Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont

Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont, PC (19 August 1710  21 August 1763), of Orchard Wyndham in Somerset, Petworth House in Sussex, and of Egremont House in Mayfair, London, was a British statesman who served as Secretary of State for the Southern Department from 1761-63.

The Earl of Egremont

Secretary of State for the Southern Department
In office
9 October 1761  21 August 1763
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Bute
George Grenville
Preceded byWilliam Pitt
Succeeded byThe Earl of Halifax
Personal details
Born(1710-08-19)19 August 1710
Died21 August 1763(1763-08-21) (aged 53)
Spouse(s)Hon. Alicia Maria Carpenter
ParentsSir William Wyndham, 3rd Baronet
Catherine Seymour


He was the eldest son and heir of Sir William Wyndham, 3rd Baronet (c. 1688  1740) of Orchard Wyndham, Secretary at War in 1712, Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1713 and Tory leader in the House of Commons during the reign of King George I (1714–1727) and during the early years of King George II (1727–1760). His mother was Catherine Seymour, daughter of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset (1662–1748), KG, and sister of Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset (1684–1750), created in 1749 Earl of Egremont and Baron Cockermouth, with special remainder to his nephew Charles Wyndham, subject of this article.[1]


He succeeded to the Orchard Wyndham estates and as 4th baronet on his father's death in 1740 and in 1750 succeeded by special remainder as 2nd Earl of Egremont, on the death of his uncle Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset, 1st Earl of Egremont, and received as his share of the Seymour inheritance the former Percy estates including Egremont Castle in Cumbria, Leconfield Castle in Yorkshire and the palatial Petworth House in Sussex (rebuilt by the 6th Duke[2]). These were formerly owned by the Percy family, and had been inherited by the 7th Duke of Somerset from his mother Lady Elizabeth Percy (died 1722),[3] daughter and heiress of Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland. His younger brother was Percy Wyndham-O'Brien, 1st Earl of Thomond, created Earl of Thomond, having become the chosen heir of his mother's sister's childless husband Henry O'Brien, 8th Earl of Thomond (1688–1741).


Wyndham served as Member of Parliament for Bridgwater (Somerset) in 1734–1741, Appleby (Cumberland) in 1741–1747, and for Taunton (Somerset) in 1747–1750.

Seven Years War

In October 1761 he was appointed Secretary of State for the Southern Department in succession to William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. His term of office, during which he acted in concert with his brother-in-law George Grenville, was mainly occupied with the declaration of war on Spain and with the negotiations for peace with France and Spain, the terms of which Wyndham seems to have disliked. He was also involved with the proceedings against John Wilkes.[4] He was Lord Lieutenant of Cumberland 1751-1763 and Lord Lieutenant of Sussex 1762-1763.

Marriage and progeny

On 12 March 1750/51 Wyndham married Hon. Alicia Maria Carpenter, a daughter of George Carpenter, 2nd Baron Carpenter of Killaghy, by his wife Elizabeth Petty.[5] He had progeny including:


He died on 21 August 1763.


According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, Horace Walpole perhaps rated Egremont's talents too low when he said he had neither knowledge of business, nor the smallest share of parliamentary abilities.[4]


  1. Debretts peerage, 1968, p.411, Baron Leconfield and Egremont
  2. "In 1682 Petworth passed by marriage from the Percies to the 6th Duke of Somerset and it is to him the Proud Duke that we owe by far the larger part of the existing house" (Nicolson, Nigel, Great Houses of Britain, London, 1978, p.165)
  3. Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.411
  4.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Egremont, Earls of". Encyclopædia Britannica. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 20.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Dodington
Thomas Palmer
Member of Parliament for Bridgwater
With: George Dodington
Succeeded by
George Dodington
Vere Poulett
Preceded by
Sir John Ramsden, Bt
George Dodington
Member of Parliament for Appleby
With: Sir John Ramsden, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir John Ramsden, Bt
Randle Wilbraham
Preceded by
Sir John Chapman, Bt
Percy Wyndham-O'Brien
Member of Parliament for Taunton
With: Robert Webb
Succeeded by
Robert Webb
William Rowley
Political offices
Preceded by
William Pitt
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
Succeeded by
The Earl of Halifax
Preceded by
The Duke of Newcastle
Leader of the House of Lords
Succeeded by
The Earl of Halifax
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Viscount Lonsdale
Lord Lieutenant of Cumberland
Succeeded by
Sir James Lowther, 5th Bt
Custos Rotulorum of Cumberland
Title next held by
Sir James Lowther, 5th Bt
Preceded by
Sir James Lowther, 4th Bt
Vice-Admiral of Cumberland
Preceded by
The Duke of Newcastle
Lord Lieutenant of Sussex
Succeeded by
The Duke of Richmond
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Algernon Seymour
Earl of Egremont
Succeeded by
George Wyndham
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
William Wyndham
(of Orchard Wyndham)
Succeeded by
George Wyndham
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