George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland

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George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland (ca. 1810)

George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland KG (8 August 1786 – 22 February 1861), styled Viscount Trentham until 1803, Earl Gower between 1803 and 1833 and Marquess of Stafford in 1833, was a British peer from the Leveson-Gower family, who had been a Whig M.P..


Sutherland, who was born at Portland Place, London[1] was the eldest son of George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland and his wife Elizabeth Gordon, de jure Countess of Sutherland.

He was educated at Harrow School between 1798 and 1803, then entered Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. in 1806 and M.A. in 1810. In 1841 he was made D.C.L. by the same university.[1]

His father died in 1833, only six months after being created Duke of Sutherland by William IV for his support of the Reform Act 1832, and so this new title devolved on his eldest son. His mother, who was 19th Countess of Sutherland in her own right, died in 1839, and so her ancient Scottish title passed to George, who also became 20th Earl of Sutherland. As a result, the two titles became united in the same person until 1963. It was the 2nd Duke who assumed the additional surname of Sutherland so that his family name became Sutherland-Leveson-Gower.


Between 1806 and 1808, Earl Gower travelled in Prussia and Russia. During the Prussian campaign against Napoleon's French forces, he spent time at the Prussians' general headquarters.[1]

Political career and public offices

After returning from Europe, Earl Gower entered the Commons as M.P. for the Cornwall rotten borough of St Mawes in 1808. In 1812, he transferred to sit for the Staffordshire borough of Newcastle-Under-Lyme, until 1815, when he stood to become one of the county MPs for Staffordshire, sitting until 1820.[1]

He was also Lord Lieutenant for the County of Sutherland from 1831 until his death, was appointed High Steward of the Borough of Stafford in 1833, and was Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire from 1839-45. He was appointed Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG) in 1841.[1]


Sutherland took part in a first-class cricket match in 1816, playing for E. H. Budd's XI and totalling 4 runs with a highest score of 4.[2]

Cultural interests

He was a keen book collector and was one of the founder members of the Roxburghe Club in 1812.[1]

He was a trustee of the National Gallery from 1835 and of the British Museum from 1841 to his death, as well as appointed a Fine Arts Commissioner in 1841.[1]

Building projects

Sutherland was partially deaf[citation needed] and therefore decided not to play a very active part in politics which was the path well worn by his contemporary peers. Instead he expended his energies by spending some of his vast wealth which he inherited from his father on improving his homes. In 1845 he employed Sir Charles Barry to make vast alterations to Dunrobin Castle. Barry transformed the place into the 189 room ducal palace which we see today. In addition to Dunrobin, the Duke also had Barry completely remodel his Staffordshire seat of Trentham Hall, Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire, and the family's London townhouse, Stafford House, which was the most valuable private home in the whole of London.[citation needed]


The Duke died, aged seventy-five, at Trentham Hall in Staffordshire,[1] one of his English mansions. He is buried at St George's Church Cemetery, Telford, Shropshire.[3]


Sutherland married Lady Harriet Elizabeth Georgiana Howard (1806 – 27 October 1868), daughter of George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle, on 28 May 1823.[4] They had eleven children, seven daughters and four sons:

A very large proportion of today's aristocracy are descended from the 2nd Duke of Sutherland. Through the marriages of his daughters, he is the ancestor of the present Dukes of Hamilton & Brandon, Argyll, Northumberland, Leinster, and Westminster, the present Marquesses of Hertford and Londonderry, the present earls of Selkirk, Lichfield and Cromartie, and the present Viscount Dilhorne, among many others. The heir to the present Duke of Roxburghe is also descended from him. His male line died out on the death of his great-grandson, the 5th Duke in 1963, and the title passed to John Egerton, a descendant of the 2nd Duke's brother Francis who was not descended from the 2nd Duke (although his wife, Diana, was). The present Countess of Sutherland is a direct descendant of the 2nd Duke. He was also the ancestor of the late Duchess of Beaufort, but not of the present Duke of Beaufort. Other notable descendants include the naturalist Gavin Maxwell and the spymaster Eliza Manningham-Buller.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Complete Peerage, Volume XII. St Catherine's Press. 1953. p. 565.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Lord Sutherland". CricketArchive. Retrieved 27 March 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Scrope Bernard
Viscount Ebrington
Member of Parliament for St Mawes
With: Viscount Ebrington 1808–1809
Scrope Bernard 1809–1812
Succeeded by
William Shipley
Scrope Bernard-Morland
Preceded by
James Macdonald
Edward Bootle-Wilbraham
Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme
With: Sir John Boughey, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir John Chetwode, Bt
Sir John Boughey, Bt
Preceded by
Lord Granville Leveson-Gower
Edward Littleton
Member of Parliament for Staffordshire
With: Edward Littleton
Succeeded by
Sir John Boughey, Bt
Edward Littleton
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Stafford
Lord Lieutenant of Sutherland
Succeeded by
The Duke of Sutherland
Preceded by
The Earl of Powis
Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire
Succeeded by
The Viscount Hill
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Leveson-Gower
Duke of Sutherland
Succeeded by
George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Elizabeth Leveson-Gower
Earl of Sutherland
Succeeded by
George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower
Peerage of England
Preceded by
George Leveson-Gower
Baron Gower
(descended by acceleration)

Succeeded by
George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower