Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset

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His Grace
The Duke of Dorset
PC
Dorset1.JPG
Lionel Cranfield Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset (1719)
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
In office
15 December 1750 – 2 April 1755
Preceded by The Earl of Harrington
Succeeded by Marquess of Hartington
In office
23 June 1730 – 9 April 1737
Preceded by The Lord Carteret
Succeeded by The Duke of Devonshire

Lionel Cranfield Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset, PC (18 January 1688 – 10 October 1765) was an English political leader and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

Life[edit]

He was the son of the 6th Earl of Dorset and 1st Earl of Middlesex and the former Lady Mary Compton, younger daughter of the 3rd Earl of Northampton. Styled Lord Buckhurst from birth, he succeeded his father as 7th Earl of Dorset and 2nd Earl of Middlesex in 1706, and was created Duke of Dorset in 1720.

Perhaps because he had been on a previous diplomatic mission to Hanover, he was chosen to inform George I of his accession to the Crown in August 1714. George I initially favoured him and numerous offices and honours were given to him: Privy Councillor, Knight of the Garter, Groom of the Stole, Lord Steward , Governor of Dover Castle and Warden of the Cinque Ports. At George I's coronation he carried the sceptre: at the coronation of George II he was Lord High Steward and carried St Edward's Crown. He quarreled with the King in 1717 and was told his services were no longer required, but was made a Duke three years later.

Lord Lieutenant of Ireland[edit]

Dorset served twice as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, from 1731 to 1737 and again from 1751 to 1755. In 1739, at the foundation of the Foundling Hospital, he was one of that charity's original governors. His first term as Lord Lieutenant was uneventful. His second took place at a time of acute political tension between the two main factions in the Irish Government, one led by Henry Boyle, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, the other by George Stone, Archbishop of Armagh. Dorset, now heavily influenced by his son George Sackville, made the mistake of openly backing the Archbishop. He was unable to oust Boyle from power, and was accused of being the Archbishop's tool. He became extremely unpopular, leading to his eventual recall.

Last Years[edit]

His last years were uneventful, apart from a riot in 1757 caused by the passage of the Militia Act where he narrowly escaped injury. He died at Knole on 9 October 1765 and was buried at Withyham in Sussex.

Character[edit]

Horace Walpole gave this sketch of his character : "with the greatest dignity in his appearance, he was in private the greatest lover of buffoonery and low company.. he was never thought to have wanted a tendency to power, in whosever hands it was". Jonathan Swift thought him one of the most agreeable and well- informed men, and best conversationalists, he had ever met. Even harsh critics admitted his dignity and perfect decorum, a last reminder of the manners of the Court of Queen Anne.

Family[edit]

He married Elizabeth Colyear, the daughter of Lieutenant-General Walter Colyear (brother of the 1st Earl of Portmore), in January 1709. Their sons were:

They also had two daughters:

References[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Duke of Cumberland
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
1708 – 1712
Succeeded by
The Duke of Ormonde
Preceded by
The 1st Earl of Rockingham
Custos Rotulorum of Kent
1724 – 1765
Succeeded by
The Duke of Dorset
Vice-Admiral of Kent
1725 – 1765
Vacant
Title next held by
The Earl Camden
Preceded by
The Earl of Leicester
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
1727 – 1765
Succeeded by
The Earl of Holdernesse
Preceded by
The 2nd Earl of Rockingham
Lord Lieutenant of Kent
1746 – 1765
Succeeded by
The Duke of Dorset
Court offices
Preceded by
The Duchess of Somerset
Groom of the Stole
1714 – 1719
Succeeded by
The Earl of Sunderland
Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Argyll
Lord Steward
1725 – 1730
Succeeded by
The Earl of Chesterfield
Preceded by
The Lord King
Lord High Steward
1727
Succeeded by
The Lord Hardwicke
Preceded by
The Lord Carteret
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1730 – 1737
Succeeded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Preceded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Lord Steward
1737 – 1744
Succeeded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Preceded by
The Earl of Harrington
Lord President of the Council
1745 – 1751
Succeeded by
The Earl Granville
Preceded by
The Earl of Harrington
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1750 – 1755
Succeeded by
Marquess of Hartington
Preceded by
Marquess of Hartington
Master of the Horse
1755 – 1757
Succeeded by
The Earl Gower
Peerage of England
New creation Duke of Dorset
1720 – 1765
Succeeded by
Charles Sackville
Preceded by
Charles Sackville
Earl of Dorset
1706 – 1765