Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/George William Frederick Howard, Seventh Earl of Carlisle

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CARLISLE, George William Frederick Howard, Seventh Earl of (1802-1 864), Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, was born in London, 18th April 1802. He was the eldest son of the sixth earl by his wife Lady Georgiana Cavendish, eldest daughter of the duke of Devonshire, and bore at first the courtesy title of Lord Morpeth. He was edu cated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he earned a reputation as a scholar and writer of graceful verse, obtaining in 1821 both the Chancellor s and the Newdigate prizes for a Latin and an English poem. Two years later he graduated B.A. as first class in classics. In 1826 he accompanied his uncle, the duke of Devonshire, to Russia, to attend the coronation of the Emperor Nicholas, and became a great favourite in society at St Petersburg. At the general election of the same year he was returned to parliament as member for the family borough of Mor peth. In one of his earliest speeches he undertook, at the risk of forfeiting the good opinion of the Liberal party, the defence of the Russian emperor against severe attacks made on him in reference to the suppression of the Polish insurrection of 1830. In the agitation for parliamentary reform he took the side of Earl Grey ; and after the dis solution of parliament, which took place about that time, he was elected member for Yorkshire. This seat he held till after the passing of the Reform Bill in 1832. In the following year he was returned for the West Riding ; and in 1835 he was appointed by Lord Melbourne Chief Secre tary for Ireland, a position at that time of great difficulty, O Connell being then at the height of his reputation. This post he held for about six years, winning great popularity by his amiable manners and kindly disposition. Losing his seat at the election of 1841, he availed himself of the leisure thus afforded him "to visit the United States. He afterwards gave an account of this visit in a popular lecture, first delivered at Leeds and subsequently repeated at other places. In 1846 he was again elected for the West Riding. Two years later, on the death of his father, he succeeded to the peerage and took his seat in the Upper House. He accepted office as Chief Commissioner of Woods and Forests, and afterwards as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The great event of his life, however, was his appointment by Lord Palmerston to the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland in 1855. This high office he continued to hold till Maicli 1858, and again from June 1859 till within a few months of his death. His retirement in August 1864 was neces sitated by failing health. Lord Carlisle was not a man ol great and original power, but he was above the average in knowledge, in acquirements, and in eloquence. As* a debater he held his own in the midst of a large number of great orators, and in the stormy controversies of his Insn secretaryship he succeeded in carrying through the House of Commons several measures of great importance. His literary tastes and culture were displayed in various popular lectures and in several published works. Among these may be mentioned a lecture on The Life and Writings of Pope (1851); TJie Last of the Greeks, a tragedy (1828) ; a Diary in Turkish and Greek Waters (1854), the fruit of travels in the East in 1853 and 1854 ; and a volume of Poems, published after his death. He took warm interest in the reformation of juvenile criminals, and established on his own estate one of the best conducted reformatories in the country. Lord Carlisle died at Castle Howard on the 5th of December 1864. He was never married, and was succeeded in the peerage by his brother. In 1866 appeared his Viceregal Speeches, collected and edited by J. Gaskin.