James Cecil, 1st Marquess of Salisbury

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The Marquess of Salisbury
Lord Chamberlain
In office
MonarchGeorge III
Prime Minister
Preceded byThe Earl of Hertford
Succeeded byThe Earl of Dartmouth
Postmaster General
In office
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Liverpool
Preceded by
Succeeded byThe Earl of Chichester
Personal details
Born4 September 1748 (1748-09-04)
Died13 June 1823(1823-06-13) (aged 74)
(m. 1773)

James Cecil, 1st Marquess of Salisbury, KG PC (4 September 1748 – 13 June 1823), styled Viscount Cranborne until 1780 and known as The Earl of Salisbury between 1780 and 1789, was a British nobleman and politician.


Salisbury was the son of James Cecil, 6th Earl of Salisbury, and Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Keat.[1]

Political career[edit]

Lord Salisbury (in the front) with George III and Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Salisbury was returned to Parliament for Great Bedwyn in 1774, a seat he held until 1780, and briefly represented Launceston and Plympton Erle in 1780. In the latter year he succeeded his father in the earldom of Salisbury and entered the House of Lords. He served under Lord North as Treasurer of the Household between 1780 and 1782 and under William Pitt the Younger and then Henry Addington as Lord Chamberlain of the Household between 1783 and 1804. He was admitted to the Privy Council in 1780[2] and created Marquess of Salisbury, in the County of Wiltshire, in 1789.[3] He later served as Joint Postmaster General under Lord Liverpool from 1816 to 1823. He also held the honorary post of Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire between 1771 and 1823. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1793.

Militia career[edit]

He served as Colonel of the Hertfordshire Militia in home defence during the War of American Independence. To help his discharged men re-enter civilian life at the end of the war, he employed 200 of them on the improvements he was making to his Hatfield estate.[4][5] He was still in command of the regiment when it was called out again in 1793.[6]


Lord Salisbury married Lady Emily Mary, daughter of Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire, on 2 December 1773. She became known as a sportswoman and influential society hostess. The couple had four children:

Lord Salisbury died in June 1823, aged 74, and was succeeded by his only son, James. The Marchioness of Salisbury died in a fire at Hatfield House in November 1835.[7]


  1. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "thepeerage.com James Cecil, 1st Marquess of Salisbury". The Peerage.[unreliable source]
  2. ^ "No. 12122". The London Gazette. 26 September 1780. p. 1.
  3. ^ "No. 13123". The London Gazette. 15 August 1789. p. 550.
  4. ^ Brig Charles Herbert, 'Coxheath Camp, 1778–1779', Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol 45, No 183 (Autumn 1967), pp. 129–48.
  5. ^ J.R. Western, The English Militia in the Eighteenth Century: The Story of a Political Issue 1660–1802, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1965, pp. 286–7, 379.
  6. ^ Maj J.H. Busby, 'Local Military Forces in Hertfordshire 1793–1814', Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol 31, No 125 (Spring 1953), pp. 15–24.
  7. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "thepeerage.com James Cecil, 1st Marquess of Salisbury". The Peerage.[unreliable source]


  • The Gentleman's Magazine: and Historical Chronicle From January To June 1823, Vol. XCIII (London: John Nichols and Son, 1823). Obituary Section, p. 563. googlebooks.com Retrieved 28 October 2007
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Great Bedwyn
With: Paul Methuen
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Launceston
With: Thomas Bowlby
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Plympton Erle
With: Sir Ralph Payne
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Treasurer of the Household
1780 – 1782
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord Chamberlain
1783 – 1804
Succeeded by
Preceded by Postmaster-General
1816 – 1823
With: The Earl of Chichester
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire
1771 – 1823
Succeeded by
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Marquess of Salisbury
1789 – 1823
Succeeded by
Peerage of England
Preceded by Earl of Salisbury
1780 – 1823
Succeeded by