Walter Spencer-Stanhope (1749–1822)

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Walter Spencer-Stanhope (4 February 1749 – 10 April 1822), of Horsforth and Leeds, Yorkshire, was a British politician and industrialist whose family fortune had been made through the iron trade. He was born Walter Stanhope and became Spencer-Stanhope on inheriting Cannon Hall (see below).

Background and education[edit]

Spencer-Stanhope was educated at Bradford Grammar School and went up to University College, Oxford, and later studied law at the Middle Temple, London. In 1775 Stanhope inherited Cannon Hall from his uncle, John Spencer, and changed his name from Stanhope to Spencer-Stanhope by Royal licence.

Political career[edit]

Spencer-Stanhope was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Carlisle in 1775,[1] Haslemere in 1780,[2] Hull, Yorkshire in 1784,[3] for Cockermouth in 1800,[4] and for Carlisle, Cumberland in 1802.[1] He was a close supporter of William Pitt the Younger and friend of William Wilberforce, the anti-slavery campaigner, after meeting whom he became a religious philanthropist.

Business career[edit]

As well as their interests in establishing the cotton industry in the late seventeenth century the Spencer family were largely responsible for establishing the charcoal iron industry in the area between Leeds and Sheffield for the next 120 years.


Spencer-Stanhope married Mary Winifred, daughter of Thomas Babington Pulleine, in 1783. Their son John Spencer-Stanhope was a Fellow of the Royal Society and the father of Walter Spencer-Stanhope and John Roddam Spencer Stanhope. Spencer-Stanhope died in April 1822, aged 73. His wife died in December 1850.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Fletcher Norton
Anthony Morris Storer
Member of Parliament for Carlisle
With: Anthony Morris Storer
Succeeded by
The Earl of Surrey
William Lowther
Preceded by
Sir James Lowther
Edward Norton
Member of Parliament for Haslemere
With: Hon. Edward Norton
Succeeded by
Thomas Postlethwaite
John Baynes-Garforth
Preceded by
William Wilberforce
Samuel Thornton
Member of Parliament for Kingston upon Hull
With: Samuel Thornton
Succeeded by
Samuel Thornton
Earl of Burford
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Burrow
John Baynes Garforth
Member of Parliament for Cockermouth
Dec 18001802
With: John Baynes Garforth
Succeeded by
Robert Plumer Ward
James Graham
Preceded by
John Christian Curwen
Sir Frederick Fletcher-Vane, Bt
Member of Parliament for Carlisle
With: John Christian Curwen
Succeeded by
Sir James Graham, Bt
Henry Fawcett