A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of
Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of (1694-1773). -- Statesman and letter-writer, was the eldest s. of the 3rd Earl. After being at Trinity Coll., Camb., he sat in the House of Commons until his accession to the peerage in 1726. He filled many high offices, including those of Ambassador to Holland, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Sec. of State. He was distinguished for his wit, conversational powers, and grace of manner. His place in literature is fixed by his well-known Letters addressed to his natural son, Philip Dormer Stanhope. Though brilliant, and full of shrewdness and knowledge of the world, they reflect the low tone of morals prevalent in the age when they were written. He was the recipient of Johnson's famous letter as to his "patronage."