Charles Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer
|The Right Honourable
The Earl Spencer
KG, GCVO, PC, VRD
|The Earl Spencer by Sir William Orpen.|
|Lord Chamberlain of the Household|
18 December 1905 – 14 February 1912
|Prime Minister||Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
H. H. Asquith
|Preceded by||The Earl of Clarendon|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Sandhurst|
30 October 1857|
St James's, Westminster, London
|Died||26 September 1922
St James Place, Westminster, London
|Spouse(s)||Hon. Margaret Baring
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
Charles Robert Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer, KG, GCVO, PC, VRD (30 October 1857 – 26 September 1922), styled The Honourable Charles Spencer until 1905 and known as The Viscount Althorp between 1905 and 1910, was a British courtier and Liberal politician from the Spencer family. An MP from 1880 to 1895 and again from 1900 to 1905, he served as Vice-Chamberlain of the Household from 1892 to 1895. Ennobled as Viscount Althorp in 1905, he was Lord Chamberlain from 1905 to 1912 in the Liberal administrations headed by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith. In 1910 he succeeded his half-brother in the earldom of Spencer. He was married to Margaret Baring, a member of the Baring family. They were the great-grandparents of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Background and education
Spencer was born in St. James's, Westminster, the son of Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer, by his second wife Adelaide Seymour, daughter of Horace Beauchamp Seymour and granddaughter of Lord Hugh Seymour. John Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer, was his elder half-brother. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge.
Spencer represented Northamptonshire North in parliament from 1880 to 1885 and Northamptonshire Mid from 1885 to 1895 and again from 1900 to 1905, from his home at Dallington Hall. In 1898 he contested Hertford. He was a Groom in Waiting to Queen Victoria between February and June 1886. In 1892 he was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household under William Ewart Gladstone, a post he held until 1895, the last year under the premiership of Lord Rosebery. Between 1900 and 1905 he was a Liberal whip.
On 19 December 1905, he was created Viscount Althorp, of Great Brington in the County of Northampton, so as to allow him to become Lord Chamberlain in Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's new Liberal administration (his older brother was still Earl Spencer at that time). On 13 August 1910 he inherited the earldom on the death of his childless elder brother, John Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer. He remained Lord Chamberlain until 1912. From 1908 to 1922 he was Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire. He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1911 and a Knight of the Garter in 1913. He was also awarded the Volunteer Reserve Decoration.
Lord Spencer held a large number of foreign decorations: the Grand Crosses of Order of the Dannebrog of Denmark, Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav, Order of the Polar Star of Sweden, Order of the Rising Sun of Japan, the White Eagle of Serbia, Order of the Red Eagle of Prussia, Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Carlos III and Order of Philip the Good of France. He was also an honorary major in and later honorary colonel of the 4th Volunteer Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment.
Lord Spencer married the Hon. Margaret Baring (14 December 1868 – 4 July 1906), daughter of Edward Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke, at St James's Church, Piccadilly, on 23 July 1887. They had six children:
- Lady Adelaide Margaret Delia Spencer (1889–1981), married Sir Sidney Peel, 1st Baronet and had issue.
- Albert Edward John Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer (1892–1975), the grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales.
- Lieutenant commander Hon. Cecil Edward Robert Spencer RN DSC Croix de guerre (1894–1928), died unmarried in a riding accident.
- Lady Lavinia Emily Spencer  (1899–1955), married the 4th Baron Annaly and had issue. Lady Annaly was an extra Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother when she was Duchess of York.
- Captain Hon. George Charles Spencer (1903–1982), married (1) Barbara Blumenthal and had issue, married (2) Kathleen Henderson; no issue.
- Lady (Alexandra) Margaret Elizabeth Spencer (1906–1996), married Hon. Henry Douglas-Home (son of the 13th Earl of Home) and had issue. She was the author of "A Spencer Childhood", published in 1994.
Lord Spencer died in September 1922 at his home in St James Place, London, aged 64. He had been ill for four months after contracting a 'chill' at a public event in his home county of Northamptonshire. His eldest son Albert succeeded in the earldom.
- 1857–1880: The Hon. Charles Spencer
- 1880–1892: The Hon. Charles Spencer, MP
- 1892–1895: The Rt. Hon. Charles Spencer, MP
- 1895–1900: The Rt. Hon. Charles Spencer
- 1900–1905: The Rt. Hon. Charles Spencer, MP
- 1905–1910: The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Althorp, PC
- 1910–1911: The Rt. Hon. The Earl Spencer, PC
- 1911–1913: The Rt. Hon. The Earl Spencer, GCVO, PC
- 1913–1922: The Rt. Hon. The Earl Spencer, KG, GCVO, PC
- Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901 PRO RG13 Piece 74 Folio 12 p. 16
- thepeerage.com Charles Robert Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer
- "Spencer, the Hon. Charles Robert, Viscount Althorp". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1885 - 1918 (Macmillan Press Ltd., London, 1974) p.295
- The London Gazette: . 26 August 1892.
- The London Gazette: . 30 August 1892.
- The London Gazette: . 12 July 1895.
- Michael Stenton and Stephen Lees, Who's Who of British Members of Parliament (Harvester Press, Sussex, 1978) vol. II p. 334
- The London Gazette: . 29 December 1905.
- The London Gazette: . 22 December 1905.
- The London Gazette: . 16 February 1912.
- George Edward Cokayne, H A Doubleday and Lord Howard de Walden, The Complete Peerage (St Catherine's, London, 1940) vol. XIII p. 39
- The London Gazette: . 11 July 1913.
- "Lavinia Emily White (née Spencer), Lady Annaly". National Portrait Gallery, London.
- Charles Mosley (ed.), Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition (Burke's Peerage and Gentry LLC, 2003) vol. III p. 3695
- The Times (London), Wednesday, 27 September 1922 p. 10 col. D
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charles Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer.|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Charles Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for North Northamptonshire
With: Lord Burghley
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Mid Northamptonshire
Sir James Pender, Bt
Sir James Pender, Bt
|Member of Parliament for Mid Northamptonshire
|Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
The Earl of Clarendon
The Lord Sandhurst
The Earl Spencer
|Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire
The Marquess of Exeter
|Peerage of Great Britain|
John Poyntz Spencer
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Viscount Althorp
Volunteer Reserve Decoration