Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes Pelham (1811-1864)

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CLINTON, HENRY PELHAM FIENNES PELHAM. fifth Duke of Newcastle (1811–1864), eldest son of Henry Pelham Friennes Pelham Clinton, fourth duke of Newcastle [q. v.], was born at 39 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London, 22 May 1811, and as earl of Lincoln was entered at Eton in 1826; he then proceeded to Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his B.A. degree in 832, and was created a D.C.L. in 1863. He at in parliament as member for South Notinghamshire 1832-46, and under Sir Robert Peel's short-lived government was a lord of

the treasury from 31 Dec. 1834 to 20 April 1835. When Sir Robert Peel returned to power, Lord Lincoln became first commissioner of woods and forests, 15 April 1841, a post which, on 14 Feb. 1846, he exchanged for that of chief secretary to the lord-lieutenant of Ireland. His political opinions, like Peel's, had undergone a very great change, which offended the main body of his constituents as well as his father, who addressed a letter to the inhabitants of South Nottinghamshire, in which he charged his son with being the victim of bad counsel. Under these circumstances, at the bye election for South Nottinghamshire 27 Feb. 1846, he was beaten by a large majority, but not long after, 2 May, came in for the Falkirk Burghs. During the administration of Lord John Russell he took little part in public affairs, and the death of his father in 1851 removed him to the upper house. In 1852, when Lord Aberdeen was called upon to form a cabinet, the duke received the seals of the colonial office on 28 Dec., on which department also devolved the management of the military affairs of the nation. When the Russian war broke out, is was found necessary to make the war administration a separate department. The duke then left the colonial office, 12 June 1854, for the war office. England had been at peace for more than thirty years; the old system broke down, and many blunders were committed. The duke worked night and day to bring his department into a sound administrative condition, and though he was assailed both in and out of parliament in the most virulent terms, it has since been acknowledged that he did all that was possible. On 1 Feb. 1855 he resigned office, and went to the Crimea and to the Black Sea, to witness for himself the state of the army and the peculiarities of the country. When the second coalition government was formed, Newcastle was appointed secretary of state for the colonies, 18 June 1859. In 1860, while holding this office, he went to Canada and the United States in company with the Prince of Wales. The duke became high steward of Retford 1851, lieutenant-colonel commandant of the Sherwood Rangers 1853, lord-lieutenant of Nottinghamshire 1857, lord warden of the stannaries 6 Feb. 1862, one of the council to the Prince of Wales January 1863, and a knight of the Garter 17 Dec. 1860. Failing health, partly caused by the anxiety of mind which he endured during the continuance of the Crimean war, caused him to resign the colonial secretaryship in April 1864, and he died rather suddenly at Clumber Park on 18 Oct. 1864, aged only fifty-three. His personalty was sworn under 250,000l. on 11 Feb. 1865. He married, 27 Nov. 1832, Lady Susan Harriet Catherine, only daughter of Alexander Douglas Hamilton, tenth duke of Hamilton, by whom he had four sons and a daughter. His eldest son, Henry Pelham Alexander, born 25 Jan. 1834, succeeded to the title as sixth duke. He represented Newark in 1857-9, married Henrietta Adela, daughter of Henry Thomas Hope of Deepdene, 11 Feb. 1861, and died 22 Feb. 1879. The fifth duke's wife was born 9 June 1814. This marriage having been dissolved 14 Aug. 1850, she married, 2 Jan. 1860, M. Opdebeck of Brussels.

[Gent. Mag. December 1864, pp. 783-6; British Cabinet (1853), pp. 240-50; Illustrated London News, 22 Dec. 1860, pp. 575, 586-7, portrait, 5 Nov. 1864, p. 469 ; C. Brown's Nottinghamshire Worthies (1882), pp. 353-5; Times, 19, 20, 22, 25, 28 Oct. and 26 Nov. 1864; Eton Portrait Gallery (1876), pp. 412-17; Martineau's Biographical Sketches (1876), pp! 122-30; Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea (6th edit. 1883), vii. 28 et seq.]

G. C. B.