted that he would offer for the county once Chichester was not ‘the great object’. Burrell resented being a locum tenens for March, but Richmond refused to guarantee that he would not sponsor his son in due course. To complete the general dissatisfaction, March’s election for Chichester went so smoothly that Richmond was convinced that he had been unnecessarily alarmed about it and might have kept his son in the running for the county.2
His military career kept March away from Westminster until the session of 1816 when, as anticipated in 1812, he proved a government supporter. He mustered for them on critical divisions for the remainder of that Parliament. In 1818 he was content to be re-elected for Chichester. He took leaves of absence in March and May 1819, but rallied to ministers against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May. On 21 June, however, he was in the minority against the foreign enlistment bill. Two months later his father died in Canada.
Although tradition has him rising once or twice in connection with the Game Laws, he seems to have said nothing at all worth recording during his seven years in the House of Commons.3
In the Lords he developed into a high Tory. He died 21 Oct. 1860.
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Authors: Arthur Aspinall / R. G. Thorne
- 1. Petworth House mss, Richmond to Egremong, 29 Dec. 1806; NLI, Richmond mss 69/1254, 1256; Wellington Supp. Despatches, vi. 552, 564; vii. 2, 416; viii. 216; ix. 468.
- 2. Richmond mss 69/1230, 1232a, 1251, 1253, 1258-60; 70/1297, 1301-2; 72/1592; Petworth House mss, Richmond to Egremont, 2 Nov. 1812.
- 3. Kirby, The English Country Gentleman, 119.