Villiers, George Bussy (DNB00)

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VILLIERS, GEORGE BUSSY, fourth Earl of Jersey and seventh Viscount Grandison (1735–1805), born on 9 June 1735, was the only surviving son of William, third earl, by his wife Anne, daughter of Scroop Egerton, first duke of Bridgewater, and widow of Wriothesley Russell, third duke of Bedford. Edward Villiers, first earl of Jersey [q. v.], was his great-grandfather. In boyhood his tutor was William Whitehead [q. v.], the poet laureate. Returned to parliament for Tamworth on 28 June 1756, he was appointed a lord of the admiralty in 1761, and vice-chamberlain of the household in 1765, and, having thus vacated his seat at Tamworth, was elected for Aldborough in Yorkshire. On 18 March 1768 he was returned for Dover, a seat which he retained till his succession to the earldom on 28 Aug. 1769. Jersey also held the offices of extra lord of the bedchamber (1769–77), master of the buckhounds (1782–1783), and captain of the gentlemen pensioners (1783–90). Subsequently he became lord of the bedchamber and master of the horse to the Prince of Wales. He died on 22 Aug. 1805, being chiefly noted for his courtly manners. Mrs. Montague refers to him as ‘the Prince of Maccaronies.’ In March 1770 he was married to Frances (1753–1821), only daughter of Philip Twysden, bishop of Raphoe [see under Twysden, Sir Roger]. By her he had two sons and seven daughters. His eldest son, George Child-Villiers [q. v.], fifth earl, is separately noticed.

There is a portrait of the fourth earl as a child with his mother (full-lengths) at Middleton Park, painted by Hudson; also one of him as a man (three-quarter, seated) by Dance; and a head, painted by Hoppner, of his beautiful countess, whose relations with George IV have been investigated with more industry than accuracy by Robert Huish, Hannibal Evans Lloyd, and other chroniclers of the gossip of the period. There is a beautiful mezzotint by Thomas Watson of a portrait of the countess by Daniel Gardner.

[G. E. C[okayne]'s Peerage; Horace Walpole's Corresp. passim; Official Returns of Mem. Parl.; private papers at Middleton.]

H. E. M.