Robert Hobart, Fourth Earl of Buckinghamshire

President of the Board of Control, 1812-16

May 6, 1760 - February 4, 1816

Robert Hobart (1760-1816) Fourth Earl of Buckinghamshire from 1804. President of the Board of Control, 1812-16. Served in the American Revolutionary War, then as aide-de-camp to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, while serving as Pittite MP in the Irish and British House of Commons before being translated to the Lords by writ of acceleration in 1798. Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1789-93 (where he served with Westmorland as Lord Lieutenant), after which he was made a Privy Councillor. Governor of Madras (Chennai), 1794-98, at the end of which he was recalled by the East India Company. He had a big job under Addington as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, 1801-4, where he had ‘a better grasp of the local or colonial conditions and a more active spirit than some of his successors’. Hobart, Tasmania was named after him.

Although Pitt was not impressed with him, he was now part of Sidmouth’s connection, becoming Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when Sidmouth entered the Cabinet in 1805 and Postmaster General (outside the Cabinet) under the Talents. He was recalled to office in 1812, again through the Sidmouth connection, and in Liverpool’s Cabinet was a voice opposed to Catholic Emancipation, although he favoured abolition of slavery. His daughter married Robinson in 1814 and Castlereagh was married to his cousin, the daughter of the second Earl of Buckinghamshire. He died after falling off his horse in 1816.

© 2021 Martin Hutchinson