Rice, George (DNB00)

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RICE, GEORGE (1724–1779), politician, born in 1724, was son of Edward Rice of Newton, Carmarthenshire, M.P. for that county in 1722, by Lucy, daughter of John Morley Trevor of Glynde, Sussex. His father's family had been settled at Newton for many generations. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 26 Jan. 1742, at the age of seventeen (Foster, Alumni Oxon.), but took no degree, and devoted himself to politics and local affairs. At the general election of 1754 he was returned for the county of Carmarthen after a warm contest with Sir Thomas Stepney, and retained his seat, during a period of twenty-five years, until his death, being re-elected four times without opposition. He was made lord-lieutenant of his native county in May 1755 (reappointed 23 June 1761), and, when the Carmarthenshire militia was embodied (7 Dec. 1759), he was nominated colonel of the regiment. He became chamberlain of Brecon and of the counties of Brecon, Glamorgan, and Radnor in 1765, and was sworn in mayor of Carmarthen on 5 June 1767. By his marriage, on 16 Aug. 1756, with Cecil (1733–1793), daughter of William, first earl Talbot, lord steward of the royal household, he greatly increased his political influence, and on 21 March 1761 he accepted office under the Duke of Newcastle as a lord commissioner of the board of trade and foreign plantations, with a salary of 1,000l. a year. This post he held in successive ministries until April 1770, when Lord North selected him for the court appointment of treasurer of the king's chamber, and he was sworn a member of the privy council on 4 May following. Rice, who bore a high character (Autobiography of Mary Delany, ed. Lady Llanover), died in office at the age of fifty-five, on 3 Aug. 1779. His widow became a peeress in her own right as Baroness Dynevor on her father's death on 27 April 1782, and died 14 March 1793, leaving, with two daughters, two sons—George Talbot, afterwards third Lord Dynevor (1765–1852), and Edward (d. 1867), dean of Gloucester, whose son, Francis William, fifth baron Dynevor, was father of the present baron.

[Foster's Peerage; Haydn's Book of Dignities, ed. Ockerby; Parliamentary Returns; Gent. Mag. 1779, p. 423; Williams's Parliamentary Hist. of Wales.]

W. R. W.