Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Planta, Joseph (1787-1847)

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PLANTA, JOSEPH (1787–1847), diplomatist, was born on 2 July 1787 at the British Museum, of which institution his father, Joseph Planta [q. v.], was an official. He was educated by his father (Gent. Mag. 1827, pt. ii. p. 565), and at Eton, and in 1802, when only fifteen, was appointed by Lord Hawkesbury a clerk in the foreign office. In 1807 Canning promoted him to the post of précis writer, and employed him as his private secretary till 1809. Planta was an intimate friend of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, and made a tour of the English lakes with him in 1813. He was secretary to Lord Castlereagh in the same year, during the mission to the allied sovereigns, which terminated by the treaty of Paris in 1814. He attended Castlereagh at the congress of Vienna in 1815, and brought to London the treaty of peace signed at Paris in November 1815. He was also with Castlereagh at the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818. From May 1827 till November 1830 he was one of the joint secretaries of the treasury, and in 1834 was made a privy councillor. He was elected M.P. for Hastings in 1827, 1830, 1837, and 1841. In 1844 he resigned his seat through ill-health, and his death took place in London on 5 April, 1847. By his will Planta left his entire property to his wife, and recommended the destruction of his papers. He lived in London for many years, at No. 10 Chandos Street, Cavendish Square (Walford, Old and New London, iv. 447), and about 1832 resided at Fairlight House, near Hastings in Sussex. Lord Stratford describes Planta as ‘an amiable, kind-hearted friend, and an excellent man of business.’

[Gent. Mag. 1847, pt. ii. pp. 86, 87; Lane-Poole's Life of Stratford Canning.]

W. W.