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Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham

(b. May 13, 1730, Wentworth Woodhouse, Wentworth, Rotherham, Yorkshire – d. July 1, 1782, Wimbledon, London )

Gender: M

Charles Watson-Wentworth (1730-1782) succeeded his father as Marquess of Rockingham in 1750, and at the age of twenty-one inherited his vast estates, making him one of the richest men in the country. In 1752, he married Mary Bright (1735-1804), but they had no children. He was an influential Whig statesman, and Prime Minister on two occasions, from 1765-1766 and again in 1782. Edmund Burke was his private secretary during his first administration. Upon taking office for the second time, he pushed for an acknowledgement of the independence of the United States, initiating an end to British involvement in the American War of Independence. He died of influenza only fourteen weeks after his second appointment. His title lapsed and his fortune passed to his nephew William Fitzwilliam.

Also known as:

  • 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
  • Charles Watson-Wentworth




Please note that all dates and location information are provisional, initially taken from the library and archive catalogues. As our section editors continue to work through the material we will update our database and the changes will be reflected across the edition.