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Townshend, Charles Townshend, 2d Viscount

Charles Townshend Townshend, 2d Viscount (toun´zĕnd), 1674–1738, English statesman. A leading Whig in the reign of Queen Anne, he served as a commissioner to negotiate the union (1707) with Scotland and as ambassador (1708–11) to the Netherlands. He strongly supported the Hanoverian succession, and when George I became king (1714) Townshend was appointed a secretary of state. He was somewhat overshadowed by his colleague James Stanhope (later 1st Earl Stanhope), and in 1716 Stanhope and the 3d earl of Sunderland undermined his influence with the king and secured his dismissal. With his brother-in-law Robert Walpole, who left office with him, Townshend formed an opposition group, led nominally by the prince of Wales (later George II). He returned to office in 1720, and after the fall of Sunderland and the death of Stanhope, he became (1721) secretary of state again, sharing leadership of the ministry with Walpole. He negotiated the Treaty of Hanover (1725) with Prussia and France to counter the alliance between Spain and Austria and, after a brief war in which the Spanish besieged Gibraltar, concluded the Treaty of Seville (1729) with Spain. Foreign policy disagreements with Walpole led to Townshend's resignation in 1730. He retired to the country, where, as an experimental farmer, he became known as Turnip Townshend.

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"Townshend, Charles Townshend, 2d Viscount." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Townshend, Charles Townshend, 2d Viscount." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/townshend-charles-townshend-2d-viscount

Townshend, Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount

Townshend, Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount (1674–1738). Townshend succeeded to his peerage and the headship of the leading Norfolk political family in 1687. Though from a Tory background, he became a Whig closely associated with the Junto, specializing in foreign affairs. In 1713 he married Robert Walpole's sister and the following year became secretary of state for the northern department. Shifted to the less powerful post of lord-lieutenant of Ireland in 1717, he resigned from the government along with Walpole and remained in opposition during the Whig schism until 1720 when he became lord president of the council, returning to the northern department the following year. From 1722 he and Walpole ran the administration, with Townshend concentrating on foreign affairs, and though Walpole can be considered first minister because of his control of the Treasury, the ministry should be viewed as a duumvirate until at least 1727 when Townshend began to lose ground to his brother-in-law. Disagreement over foreign policy led to his resignation from the ministry in 1730. In retirement he devoted himself to agriculture on his estate at Rainham, and has come down to posterity as ‘Turnip Townshend’.

Clyve Jones

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"Townshend, Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/townshend-charles-townshend-2nd-viscount

Townshend, Charles

Townshend, Charles (1725–67). Townshend dashed across the political sky in the 1760s like a comet, blazed, and was gone. A grandson of ‘Turnip’ Townshend, he was returned to Parliament on the family interest at Great Yarmouth when he was 21 and held a variety of junior posts in the 1750s and early 1760s. In 1766 he became chancellor of the Exchequer in Chatham's (Pitt) ministry. The weakness of the ostensible first minister, Grafton, and the illness of Chatham, gave Townshend his head. In May 1767 he delighted and amazed the Commons with his ‘champagne’ speech, of which few reports survive. At the same time he pledged himself to raise a revenue in America by the imposition of a range of duties, a policy made all the more necessary by his failure to carry the land tax at 4 shillings, which left him short of budgetary income. Having lit the fuse for an American time-bomb, he died in September 1767 of a fever at the age of 42. Lecky called him ‘the spoiled child of the House of Commons’.

J. A. Cannon

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Townshend, Charles

Charles Townshend, 1725–67, English statesman; grandson of the 2d Viscount Townshend. Distrusted for his marked instability, he held relatively minor offices until the 1st earl of Chatham made him chancellor of the exchequer in 1766. Because of Chatham's illness Townshend became the leading figure in the ministry. He effectively sabotaged Chatham's plan to bring India under the sovereignty of the crown and undertook the ill-fated American import levies known as the Townshend Acts. He died shortly after the passage of the measures.

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Townshend, Charles, 2nd Viscount

Townshend, Charles, 2nd Viscount (1674–1738) British Whig statesman, known as ‘ Turnip Townshend’. Robert Walpole's brother-in-law, he helped to arrange George I's accession to the throne in 1714 and, as Secretary for the Northern Department, suppressed the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. He was forced to resign in 1730, and devoted his retirement to agricultural improvements.

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