George Pitt, 2nd Baron Rivers

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George Pitt, 2nd Baron Rivers (19 September 1751 – 20 July 1828) was a British nobleman and politician.

Born in Angers, France, he was the only son of George Pitt, 1st Baron Rivers and his wife Penelope, daughter of Sir Henry Atkins, 4th Baronet of Clapham, Surrey. After completing his schooling, he spent several years on the Continent. He lived in Naples during Sir William Hamilton's tenure as ambassador, and later became a member of the Neapolitan Club.[1]

He succeeded his father as Member of Parliament for Dorset in the 1774 election, and like him, was consistently pro-administration.[2] He came under fire at the county meeting before the 1780 election from supporters of the "economical reform" campaign, but was returned unopposed.[3] After the fall of the North ministry, he voted in favor of Shelburne's peace proposals in 1783. He did not vote on the East India Bill which brought down the Fox-North Coalition, and was considered a supporter of his kinsman William Pitt's ministry in 1784. He did not stand in the 1790 election.[2]

Pitt was commissioned into the Dorset Militia, of which his father was colonel from 1757 to 1798. He was promoted from captain to major on 25 April 1790,[4] second lieutenant-colonel on 25 June 1798,[5] and first lieutenant-colonel shortly thereafter.[6] He resigned his commission in late 1799.[7] In 1803, he succeeded his father as Baron Rivers. He was a Lord of the Bedchamber from 1804 to 1819.[8]

In his younger years, he was a dandy and an avid huntsman, keeping an excellent pack of greyhounds until 1825, when failing health forced him to abandon the sport.[1] In 1800 he became the patron of the Swiss painter Jacques-Laurent Agasse, who made paintings of his greyhounds and horses.

He sold part of the family estates, those around Stratfield Saye House to the nation in about 1814, so that it could be given to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington as the gift of a grateful nation following his defeat of Napoleon. He died on 20 July 1828 in Grosvenor Place. Upon his death, the Barony of Rivers, of Stratfield Saye, created in 1776, became extinct, while the Barony of Rivers, of Sudeley Castle, created in 1802, passed by special remainder to his nephew Horace Beckford, who adopted the surname of Pitt-Rivers.[8]

It seems probable that Pitt had a son by a woman known as 'Mrs Dean' (Patianse Dean born 1749). Maj Gen George Dean Pitt became Commander of the Military Forces in New Zealand and the Lieut.-Governor New Ulster (the North Island).[9]


  1. ^ a b "Obituary". The Gentleman's Magazine: 463–465. November 1828. 
  2. ^ a b Drummond, Mary M. (1964). "PITT, George (1751-1828), of Strathfieldsaye, Hants.". In Namier, Sir Lewis; Brooke, John. The House of Commons 1754-1790. The History of Parliament Trust. 
  3. ^ Cannon, J. A. (1964). "Dorset". In Namier, Sir Lewis; Brooke, John. The House of Commons 1754-1790. The History of Parliament Trust. 
  4. ^ "No. 13200". The London Gazette. 11 May 1790. p. 291. 
  5. ^ "No. 15038". The London Gazette. 3 July 1798. p. 616. 
  6. ^ "No. 15076". The London Gazette. 30 October 1798. p. 1038. 
  7. ^ "No. 15214". The London Gazette. 17 December 1799. p. 1305. 
  8. ^ a b White, Geoffrey H., ed. (1949). The Complete Peerage, Volume XI. St Catherine's Press. p. 31. 
  9. ^ "K Road | Major General George Dean Pitt (K.H)". Retrieved 2016-05-28. 
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Pitt
Humphry Sturt
Member of Parliament for Dorset
With: Humphry Sturt 1774–1784
Francis John Brown
Succeeded by
William Morton Pitt
Francis John Brown
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Pitt
Baron Rivers (of Stratfieldsaye)
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Pitt
Baron Rivers (of Sudeley Castle)
Succeeded by
Horace Pitt-Rivers