Hans Stanley

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Hans Stanley PC (23 September 1721 – 12 January 1780) was a British diplomat and statesman.

Early life[edit]

Stanley was christened on 9 October 1721 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. He was elected as an MP for St. Albans at a by-election on 11 February 1743, and sat for it until the general election in 1747. He had no place in the next parliament, and for a time meditated abandoning parliamentary life for diplomacy. He travelled frequently in France, resided for two years at Paris, and studied the law of nations. At the general election of 15 April 1754 he was elected in the Tory interest by the borough of Southampton, and represented it continuously until his death.

Peace negotiator[edit]

Hearing from Lord Temple of Pitt's good opinion of him, he recounted in a letter to Pitt of 18 April 1761, his claims to employment should it be desired to open negotiations with France.[1]. He was at that time a follower of the Duke of Newcastle, but Pitt enlisted his services, ‘from opinion of his abilities.’ Stanley set out for Calais to meet the French agent on 24 May 1761. Early in the next month he arrived at Paris, and was appointed as Chargé d'affaires at the Embassy to France. He was the representative of the British government in trying to negotiate a peace agreement with France to bring to an end the Seven Years' War. There he remained until 20 Sept., when it became clear that the mission had ended in failure. There he remained until 20 Sept., when it became clear that the mission had ended in failure.

He was appointed to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty on 17 June 1762 and became a member of the Privy Council in November of that year. On 7 April 1763 he sent a spirited letter to George Grenville, who was then in office, and to whom he was then attached, declining a seat at the treasury, and setting out how his claims had been neglected. Next August he was at Compiègne. He solicited and obtained in July 1764 the post of Governor of the Isle of Wight or Vice Admiral and constable of Carisbrook Castle. Mary Hervey described the governorship as ‘a very honourable, very convenient employment for him, and also very lucrative.’ At Steephill Manor, on the site of the present castle, near Ventnor, he built a cottage in 1770 at considerable expense, and he entertained there several foreign ambassadors.[2] He resided there until his death in 1780.[3]

Later life[edit]

From 1766 to 1767 he was an Ambassador from the United Kingdom to Russia. Stanley was the Cofferer of the Household for two terms: 1766–1774 and 1776–1780.

Hans Stanley committed suicide by cutting his throat, " in a sudden fit of frenzy", at Althorp, the home of John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer in Northamptonshire.[4]

He was the grandson of Sir Hans Sloane and the first cousin one time removed of John 'Mad Jack' Fuller.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chatham Correspondence, ii. 116–19
  2. ^ Hassell, Isle of Wight, i. 212–19; Guide to Southampton, 4th edit. p. 87
  3. ^ "Victoria County History". British History Online, University of London & History of Parliament Trust. 1912. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  4. ^ STANLEY, Hans (1721-80), of Paultons, nr. Romsey, Hants, and Ventnor, I.o.W.; Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
James West
Thomas Ashby
Member of Parliament for St Albans
with James West

1743–1747
Succeeded by
James West
Peter Thompson
Preceded by
Peter Delmé
Anthony Langley Swymmer
Member of Parliament for Southampton
1754–1780
With: Anthony Langley Swymmer to 1760
Henry Dawkins 1760–68
Viscount Palmerston 1760–74
John Fleming 1774–80
Succeeded by
John 'Mad Jack' Fuller
John Fleming
Political offices
Preceded by
Earl of Scarbrough
Cofferer of the Household
1766–1774
Succeeded by
Jeremiah Dyson
Preceded by
Jeremiah Dyson
Cofferer of the Household
1776–1780
Succeeded by
Lord Beauchamp
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Holmes
Governor of the Isle of Wight
1764–1766
Succeeded by
The Duke of Bolton
Vice-Admiral of the Isle of Wight
1765–1767
Preceded by
The Duke of Bolton
Governor of the Isle of Wight
1770–1780
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Worsley
Vice-Admiral of the Isle of Wight
1771–1780
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney
Ambassador from Great Britain to Russia
1766–1767
Succeeded by
George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney