William Fox-Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Ilchester
FRS
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
18 April 1835 – 7 March 1840
Monarch William IV
Victoria
Prime Minister The Viscount Melbourne
Preceded by Viscount Mahon
Succeeded by Lord Leveson
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the German Confederation
In office
17 March 1840 – 1849
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by Ralph Abercromby
Succeeded by The Lord Cowley
Personal details
Born 7 May 1795
Died 10 January 1865
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Sophia Penelope Sheffield
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

William Thomas Horner Fox-Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester FRS (7 May 1795 – 10 January 1865), styled The Honourable William Fox-Strangways until 1858, was a British diplomat, Whig politician and art collector.[1] He served as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs under Lord Melbourne from 1835 to 1840 and was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the German Confederation from 1840 to 1849.

Background and education

Fox-Strangways was the son of Henry Thomas Fox-Strangways, 2nd Earl of Ilchester, and his second wife Maria Digby, daughter of the Honourable William Digby. Henry Fox-Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester, was his elder half-brother and John Fox-Strangways his younger brother. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, taking a BA in 1816 and an MA in 1820.

Political and diplomatical career

Fox-Strangways served as an attaché at the British embassies in St Petersburg, Constantinople, Naples and The Hague, as Secretary of Legation in Florence and Naples and as Secretary of Embassy in Vienna.[2] In 1835 he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the Whig administration of Lord Melbourne, a post he held until 1840 (however, he was not a Member of Parliament during this time). The latter year he was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the German Confederation,[3] which he remained until 1849. In 1858 he succeeded his half-brother as fourth Earl of Ilchester and entered the House of Lords.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in March 1821.[4]

Family

Lord Ilchester married Sophia Penelope Sheffield, daughter of Sir Robert Sheffield, 4th Baronet, in 1857. They had no children. He died in January 1865, aged 69, and was succeeded by his nephew Henry Edward Fox-Strangways. Between 1828 and 1834 Fox-Strangways donated 37 early Italian paintings to Christ Church. There they are still shown at the Christ Church Picture Gallery. "He also left a further 41 paintings to the Ashmolean, including Paolo Ucello's magnificent The Hunt", to be admired there.[5]

References

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b065x676
  2. The London Gazette: no. 18993. p. 2470. 9 November 1832.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 19836. p. 663. 17 March 1840.
  4. "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 22 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Financial Times, 4 September 2010, Life & Arts page 14
  • Boase, Frederic (1897). Modern English Biography v. 2. Netherton & Worth. p. 6. Retrieved 18 September 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Political offices
Preceded by
Viscount Mahon
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
1835–1840
Succeeded by
Lord Leveson
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ralph Abercromby
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
to the German Confederation

1840–1849
Succeeded by
The Lord Cowley
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Stephen Fox-Strangways
Earl of Ilchester
1858–1865
Succeeded by
Henry Edward Fox-Strangways