Charles Colyear, 2nd Earl of Portmore

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Charles Colyear, 2nd Earl of Portmore (1700–1785). (Joshua Reynolds)

Charles Colyear, 2nd Earl of Portmore KT (27 August 1700 – 5 July 1785) was a Scottish nobleman, known as Beau Colyear for his conspicuous dress.


He was the son of David Colyear, 1st Earl of Portmore and his wife Catherine Sedley, former mistress of James II.[1] Amongst his ancestors were William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, foiler of the gunpowder plot, and Geoffrey Chaucer. He was also a descendant of Elizabeth of York, daughter of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and sister of Edward IV of England.

He was MP for Member for Wycombe in 1726 and Andover 1727–1730, when he succeeded to the earldom.

He owned many famous racehorses. He was a founding Governor of the Foundling Hospital, a charity created in 1739, dedicated to the salvation of abandoned children.

With Elizabeth Collier he had an illegitimate daughter, also called Elizabeth, born c. 1747, who married first Edward Pole, the soldier and secondly Erasmus Darwin, the physician.

He was knighted in June 1732 and married the same year Juliana Hale, daughter of Roger Hale of Halwell, Devon, and widow of Peregrine Osborne, 3rd Duke of Leeds. They had the following children:

  1. Caroline Colyear (b. c.1733) married Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Baron Scarsdale
  2. Juliana Colyear (b. 1735) married Henry Dawkins in 1759
  3. William Charles Colyear, 3rd Earl of Portmore (1745–1823)

Portmore was famous in high society for the splendour of his dress and equipages.



Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Charles Egerton
The Lord Shelburne
Member of Parliament for Wycombe
With: The Lord Shelburne
Succeeded by
The Lord Shelburne
Harry Waller
Preceded by
William Guidott
James Brudenell
Member of Parliament for Andover
With: James Brudenell
Succeeded by
James Brudenell
William Guidott
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
David Colyear
Earl of Portmore
Succeeded by
William Colyear