Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Townshend, Charles (1728-1810)

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760746Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 57 — Townshend, Charles (1728-1810)1899Gerald le Grys Norgate

TOWNSHEND, CHARLES, first Baron Bayning (1728–1810) of Honingham, Norfolk, and Foxley, Berkshire, born on 27 Aug. 1728, was the only son of William Townshend (third surviving son of Charles, second viscount Townshend [q. v.]), by Henrietta, daughter of Lord William Paulet or Powlett, second son of Charles Paulet, first duke of Bolton [q. v.] He was educated at Eton and Clare Hall, Cambridge, and graduated M.A. in 1749. He was appointed secretary to the British embassy at Madrid on 17 Sept. 1751, and remained in Spain for five years. Henceforth he became known as ‘Spanish Charles,’ in contradistinction to his brilliant namesake and cousin, Charles Townshend (1725–1767) [q. v.] He returned to England in 1756, and at the general election of that year succeeded his cousin Charles as member for Great Yarmouth, which he continued to represent until 1784, and again from 1790 to 1796. He acted generally with the Rockingham whigs, but was not prominent as a speaker. He was present at the great gathering of whigs held at Claremont (Newcastle's house at Esher) on 30 June 1765, and was one of the minority who thought it unadvisable to take office without Pitt. When, however, Rockingham became premier, Townshend was made a lord of the admiralty on 30 April 1765. In Feb. 1770 he exchanged this office for a commissionership of the treasury in Lord North's administration. He was sworn of the privy council on 20 June 1777 and on 17 Sept. was appointed joint vice-treasurer of Ireland. In the coalition ministry of 1783 he held the office of treasurer of the navy. He was created a peer on 20 Oct. 1797, with the title of Baron Bayning of Foxley. In 1807 he was elected high steward of Yarmouth in succession to George, first marquis Townshend [q. v.] He died on 19 May 1810. A portrait of him at Honingham has been engraved (Evans, No. 12545; Manship, Hist of Yarmouth, ed. Palmer, ii. 333).

Bayning married, in August 1777, Annabella, daughter of the Rev. Richard Smith, by Annabella, granddaughter of Lord William Powlett. She became heir of her brother, Powlett Smith-Powlett of Sombourne, Hampshire, and died on 3 Jan. 1825. By her he had two sons, Charles Frederick Powlett Townshend (1785–1823) and Henry Powlett (1797–1866), who assumed by royal license the name of his maternal great-grandfather, William Powlett. Both sons died without surviving issue, and on the death of the younger in 1866 the peerage became extinct.

[G. E. C[okayne]'s Peerage; Burke's Extinct Peerage; Gent. Mag. 1810 i. 594, 1866 ii. 405–6; Walpole's Memoirs of George III (Barker), ii. 134 n., 137, iv. 58, and Last Journals ii. 616; Albemarle's Memoir of Rockingham, i. 220; Wraxall's Memoirs (Wheatley), iii. 55.]

G. Le G. N.