James Stanhope 1st Earl Stanhope

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Stanhope, James Stanhope, 1st Earl (1673–1721). Soldier, diplomat, and politician. Stanhope came to prominence in the War of the Spanish Succession where he was largely responsible for the campaign of 1710, including the disaster at Brihuega, where he was captured. He was a Whig MP 1702–13 and 1714–17, was created a viscount in 1717 and an earl in 1718. From the accession of George I, Stanhope was continuously in office as secretary of state for the southern department (1714–16), for the northern department (1716–17, 1718–21), and 1st lord of the Treasury and chancellor of the Exchequer (1717–18). Foreign policy was Stanhope's main interest, his aim being to safeguard the Hanoverian succession by ending Britain's isolation by building up a series of alliances ensuring collective security. He teamed up with the 3rd earl of Sunderland (who was interested in domestic policy), and together they dominated the ministry until Stanhope's death (particularly during the Whig schism of 1717–20 when Walpole and Townshend left the government). Stanhope's diplomatic triumphs were the negotiation of the Triple and Quadruple Alliances in 1717 and 1718. He used the British navy in the Baltic and the Mediterranean to maintain the balance of power. At home he supported the Whig supremacy by trying to ensure the dominance of the existing ministry with the Septennial Act (1716), the Peerage Bill (1719), and the repeal of the Occasional Comformity and Schism Acts (1719).

Clyve Jones

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James Stanhope Stanhope, 1st Earl, 1673–1721, English general and statesman. During the War of the Spanish Succession he participated in the capture (1705) of Barcelona, was appointed (1706) minister to Spain, and in 1708 became commander in chief of the British forces there. He soon captured Minorca, taking Port Mahon and making it a winter base for the British fleet. He won the battles of Almenara and Zaragoza (1710) but lost his army to the French at Brihuega (1710) and was himself imprisoned for a year in Spain. On the accession (1714) in England of George I, Stanhope became a secretary of state. Devoting himself primarily to foreign affairs, he concluded a complex series of treaties, including the Triple Alliance (1717) with France and the Dutch. As chief minister (1717–18) he carried through the plans originated by Robert Walpole to fund the national debt and repealed (1718) the Occasional Conformity and Schism acts against dissenters. Becoming secretary of state again (1718), Stanhope negotiated the Quadruple Alliance of 1718 against Spain and formed (1719) a Baltic coalition to resist Russian expansion. His masterful diplomacy greatly strengthened Great Britain's position in Europe. He was created Earl Stanhope in 1718.

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