James Waldegrave, 2nd Earl Waldegrave

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James Waldegrave, 2nd Earl Waldegrave
KG PC FRS
2ndEarlWaldegrave.jpg
The Earl Waldegrave, mezzotint by James Macardell.
Personal details
Born (1715-03-04)4 March 1715
Died 13 April 1763(1763-04-13) (aged 48)
Spouse(s) Maria Walpole
Relations 4th Earl Waldegrave (son-in-law)
4th Duke of Grafton (son-in-law)
Lord Hugh Seymour (son-in-law)
Children Lady Elizabeth Laura Waldegrave
Lady Charlotte Maria Waldegrave
Lady (Anna) Horatia Waldegrave
Parents 1st Earl Waldegrave

James Waldegrave, 2nd Earl Waldegrave KG PC FRS (4 March 1715 – 13 April 1763) was a British statesman.

The Ladies Waldegrave, by Joshua Reynolds, 1770–80

The eldest son of the 1st Earl Waldegrave, Waldegrave was educated at Westminster and Eton and he inherited his father's titles in 1741. He was a Lord of the Bedchamber from 1743–52, appointed to the Privy Council in 1752 and Governor to The Prince of Wales and The Prince Edward from 1752–56. On 15 May 1759, he married Maria Walpole, the illegitimate daughter of Sir Edward Walpole and they had three daughters:

After the resignation of The Duke of Newcastle in November 1756, George II dismissed William Pitt (the driving force of the new government) in April 1757 and invited Lord Waldegrave to take over from Newcastle's successor, The Duke of Devonshire as First Lord of the Treasury. And so, Devonshire was briefly dismissed and Lord Waldegrave tried to form a government from 8–12 June that year but failed to do so and stepped down, partly because he feared that as Prime Minister, he would fall out with his close friend, the King (as his predecessors had done). Devonshire then continued as First Lord and Prime Minister for almost another two weeks and Newcastle returned a week later.

Lord Waldegrave was awarded the Garter soon after and retired from public life upon the accession of George III in 1760. He died of smallpox three years later and lacking male heirs, his titles passed to his younger brother, John.

After his death, his widow Maria married into the British Royal Family becoming the wife of Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, King George III's brother

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Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Pitt
Lord Warden of the Stannaries
1751–1762
Succeeded by
Humphrey Morice
Preceded by
The Lord Walpole
Teller of the Exchequer
1757–1763
Succeeded by
Robert Henley
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
James Waldegrave
Earl Waldegrave
1741–1763
Succeeded by
John Waldegrave