Charles Shaw-Lefevre, 1st Viscount Eversley
|The Right Honourable
The Viscount Eversley
Lord Eversley in the 1860s.
|Speaker of the House of Commons|
|Preceded by||Hon. James Abercromby|
|Succeeded by||Sir Evelyn Denison|
|Born||22 February 1794
|Died||28 December 1888(aged 94)|
|Spouse(s)||Emma Whitbread (d. 1857)|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
Charles Shaw-Lefevre, 1st Viscount Eversley, GCB, PC (22 February 1794 – 28 December 1888) was a British Whig politician. He served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1839 to 1857. He is the second-longest serving Speaker of the House of Commons, behind Arthur Onslow.
Background and education
Shaw-Lefevre was the son of Charles Shaw-Lefevre by his wife Helena, daughter of John Lefevre. His younger brother, Sir John Shaw-Lefevre, was a senior civil servant and one of the founders of the University of London, while his nephew, George, was a Liberal politician. He was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1819 he was called to the Bar, Lincoln's Inn.
Shaw-Lefevre was the son-in-law of the sister of Lord Grey, the Whig Prime Minister, which advanced his career greatly. A Whig, he was Member of Parliament for Downton from 1830 to 1831, for Hampshire from 1831 to 1832 and for North Hampshire from 1832 to 1857. During the 1830s he was chairman of a committee on petitions for private bills and of a committee on agricultural distress. His report from the latter position was not accepted by the House of Commons but was published as a pamphlet addressed to his constituents. He acquired, says the Encyclopædia Britannica, "a high reputation in the House of Commons for his judicial fairness, combined with singular tact and courtesy." When James Abercromby retired as Speaker of the House of Commons in 1839, Shaw-Lefevre was put forward as the Whig candidate and defeated the Tory candidate Henry Goulburn by 317 votes to 299. He was sworn of the Privy Council at the same time.
Shaw-Lefevre remained speaker until 1857, by which time he was second-longest-serving speaker ever, after Arthur Onslow, who held the post for more than 33 years. On his retirement in 1857 he was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Eversley, of Heckfield in the County of Southampton. He attended the House of Lords infrequently, with his last recorded speech in July 1873.
Shaw-Lefevre was director of the insurance company Sun Fire Office from 1815 to 1841, Recorder of Basingstoke 1823-35, and Chairman of Hampshire Quarter Sessions 1850-79. He also served in the North Hampshire Yeomanry Cavalry as a Lieutenant in 1821, and was twice Lieutenant-Colonel in its command in 1823-27 and 1831.
In 1857 he was appointed Governor of the Isle of Wight, which he remained until 1888. He was also an ecclesiastical commissioner and a trustee of the British Museum. In 1885 he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB).
Lord Eversley married Emma Laura (d. 1857), daughter of Samuel Whitbread and Lady Elizabeth Grey, in 1817. They had three sons, who all died in infancy, and two daughters. The family lived at Heckfield Place in Hampshire, which was previously the seat of his maternal grandfather. Lady Eversley died in June 1857. Lord Eversley survived her by over thirty years and died in December 1888, aged 94. He is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London. As he had no surviving sons, the title became extinct on his death. The Eversley title was revived in 1906 in favour of his nephew, George Shaw-Lefevre.
- thepeerage.com Charles Shaw-Lefevre, 1st and last Viscount Eversley of Heckfield
- "Shaw-Lefevre, Charles (SHW810C)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: Dover to Dulwich and West Norwood
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: Hackney to Harwich
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Eversley, Charles Shaw Lefevre, Viscount". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- The London Gazette: . 4 June 1939.
- The London Gazette: . 24 March 1857.
- Hansard 1803–2005: shaw-lefevre contributions in Parliament by Charles Shaw-Lefevre
- History of Parliament Charles Shaw-Lefevre
- The London Gazette: . 3 July 1885.
- Paths of Glory. Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery. 1997. p. 89.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Charles Shaw-Lefevre
- "Archival material relating to Charles Shaw-Lefevre, 1st Viscount Eversley". UK National Archives.
- Works by or about Charles Shaw-Lefevre, 1st Viscount Eversley in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Downton
With: James Brougham
John Willis Fleming
Sir Thomas Baring, Bt
|Member of Parliament for Hampshire
With: Sir James Macdonald, Bt 1831–1832
Sir William Heathcote, Bt 1832
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Hampshire North
With: James Winter Scott 1832–1857
Sir William Heathcote, Bt 1837–1849
Melville Portal 1849–1857
William Wither Bramston Beach
Hon. James Abercromby
|Speaker of the House of Commons
Sir Evelyn Denison
The Lord Heytesbury
|Governor of the Isle of Wight
Prince Henry of Battenberg
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Viscount Eversley