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William Bouverie, 1st Earl of Radnor
Harriet Pleydell
Jacob Pleydell Bouverie, 2nd Earl of Radnor
Anne Duncombe
William Pleydell Bouverie, 3rd Earl of Radnor


Family Links

1. Catherine Pelham-Clinton

2. Anne Judith St. John-Mildmay

William Pleydell Bouverie, 3rd Earl of Radnor 166

  • Born: 11 May 1779, 4 Grafton Street, Marylebone, Middlesex
  • Marriage (1): Catherine Pelham-Clinton on 2 October 1800
  • Marriage (2): Anne Judith St. John-Mildmay on 24 May 1814
  • Died: 9 April 1869, Coleshill House, Berkshire aged 89
  • Buried: 15 April 1869, Britford, Wiltshire

bullet  General Notes:

From The Times, April 12, 1869

It seems strange at this long interval of time we should be announcing
the decease of a man who entered Parliament four years before the
deaths of Pitt and Fox, and scarcely a year after the Union with
Ireland. Yet such is the case. The late Earl of Radnor, who died at
his family seat, Coleshill-house, last Saturday morning, not only took
his seat in Parliament in 1801, but, as Lord Folkestone (the courtesy
title by which he was then known), he took an active and prominent
part in opposition to the Tory Administration of which Mr. Addington,
afterwards Lord Sidmouth, was the head. This was eight years before
the name of Henry Brougham had been heard of either in Parliament or
in the English law courts, and while the late Lord Lyndhurst was a
student of Lincoln's-inn, hoping in the course of some two or three
years' time to be called to the Bar.
William Pleydell Bouverie, third Earl of Radnor, Viscount Folkestone,
of Folkestone, Kent, Lord Pleydell Bouverie, of Coleshill, Berks, and
Lord Longford, of Longford Castle, Wilts, and a baronet, was the
eldest of the four sons of Jacob, second Earl of Radnor, by the Hon.
Anne Duncombe, daughter and coheir of Anthony, last Lord Feversham, of
an earlier creation than the present Peer of that name. He was born
in London on the 11th of May, 1779, so that he had nearly completed
his 90th year.
His early education was in France, and while a boy he was presented to
Louis XVI. and his Queen Marie Antionette at Versailles, and was taken
through the cells of the Bastile the day after its capture by the
Parisian mob in July, 1789. As we have already mentioned, it was not
long after he came of age that he entered on Parliamentary life, the
retirement of Sir William Scott (afterwards Lord Stowell) from the
representation of Downton having made a vacancy in his favour in March
or April, 1801. At the following general election he was returned for
Salisbury, of which borough his father was joint patron; and in
January, 1802, he brought before the House a complaint against the
True Briton for the insertion of scurrilous paragraphs involving a
breach of Privilege. Soon after he supported the claims of the Prince
of Wales to the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall, and in the
following May we find him advocating Sir Henry Mildmay's unsuccessful
proposal of a vote of thanks to Pitt "for his eminent services to the
country", a vote which, if carried, would have been in effect a vote
of want of confidence in Mr. Addington. Still, Lord Folkestone was no
servile adherent of Pitt, for in 1805 we find him in the majority of
216 to 217 who voted for censuring Pitt's right-hand man and ablest
lieutenant, Lord Melville; and when, shortly afterwards, that nobleman
was impeached, Lord Folkestone was one of the committee of 21 who were
chosen to draw up the articles. In May, 1802, when Mr. Windham moved
vote of censure on Mr. Addington for the Peace of Amiens, then
recently concluded with Napoleon, Lord Folkestone seconded the motion
in a speech of considerable length and of great promise. It may be
added that one of his earliest votes in Parliament was recorded
against the proposal to pay Mr. Pitt's debts out of the revenues of
the nation.
It would be impossible within the limits of an article like this to
give a complete history of Lord Folkestone's career in the House of
Commons, extended as it was over nearly seven-and-twenty years,
without a break; it is sufficient to say that both by vote and by
voice he uniformly opposed the measures of Mr. Perceval and Lord
Liverpool; that he was an advanced Reformer and supporter of Roman
Catholic Emancipation at a time when neither "Reform" nor
"Emancipation" was popular, and that on such questions as taxation,
the education of the people, and the abolition of slavery, he spoke
frequently and powerfully, and showed large and liberal views which
were far in advance of his age. An eloquent and aristocratic Liberal,
especially with a prospective seat in the House of Peers, was a rare
sight within the walls of the unreformed House of Commons; but Lord
Folkestone went straight at his mark, caring little whether he were in
a minority or not; for he had faith in Liberal principles, and he knew
and felt that in the long run they would and must prevail, though he
might not live to witness that day.
It was naturally expected that when that day arrived, as it did
arrive, in part at least, on Lord Grey's accession to power in 1830,
the Whigs would have bestowed office on one who had been so long
conspicuous in Parliament for his advocacy of all measures of a
liberal and progressive character, and especially of the rights of the
unrepresented classes-an advocacy in his case all the more generous
and unselfish because his family were able to nominate one member for
the city of Salisbury, and he returned two members for the borough of
Downton. With reference to the borough of Downton there is an
authentic anecdote which is strongly characteristic of the man. At
the dissolution of Parliament in 1831 Lord Radnor sent for Mr. Charles
Lefevre, now Lord Eversley, and proposed to him to enter the House of
Commons as one of the members for Downton. Mr. Lefevre, while
gratefully accepting the offer, said he should be glad to know if
there were any political questions on which Lord Radnor might wish him
to vote in accordance with his Lordship's views. Lord Radnor's reply
was, "I wish you to judge for yourself, and to vote exactly as you may
think right, except on one point, and as to that I must make it my
particular request to you that you will on every occasion give your
vote for the total disfranchisement of the borough of Downton." It is
not publicly know whether office was ever offered by Lord Grey or Lord
Melbourne to Lord Radnor, who had succeeded to the earldom and the
other family honours in January, 1828, just when the Catholic Queen
was absorbing public attention: but the fact of his never having held
political office when his party were in power has often been made the
subject of observation and comment in those Liberal circles where hsi
name has ever been regarded as a tower of strength. It was thought,
and with good reason, that if he ever was ambitious of a seat in a
Liberal Cabinet he should not have identified himself so largely as
he did with the opinions of William Cobbett, to whom he contributed 50
. on one occasion in order to help him to a seat in Parliament.
Indeed, for some years after his accession to the title Lord Radnor
may be said to have been the most perfect specimen of a real Radical
in the Upper House; and Cobbett, no bad judge of a matter from the
popular point of view, used to say that "he was the only man that wore
a coronet who understood the first principles of politics, and that
his speeches were the only speeches in the Upper House that were worth
the trouble of listening to". His talents were certainly far above
mediocrity, and though he never rose to any high flights of oratory
his speeches were always original and his language forcible and
correct. He felt strongly on political questions, and therefore he
always spoke strongly - so strongly and earnestly, indeed, at times as
quite to forget himself in his subject, but he never wandered from his
point or indulged in common-place platitudes.
The family of Bouverie, which Lord Radnor represented in England, is
one of those which the religious persecutions of France and the Low
Countries have driven to take shelter in Great Britain, to enrich us
and our commerce at the cost of their fatherland. The Bouveries
descend from on Lawrence des Bouveries, a native of Flanders, who
married the daughter of a silk manufacturer at Frankfort, and settled
in Canterbury just 300 years ago. This Lawrence's grandson, a Turkey
merchant in London, was the father of William des Bouveries or
Bouverie, who was also a wealthy merchant, and was created a baronet
in 1714. His son Jacob, who was raised to the peerage in 1747, as
Lord Longford and Viscount Folkestone, was the father of William,
second Viscount Folkestone, who was advanced to the earldom of Radnor
in 1765. He largely increased the family fortunes by his marriage
with Harriet, only daughter and heir of Sir Mark Pleydell, of
Coleshill House, Berkshire, whose name the Bouveries (of the house of
Radnor) have since joined to their own; but still it must be owned
that, like the Coventries, the Wards, and the Barings, so the
Bouveries also laid the foundations of their coronet in the city of
London, where Bouverie-street and Pleydell-street still commemorate
their name. It may not be out of place to mention here the fact that
the celebrated Dr. Pusey, of Christ Church, is not really a Pusey, but
a Bouverie, being a grandson of the first Lord Folkestone and a nephew
of the first Earl of Radnor; and it is not a little singular that the
leader of High Churchmanship and Anglo-Catholicism at Oxford should be
descended from a family of Protestant refugees.
The late Lord Radnor's seat near Salisbury, Longford Castle, is
chiefly remarkable for its magnificent gallery of pictures, especially
rich in specimens of Holbein. Of late years, however, his lordship
had given up Longford to his eldest son, and had resided almost
entirely on his Berkshire property, devoting his attention to
agriculture and horticulture, and rarely attending in the House of
Lords. Some 20 or 30 years ago, when he was in full health and
strength, his handsome figure and honest and pleasant face were
familiar enough to his brother Peers, who were often amused at the
strong denunciations hurled at him by such men as Lord Roden and the
late Earl of Winchilsea, on account of his bitter invectives against
what he considered the corruptions of the Established Church, and the
exclusion of Dissenters from our Universities. It is remarkable that
the late lord and his father between them held a seat in the Upper
House for more than 90 years, and that they sat in the Upper and Lower
House altogether during upwards of 97 years.
The Earl was twice married; firstly in 1801 to Lady Catherine, only
daughter of Henry, Earl of Lincoln, and granddaughter of Henry, second
Duke of Newcastle, by whom he had an only daughter, the wife of
General Buckley, formerly M.P. for Salisbury; and secondly, in 1814,
to Anne Judith, third daughter of the late Sir Henry St. John Mildmay,
by whom he had two daughters and also two sons. He is succeeded in
the family title and estates by his elder son Jacob, Viscount
Folkestone, who was born in 1815, and who married in 1840 Lady Mary
Augusta Frederica Grimston, daughter of the late Earl of Verumlam, by
whom he has a numerous family.

Brasenose College, Oxford, matriculated 1 December 1795.


William married Catherine Pelham-Clinton, daughter of Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton and Lady Frances Seymour-Conway, on 2 October 1800. (Catherine Pelham-Clinton was born on 6 April 1776 and died on 17 May 1804.)


William next married Anne Judith St. John-Mildmay, daughter of Sir Henry Paulet St. John, 3rd Baronet and Jane Mildmay, on 24 May 1814. (Anne Judith St. John-Mildmay was born on 2 April 1790 and died on 27 April 1851.)

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