Hervey, George William (DNB00)

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HERVEY, GEORGE WILLIAM, second Earl of Bristol (1721–1775), born on 31 Aug. 1721, was the eldest son of John, lord Hervey of Ickworth (1696-1743) [q. v.], by Mary [see Hervey, Mary, Lady], daughter of Brigadier-general Nicholas Lepell. He became ensign in the 38th, or ‘Duke of Marlborough’s,’ regiment of foot on 2 June 1739, ensign in the 1st regiment of foot-guards on 11 May 1740, and captain in the 48th, or ‘Cholmondeley’s,’ regiment of foot on 27 Jan. 1741, but resigned his commission in August 1742. On 5 Aug. 1743 he succeeded his father as third Lord Hervey of Ickworth, and on the following 1 Dec. took his seat in the House of Lords. He became second Earl of Bristol on the death of his grandfather, John Hervey (1665-1751) [q. v.] on 20 Jan. 1751, and hereditary high steward of Bury St. Edmunds. On 5 April 1755 he was gazetted envoy extraordinary to Turin, a post which he quitted in August 1758, on being appointed ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Madrid. Upon the ratification of the family compact between the houses of Bourbon, he left Madrid without taking leave on 17 Dec. 1761. He was nominated lord-lieutenant of Ireland and a privy councillor on 26 Sept. 1766. The king Wrote to Chatham that he expected ‘his constant residence while he held his office. But Bristol threw up the post next year without visiting Ireland, although he received the usual allowance of 3,000l. for his voyage. On 2 Nov. 1768 he was chosen lord keeper of the privy seal, in which ofiice he continued until 29 Jan. 1770, when he became groom of the stole and first lord of the bedchamber to the king. He died unmarried on 18 or 20 March 1775. Wraxall tells a story of a gross insult inflicted by Nugent and Lord Temple on Bristol when a young man, and of the spirited way in which Bristol resented it (Memoirs, i. 94-6). His portrait after J. Zoffany has been engraved.

[Doyle’s Official Baronage, i. 239; Collins’s Peerage (Brydges), iv. 158-9; Burke's Peerage, 1339. 13- 178; Walpole’s Letters (Cunningham); Walpole’s Memoirs of George III, iii. 98; Stanhope’s Hist. of England, ch. xxxvii. xxxviii.; Lecky’s Hist. of England, iv. 371-2.]

G. G.