Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond
|Field Marshal His Grace
The Duke of Richmond
KG PC FRS
|Portrait by George Romney, circa 1777|
|Secretary of State for the Southern Department|
23 May 1766 – 29 July 1766
|Prime Minister||The Marquess of Rockingham|
|Preceded by||Henry Conway|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Shelburne|
|Born||22 February 1735|
|Died||29 December 1806(aged 71)|
|Allegiance||Kingdom of Great Britain|
|Years of service||1751–1806|
|Commands||72nd Regiment of Foot, Colonel
Royal Horse Guards, Colonel
|Battles/wars||Seven Years' War|
|Awards||Knight of the Garter|
Field Marshal Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, 3rd Duke of Lennox, 3rd Duke of Aubigny, KG, PC, FRS (22 February 1735 – 29 December 1806), styled Earl of March until 1750, was a British politician and office holder noteworthy for his advanced views on the issue of parliamentary reform. He associated with the Rockingham Whigs and rose to hold the post of Southern Secretary.
Lennox was styled Earl of March, his father's principal subsidiary title, from birth. He received his early education at Westminster School and succeeded his father as Duke of Richmond and Lennox in 1750. He had many sisters, including the Ladies Caroline Lennox, Emily Lennox, Louisa Lennox and Sarah Lennox. He was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society on 11 December 1755.
From 1756 to 1758 Richmond was the lieutenant-colonel of the 33rd Regiment of Foot. In 1757 a second battalion (2nd/33rd) had been raised and in 1758 this battalion became an independent regiment, the 72nd Regiment of Foot; Richmond was appointed Colonel of the new regiment and his younger brother George Lennox took command of the 33rd Regiment (1st/33rd).
The Duke of Richmond was appointed British ambassador extraordinary in Paris in 1765, and in the following year he briefly served as Southern Secretary in the Rockingham Whig administration, resigning office on the accession to power of Pitt the Elder.
In the debates on the policy that led to the War of American Independence Richmond was a firm supporter of the colonists, and he initiated the debate in 1778 calling for the removal of British troops from America, during which Chatham was seized by his fatal illness. He also advocated a policy of concession in Ireland, with reference to which he originated the phrase "a union of hearts" which long afterwards became famous when his use of it had been forgotten. In 1779 the duke brought forward a motion for retrenchment of the civil list, and in 1780 he embodied in a bill his proposals for parliamentary reform, which included manhood suffrage, annual parliaments and equal electoral areas.
Richmond sat in Rockingham's second cabinet as Master-General of the Ordnance, and in 1784 he joined the ministry of William Pitt. He now developed strongly Tory opinions, and his alleged desertion of the cause of reform led to his being violently attacked by Lauderdale in 1792, which nearly led to a duel between the two noblemen. Richmond died in December 1806, and, leaving no legitimate children, he was succeeded in the peerage by his nephew Charles, son of his brother, General Lord George Henry Lennox. The adjoining towns of Richmond and Lenox in Massachusetts were named in his honor. Richmond County, Georgia, one of Georgia's original counties, was named for him.
He became a Privy Counsellor in 1765.
In retirement he built the famous racecourse at the family seat of Goodwood. He was also a patron of artists such as George Stubbs, Pompeo Batoni, Anton Raphael Mengs, Joshua Reynolds, George Romney and George Smith of Chichester.
|Ancestors of Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond|
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.