George John Spencer, 2nd Earl
known as Viscount Althorp from 1765 to 1783
George Spencer was educated at Harrow School from 1770 to 1775
and then Trinity College, Cambridge from 1776 to 1778. He was
the Whig Member of Parliament for Northampton from 1780 to 1782 and Whig
MP for Surrey from 1782 to 1783. He was sworn of the Privy Council
in 1794 and served under William Pitt the Younger as Lord Privy Seal in
1794. He became First Lord of the Admiralty in 1794 taking over from
John Pitt 2nd Earl of Chatham. George continued as First Lord of the
Admiralty until 1801 when he handed over to Admiral John Jervis 1st Earl
of St Vincent.
George is briefly mentioned as First Lord of the Admiralty in the diary of George Marsh (page 176, August 1795).
He was later Home Secretary from 1806 to 1807
under Lord Grenville in the Ministry of All the Talents. George was
also High Steward of St Albans from 1783 to 1807, Mayor of St Albans in
1790, President of the Royal Institution from 1813 to 1825 and
Commissioner of the Public Records in 1831. He became a Fellow of the
Royal Society in 1790 and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1799.
He died in 1834.
Portrait of George John Spencer
Earl Spencer, Viscount Althorp
Painted by the artist John
National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk)