Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lascelles, Henry

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LASCELLES, HENRY, second Earl of Harewood (1767–1841), born on 25 Dec. 1767, was second son of Edward, first earl of Harewood, by Anne, daughter of William Chaloner. In 1796 he was elected member of parliament for Yorkshire in the tory interest. He was re-elected in 1802, but did not represent the constituency in 1806. In 1807 he was again a candidate for Yorkshire, in the first contested election which had occurred for sixty-six years. The struggle was also memorable on account of the vast expense which Lascelles and Lord Milton, the whig candidate, incurred, it being stated that together they spent 200,000l., and on account of the return of William Wilberforce, whose party almost entirely lacked organisation, at the head of the poll. The excitement was tremendous; the poll opened on 20 May, and continued for fifteen days. Lascelles was unsuccessful, coming 188 votes behind Lord Milton. On 20 July 1807, however, he was returned for Westbury, in place of his elder brother Edward, who elected to sit for the family borough of Northallerton. On 6 Oct. 1812 he was returned for Pontefract; but Wilberforce having retired from the representation of the county, Lascelles came in as his substitute on 16 Oct. Probably in consequence of the enormous sums he had expended in electioneering in the county, he chose to sit for the town of Northallerton in 1818. In the House of Commons he voted as a moderate tory. He was an admirer of Pitt, and spoke fairly often. On 13 Feb. 1800 he supported the Habeas Corpus Suspension Bill, and on 3 Nov. 1801 voted for the preliminaries for peace with France. He seconded the appointment of Charles Abbot (afterwards first baron Colchester) [q. v.] as speaker on 11 Feb. 1802, and took the moderate side in the debate on the Prince of Wales's debts on 4 March 1803. He moved the second reading of the Woollen Manufactures Bill, an act of some importance in manufacturing districts, on 13 June 1804. After the death of his elder brother in 1814 he was styled Viscount Lascelles, and when in 1819 Earl Fitzwilliam was removed on political grounds from the lord-lieutenancy of the West Riding, Lascelles was appointed in his place. On 3 April 1820 he succeeded his father in the earldom. He took little part in the debates in the House of Lords; he was opposed to the Bill of Pains and Penalties against Queen Caroline, and to catholic emancipation. On 7 Oct. 1831 he declared himself a moderate reformer, and favoured the extension of representation, but opposed the Reform Bill. In 1835 the Duchess of Kent and the Princess Victoria, and in 1839 the queen-dowager visited him at Harewood House, near Leeds, Yorkshire. His chief interest lay in country life. He maintained the Harewood Hunt, and died on 24 Nov. 1841 at Bramham in Yorkshire, just after returning from a run with the hounds. His portrait, by Jackson, is at Harewood. He married, on 3 Sept. 1794, Henrietta, eldest daughter of Sir John Saunders Sebright, bart., and had issue seven sons and four daughters. His eldest son, Edward, died in 1839, and his second son, Henry, succeeded him in the peerage.

[Gent. Mag. 1842, i. 96; A Collection of Speeches, Addresses, and Squibs produced … during the late contested Election, 1807; R. I. and S. W. Wilberforce's Life of William Wilberforce, iii. 55, 306, &c.; Parliamentary Debates; Smith's Parliamentary Representation of Yorkshire; Thornbury's Yorkshire Worthies; Men of the Reign.]

W. A. J. A.