Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl of Chesterfield

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Not to be confused with Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope.
The Right Honourable
The Earl of Chesterfield
Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl of Chesterfield (1755-1815) by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788).jpg
Master of the Mint
In office
Monarch George III
Prime Minister Hon. William Pitt the Younger
Preceded by The Earl of Effingham
Succeeded by The Marquess Townshend
Master of the Horse
In office
Monarch George III
Prime Minister Hon. William Pitt the Younger
Henry Addington
Preceded by The Earl of Westmorland
Succeeded by The Marquess of Hertford
Personal details
Born 10 November 1755 (1755-11-10)
Died 29 August 1815 (1815-08-30)
Bretby, Derbyshire
Nationality British
Spouse(s) (1) Anne Thistlethwayte
(2) Lady Henrietta Thynne
Alma mater University of Leipzig, Saxony

Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl of Chesterfield KG, PC, FRS, FSA (10 November 1755 – 29 August 1815), known as Philip Stanhope until 1773, was a British politician and diplomat. He was British Ambassador to Spain between 1784 and 1787, Master of the Mint between 1789 and 1790, Joint Postmaster General between 1790 and 1798 and Master of the Horse between 1798 and 1804.

Background and education[edit]

Stanhope was the son of Arthur Charles Stanhope, of Mansfield Woodhouse, and Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of Charles Headlam, of Kerby Hall, Yorkshire,[1] and cousin, godson and, later, adopted son of Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (whose titles he inherited at his death in 1773). He was a great-great-great-grandson of Philip Stanhope, 1st Earl of Chesterfield. His adoptive father directed his early education and his tutors included the poet Cuthbert Shaw and Edward Gibbon's friend the Swiss Jacques Georges Deyverdun, as well as Adam Ferguson, Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and the forger Dr William Dodd.[2] He was later educated at the University of Leipzig, Saxony.[1] During his service in Germany he became a member of the Masonic Lodge Minerva zu den drei Palmen Leipzig in 1773.[3]

Political and diplomatic career[edit]

Lord Chesterfield became a favourite of George III.[2] In 1784 he was sworn of the Privy Council[4] and appointed Ambassador to Spain, a post he held until 1787, although he never went to Spain. He later held office under William Pitt the Younger as Master of the Mint between 1789 and 1790 and as joint Postmaster General between 1790 and 1798 and under Pitt and Henry Addington as Master of the Horse between 1798 and 1804.[1]

Lord Chesterfield was also Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire between 1781 and 1782. He was elected a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries in 1776.[1] In 1805 he was appointed a Knight of the Garter.[5]


Lord Chesterfield married firstly, Anne, daughter of Reverend Robert Thistlewayte, on 20 August 1777. They had one child:

  • Lady Harriet Stanhope (d. 1803), died unmarried.

After his first wife's death in October 1798 he married secondly, Lady Henrietta Thynne, daughter of Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath, on 2 May 1799. They had two children:

The Countess of Chesterfield died at Chesterfield House, Mayfair, London, in May 1813, aged 50. Lord Chesterfield survived her by two years and died at Bretby, Derbyshire, in August 1815, aged 59. He was succeeded in the earldom by his only son, George.[1]


Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Effingham
Master of the Mint
1789 – 1790
Succeeded by
The Marquess Townshend
Preceded by
The Lord Walsingham
The Earl of Westmorland
Postmaster General
with The Lord Walsingham 1790–1794
The Earl of Leicester 1794–1798

Succeeded by
The Earl of Leicester
The Lord Auckland
Preceded by
The Earl of Westmorland
Master of the Horse
1798 – 1804
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Hertford
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord le Despencer
Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire
Succeeded by
The Earl Temple
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Philip Stanhope
Earl of Chesterfield
1773 – 1815
Succeeded by
George Stanhope