Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Howard, George (1773-1848)

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HOWARD, GEORGE, sixth Earl of Carlisle (1773–1848), the eldest son of Frederick Howard, fifth earl of Carlisle [q.v.], was born in London on 17 Sept. 1773. He was styled Lord Morpeth from 1773 to 1825. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he matriculated on 19 Oct. 1790, and was created M.A. 30 June 1792, and D.C.L. 18 June 1799. At a by-election in January 1795 he was returned in the whig interest to the House of Commons for the family borough of Morpeth, for which he continued to sit until the dissolution in October 1806. At the opening of the new parliament in October 1796, Lord Morpeth moved the address in the House of Commons (Parl. Hist. xxxii. 1190-4), and in May 1797 he opposed Fox's motion for the repeal of the Treason and Sedition Acts (ib. xxxiii. 630-1). In February 1799 he spoke warmly in favour of the union with Ireland, a measure which he declared 'would, if effected, extinguish all religious feuds and party animosities and distinctions ' (ib. xxxiv. 501-2). On the formation of the ministry of All the Talents Morpeth was sworn a member of the privy council (7 Feb. 1806), and appointed a commissioner for the affairs of India (11 Feb). In July 1806 he introduced the Indian budget into the house (Parl. Debates, vii. 1044-53), and at the general election in November was returned for the county of Cumberland, together with the tory candidate, John Lowther,while Sir Henry Fletcher, the old whig member, lost his seat.

On the formation of the Duke of Portland's ministry, in March 1807, Morpeth resigned his post at the India board, and on 3 Feb. 1812 brought forward his motion on the state of Ireland, in a speech in which he advocated a sincere and cordial conciliation with the catholics.' The motion, after two nights' debate, was defeated by a majority of ninety-four (ib. xxi. 494-500, 669). In consequence of the allusion to the Roman catholic claims in the speaker's speech at the close of the previous session, Morpeth, in April 1814, brought forward a motion regulating the conduct of the speaker at the bar of the House of Lords, but was defeated by 274 to 106 (ib. xxvii. 465-75, 521-2). On 3 March 1817, while moving for a new writ for the borough of St. Mawes, he paid a high and eloquent tribute to the memory of his friend Francis Horner [q.v.] (ib. xxxv. 841-4). In December 1819 he supported the government on the third reading of the Seditious Meetings Prevention Bill (ib. xli. 1078-81) At the general election in March 1820 the whigs of Cumberland, being dissatisfied with the political conduct of their member, put up another candidate, and Morpeth retired from the poll at an early stage. In November 1824 he was appointed, through Canning's influence, lord-lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire (London Gazettes 1824, pt. ii. 1929), and on 4 Sept. 1825 succeeded his father as the sixth earl of Carlisle. He took his seat in the House of Lords for the first time on 21 March 1826 (Journals of the House of Lords, lviii. 128), and on 18 May 1827 was appointed chief commissioner of woods and forests, with seat in Canning's cabinet. On 16 July 1827 he succeeded the Duke of Portland as lord privy seal, and continued to hold this post until the formation of the Duke of Wellington's administration in January 1828. When the whigs came into power in November1830, Carlisle accepted a place in Lord Grey's cabinet without office, and upon Lord Ripon's resignation, in June 1834, was appointed to his old post of lord privy seal. On the dissolution of the ministry in the following month, Carlisle retired altogether from political life, owing to ill-health, and spent the remainder of his days principally in thecountry. He was invested with the order of the Garter on 17 March 1837, and in the following year was appointed a trustee of the British Museum. He resigned the lord-lieutenancy of the East Riding in July 1847, and dying at Castle Howard, near Malton, on 7 Oct. 1848, aged 75, was buried in the mausoleum in the park.

Carlisle married, on 21 March 1801, Lady Georgiana Dorothy Cavendish, eldest daughter and coheiress of William, fifth duke of Devonshire, by whom he had six sons and six daughters. His wife survived him several years, and died on 8 Aug. 1858, aged 75. He was succeeded in the peerage by his eldest son, George William Frederick Howard [q.v.] Carlisle was an accomplished scholar, and an amiable, high-minded man. Of an exceedingly retiring disposition, he took little part in the debates in either house. His last speech, which is recorded in 'Hansard,' was delivered on 5 Oct. 1831 (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser. vii. 1329), seventeen years before his death.

He was the author of the following contributions to the 'Anti-Jacobin:' 1. 'Sonnet to Liberty' (No. v.) 2. The translation of the Marquis of Wellesley's Latin verses contained in the preceding number (No. vii.) 3. 'Ode to Anarchy' (No. ix.)' 4. 'A Consolatory Address to his Gunboats by Citizen Muskein' (No. xxvii.) 5. 'Ode to Director Merlin' (No. xxix.) 6. 'An Affectionate Effusion of Citizen Muskein to Havre de Grace' (No. xxxii.) There is a portrait of Carlisle by Sir Thomas Lawrence at Castle Howard. His portrait, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1786, was engraved in the following year by Thomas Trotter (Cat. of the Exhibition of Old Masters, 1878, No. 372). An engraving after a painting by J. Jackson, R. A., which includes his son Lord Morpeth, and is at Castle Howard, will be found in the second volume of Jerdan's 'National Portrait Gallery,' 1831.

[Ferguson's Cumberland and Westmoreland M.P.'s, 1871, pp. 384-5; Wilson's Biographical Index to the present House of Commons, 1808, pp. 172-3; Diary, and Correspondence of Lord Colchester; Gent. Mag. 1801 pt. i. p.275, 1848 pt. ii. 537-8, 1858 pt. ii. 317; Annual Register, 1848, App. to Chron. pp. 256-7; Times, 9 Oct. 1848; Illustrated London News, 14 Oct. 1848 (with portrait); Doyle's Official Baronage, i. 333-334; Burke's Peerage, 1888, p. 248; Foster's Alumni Oxonienses,ii. 698; Parliamentary History and Debates, 1795-1848; Official Return of Members of Parliament, pt.ii. 192, 205, 220, 231, 244, 259, 273.]

G. F. R. B.