John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower
John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower, – 25 December 1754), known as The Baron Gower from 1709 to 1746, was a British Tory politician from the Leveson-Gower family, one of the first Tories to enter government after the Hanoverian Succession.(10 August 1694
The Earl Gower
|Lord Privy Seal|
|Prime Minister||The Earl of Wilmington|
|Preceded by||The Lord Hervey|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Cholmondeley|
|Prime Minister||Hon. Henry Pelham|
|Preceded by||The Earl of Cholmondeley|
|Succeeded by||The Duke of Marlborough|
|Born||10 August 1694|
|Died||25 December 1754 60)(aged|
|Spouse(s)||(1) Lady Evelyn Pierrepont|
(2) Penelope Stonhouse
(3) Lady Mary Tufton
|Children||14, including Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford|
|Parents||John Leveson-Gower, 1st Baron Gower|
Lady Catherine Manners
Gower was a son of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Baron Gower (7 January 1675 – 31 August 1709), and his wife Lady Catherine Manners (19 May 1675 – 7 March 1722). His maternal grandparents were John Manners, 1st Duke of Rutland and Catherine Wriothesley Noel, daughter of Baptist Noel, 3rd Viscount Campden. He was educated at Adams' Grammar School and Westminster School before entering Christ Church, Oxford, in 1710. Around 1730, Gower erected the first Trentham Hall based on the designs of Buckingham House (Buckingham Palace). He was awarded degree as D.C.L. from the latter university in 1732.
Gower firstly became a founding Governor of London's Foundling Hospital in 1739. He then served as Lord Privy Seal between 1742 and 1743 and 1744 and 1754. He was a prominent Tory politician, being the first major Tory to enter government after the accession of King George I, when he joined the administration of John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville, in 1742. He was also appointed to the Privy Council in 1742, and he was created Viscount Trentham, of Trentham in the County of Stafford, and Earl Gower on 8 July 1746.
Gower married firstly, 13 March 1711 or 1712, Lady Evelyn Pierrepont (6 September 1691 – 26 June 1729), daughter of Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull, and his first wife Lady Mary Feilding. Mary was a daughter of William Feilding, 3rd Earl of Denbigh and his wife Mary King. By his first wife, the earl had eleven children:
- Hon. John Leveson-Gower (28 November 1712–15 July 1723).
- Lady Gertrude Leveson-Gower (15 February 1714– 1 July 1794), who married John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford.
- Hon. William Leveson-Gower (17 February 1715– 4 April 1739).
- Lady Mary Leveson-Gower (30 October 1717–30 April 1778), who married Sir Richard Wrottesley, 7th Baronet
- Hon. Frances Leveson-Gower (12 August 1720– 1788), who married John Philip Sackville, son of Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset, and had issue John Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset.
- Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford (4 August 1721 – 26 October 1803).
- Lady Elizabeth Leveson-Gower (20 January 1724–28 April 1784), who married John Waldegrave, 3rd Earl Waldegrave.
- Lady Evelyn Leveson-Gower (26 January 1725–14 April 1763), who married firstly John Fitzpatrick, 1st Earl of Upper Ossory and secondly Hon. Richard Vernon, having issue by both. (N.B. Henrietta Vernon, daughter of Richard Vernon and Evelyn Leveson-Gower, married on 14 July 1776 at the home of her Uncle the Earl of Gower in Whitehall to George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick).
- Hon. Richard Leveson-Gower (30 April 1726–19 October 1753), who served as a member of parliament. He never married and had no issue.
- Hon. Catherine Leveson-Gower (31 May 1727 and died in infancy).
- Hon. Diana Leveson-Gower (31 May 1727 – 1737).
Gower married secondly, on 31 October 1733, Penelope Stonhouse (d. 19 August 1734), daughter of Sir John Stonhouse, 3rd Baronet, and had issue:
- Hon. Penelope Leveson-Gower (circa June 1734–26 February 1742).
|Ancestors of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower|
Intelligence during French Revolution
Earl Gower was appointed ambassador in Paris in June 1790 at the age of 32. Due to Louis XVI being under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace, Earl Gower was unable to become 'an ornament at Versailles', or in other worlds, was unable to work closely with the royal family. Gower was scarcely better equipped to handle the complexity of the French Revolution than his predecessor, Frederick Sackville. He had no previous experience of diplomacy. Gower's main priority in Paris was to provide news from the French court back to Britain, however trivial. Though Gower also reported some popular 'disturbances', he had little comprehension of the broader political climate. On August 10th, 1792, an insurrection by the newly established Paris Revolutionary Commune drove the royal family from the Tuileries. Three days later Louis was arrested and imprisoned in the Temple, a former medieval fortress. Britain broke off diplomatic relations in protest. The closure of the British embassy meant that the intelligence operations could no longer be run from it. This resulted in Britain replacing the ambassador with Captain George Monro, removing Gower from diplomacy in France.
- Record for John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower at www.thepeerage.com
- George Edward Cokayne, editor. The Complete Baronetage, 5 volumes (no date (c. 1900); reprint, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1983), volume III, pages 39–40
- Charles Mosley, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1065
- ANDREW, CHRISTOPHER. Secret World: A History of Intelligence. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2018
The Lord Hervey
| Lord Privy Seal
The Earl of Cholmondeley
The Earl of Cholmondeley
| Lord Privy Seal
The Duke of Marlborough
The Earl Ferrers
| Lord Lieutenant and
Custos Rotulorum of Staffordshire
The Earl Gower
|Peerage of Great Britain|
|New creation|| Earl Gower
|Peerage of England|
| Baron Gower