Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Petty-Fitzmaurice, Henry Thomas

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PETTY-FITZMAURICE, HENRY THOMAS, fourth Marquis of Lansdowne (1816–1866), under-secretary of state for foreign affairs, was the second and only surviving son of Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, third marquis of Lansdowne [q. v.], by his marriage with Lady Louisa Emma Fox-Strangways, fifth daughter of Henry Thomas, second earl of Ilchester. He was born on 5 Jan. 1816 at Lansdowne House, London, and was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He sat in the House of Commons for Calne from 1847 to 5 July 1856, and was a junior lord of the treasury in Lord John Russell's administration from December 1847 to August 1849. In July 1856 he was summoned to the House of Lords in his father's barony of Wycombe, and became under-secretary of state for foreign affairs under Lord Palmerston from 1856 to 1858. In 1859 he was elected chairman of the Great Western Railway Company, which position he resigned shortly after the death of his father on 31 Jan. 1863. He was made knight of the Garter in 1864. He received an offer of office from Lord Derby the day before his death, which took place suddenly on 5 July 1866; he was seized with paralysis at White's Club, and died within a few hours afterwards at Lansdowne House. He was buried in the mausoleum at Bowood.

Lansdowne, unlike his father, took small interest in politics; he possessed, however, an admirable capacity for administrative work, which well fitted him for the post of chairman of the Great Western Railway Company.

He married, first, on 18 Aug. 1840, Lady Georgiana Herbert, daughter of George Augustus, eleventh earl of Pembroke; and, secondly, Emily Jane Mercer Elphinstone de Flahault, baroness Nairne in her own right, eldest daughter of the Comte de Flahault and the Baroness Nairne and Keith, by whom he had two sons. The elder succeeded him as fifth Marquis, and has served the offices of governor-general of Canada, viceroy of India, and secretary of state for foreign affairs. Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice is the second son.

[Burke's Peerage; Ann. Reg. 1866; Gent. Mag. 1866; Times, 13 July 1866.]

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