Charles Spencer 3rd Earl of Sunderland

Earl of Sunderland
Charles Spencer earl of Sunderland
Charles Spencer 3rd Earl of Sunderland
By Godfrey Kneller (School of)
Jersey Museum and Art Gallery

1 Charles' family and Education

1.1 Second Earl Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer second Earl of Sunderland held high office in James II's government. He was fond of intriguing and scheming, and probably smart enough to understand how things were going. On 27 October 1688 he got his dismissal, and 'fled' to Althorp and then to Rotterdam in a woman's dress. He was 'arrested' by Dutch authorities in February 1689, but thought all of it ruse to cover for his previous mideeds.

1.2 Charles, the 2nd son

Charles was born 1674 as second son to Robert Spencer Lady Anne Digby. As second son he was probably permitted to engage in his scientific or bibliophile hobbies. In 1688 Evelyn visited Althorp, and called him 'a youth of extraordinary hopes'.

1.3 Studies in the United Provinces

Charles accompanied his father on his flight to the United Provinces in late 1688. While his father soon returned to England, Charles remained in Utrecht with his tutor Charles Trimnell, in order to 'Study the laws and religion of the Dutch', which probably means he studied at Utrecht University.

1.4 Starts his library

In 1691 Charles was back at Althorp. In 1693 he had begun to form a library, and had made a tour about England. In 1695 Charles bought Sir Charles Scarborough's mathematical collection, and so it went. By 1699 Charles had an incomparable library with many rare books and some of the first printed books

2 Charles' early career

2.1 Member of Parliament

After Charles came of age he was elected for Tiverton on 30 October 1695. During his fit two session (i.e. till 1701) Charles conducted himself as a steady and zealous Whig.

3 Marriage to Anne Churchill

In 1695 Charles Spencer married Anne Churchill, Marlborough's second daughter.

4 Leading the Whigs

Sunderland was one of the members of the famous Whig Junto.

5 Charles Spencer's Career and abilities

Career Charles Spencer
1695M.P. for Tiverton
17023rd Earl of Sunderland
1705Envoy Extraordinary to Vienna
1706-1710Secretary of State for the Southern Department
1715Lord Privy Seal
1717-1718Secretary of State for the Norhtern Department
1718First Lord of the Commission of the Treasury
1721Dismissed due to his involvement in the South Sea Bubble

6 Sources

Partly used for this article, the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica has an article about Charles Spencer 3rd Earl of Sunderland