Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Derby
PC
12thEarlOfDerby.jpg
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
29 April 1783 – 17 December 1783
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Duke of Portland
Preceded by The Lord Ashburton
Succeeded by The Earl of Clarendon
In office
12 February 1806 – 31 March 1807
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Lord Grenville
Preceded by The Lord Harrowby
Succeeded by Hon. Spencer Perceval
Personal details
Born 12 December 1752 (1752-12-12)
Died 21 October 1834 (1834-10-22)
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) (1) Lady Elizabeth Hamilton (1753–1797)
Elizabeth Farren
(d. 1829)
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby PC (12 December 1752 – 21 October 1834), usually styled Lord Stanley before 1776, was a British peer and politician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He held office as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1783 in the Fox-North Coalition and between 1806 and 1807 in the Ministry of All the Talents.

Background and education[edit]

Derby was the son of James Smith-Stanley, Lord Strange, son of Edward Stanley, 11th Earl of Derby. His mother was Lucy, daughter and co-heir of Hugh Smith of Weald Hall, Essex. His father had assumed the additional surname of Smith by Act of Parliament in 1747.[1] Derby entered Eton College in 1764, proceeding to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1771.[2]

Political career[edit]

Derby was returned to Parliament as one of two representatives for Lancashire in 1774, a seat he held until 1776,[3][4] when he succeeded his grandfather in the earldom and entered the House of Lords. He served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between April and December 1783[3][5] in the Fox-North Coalition headed by the Duke of Portland and was sworn of the Privy Council the same year.[5] He remained out of office for the next 23 years but was once again Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between 1806 and 1807 in the Ministry of All the Talents headed by Lord Grenville.[3]

Lord Derby also served as Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire between 1776 and 1834.[3] He was also listed as a subscriber to the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal navigation in 1791.[6]

Horse racing[edit]

At a dinner party in 1778 held on his estate "The Oaks" in Carshalton, Lord Derby and his friends planned a sweepstake horse race, won the following year by Derby's own horse, Bridget. The race, the Epsom Oaks, has been named after the estate since. At a celebration after Bridget's win, a similar race for colts was proposed and Derby tossed a coin with Sir Charles Bunbury for the honour of naming the race. Derby won, and the race became known as the Derby Stakes. Bunbury won the initial race in 1780 with his horse, Diomed; Derby himself won it in 1787 with Sir Peter Teazle.[7]

Family[edit]

Lord Derby married Lady Elizabeth, daughter of James Hamilton, 6th Duke of Hamilton, on 23 June 1774. In 1779, Lady Derby left her husband for John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset. Lord Derby refused to divorce his wife and denied her access to their children, causing her to be socially ostracised for the remainder of her life. Six weeks after the first Lady Derby's death, at the age of 44 on 14 March 1797, he married the actress Elizabeth Farren, daughter of George Farren, on 1 May 1797. He had three children by his first wife and four by his second wife. The Countess of Derby died on 23 April 1829. Lord Derby survived her by five years and died on 21 October 1834, aged 82. He was succeeded in the earldom by his son from his first marriage, Edward, Lord Stanley.[3]

References[edit]

In A Peep at Christies' (1796), James Gillray caricatured Lord Derby (as "Tally-ho") next to his future wife Elizabeth Farren.
  1. ^ Act (1747) 21 Geo.2 c.4 "Enabling James Stanley, Lord Strange, and his issue to take the surname Smith and to bear the arms of Smith and Heriz" [1]
  2. ^ "Stanley, the Hon. Edward (Smith) (STNY771E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ a b c d e http://www.thepeerage.com/p10990.htm#i109895
  4. ^ leighrayment.com House of Commons: Ladywood to Leek
  5. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 12470. p. 1. 26 August 1783.
  6. ^ A list of the subscribers to the intended Bolton Bury and Manchester Canal Navigation. Greater Manchester County Records Office, ref. E4/78/419: Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal Company. 1791. 
  7. ^ Thoroughbred Heritage: Sir Peter Teazle Retrieved 23 November 2010

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
The Earl of Sefton
Sir Thomas Egerton, Bt
Member of Parliament for Lancashire
1774–1776
With: Sir Thomas Egerton, Bt
Succeeded by
Thomas Stanley
Sir Thomas Egerton, Bt
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Derby
Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire
1776–1834
Succeeded by
The Earl of Derby
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Ashburton
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1783
Succeeded by
The Earl of Clarendon
Preceded by
The Lord Harrowby
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1806–1807
Succeeded by
Hon. Spencer Perceval
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Edward Stanley
Earl of Derby
1776–1834
Succeeded by
Edward Stanley