Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland

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Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland (21 November 1773 - 22 October 1840), was an English politician and a major figure in Whig politics in the early 19th century.

Contents

Biography

He was born at Winterslow House in Wiltshire and educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he became the friend of Canning and Hookham Frere. Lord Holland's uncle was the great Whig orator Charles James Fox, and he remained steadily loyal to the Whig party. In 1791 he visited Paris and became acquainted with Lafayette and Talleyrand, and in 1793 he again went abroad to travel in France and Italy. At Florence he met with Lady Webster, wife of Sir Godfrey Webster, Bart., who left her husband for him. She was by birth Elizabeth Vassall (1770 - 1845), daughter of Richard Vassall, a planter in Jamaica. A son, Charles Richard Fox, was born to them. Sir Godfrey Webster having obtained a divorce, the couple were able to marry on July 6, 1797.

Politics

Holland took his seat in the House of Lords on 5 October 1796. During several years he may be said almost to have constituted the Whig party in the Upper House. In 1800 he was authorized to take the name of Vassall, and after 1807 he signed himself Vassall Holland, though the name was no part of his title. He was appointed to negotiate a treaty with American envoys James Monroe and William Pinkney, was admitted to the privy council on 27 August 1806, and on the 15th of October entered the Ministry of All the Talents as Lord Privy Seal, retiring with the rest of his colleagues in March 1807. He led the opposition to the Regency bill in 1811, and he attacked the orders in council and other strong measures of the government taken to counteract Napoleon's Berlin decrees. He denounced the treaty of 1813 with Sweden which bound England to consent to the forcible union of Norway, and he resisted the bill of 1816 for confining Napoleon in Saint Helena. He was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the cabinets of Lord Grey and Lord Melbourne, and he was still in office when he died on 22 October 1840.

Writings

His protests against the measures of the Tory ministers were collected and published, as the Opinions of Lord Holland (1841), by Dr Moylan of Lincoln's Inn. Lord Holland's Foreign Reminiscences (1850) contain much amusing gossip from the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era. His Memoirs of the Whig Party (1852) is an important contemporary authority. His small work on Lope de Vega (1806) is still of some value.


Preceded by:
The Viscount Sidmouth
Lord Privy Seal
1806–1807
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Westmorland
Preceded by:
Charles Arbuthnot
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1830–1834
Succeeded by:
Charles Watkins Williams Wynn
Preceded by:
Charles Watkins Williams Wynn
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1835–1840
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Clarendon

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Preceded by:
Stephen Fox
Baron Holland
Succeeded by:
Henry Edward Fox

Template:End box

Reference

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