The Earl of Tankerville
|Died||10 December 1822 79) (aged|
|Other names||Lord Ossulston (from 1753 to 1767)|
|Title||4th Earl of Tankerville|
|Successor||Charles Augustus Bennet|
|Parent(s)||Charles Bennet, 3rd Earl of Tankerville and Alice ( née Astley)|
Charles Bennet, 4th Earl of Tankerville (15 November 1743 – 10 December 1822),  styled Lord Ossulston from 1753 to 1767, was a British nobleman, a collector of shells  and a famous patron of Surrey cricket in the 1770s. He agreed a set of cricket rules that included the first mention of the Leg before wicket rule. 
His wife, Emma, Lady Tankerville, was notable as a collector of exotic plants. The first tropical orchid to flower in England is named for her as it was it flowered in her greenhouse. Her collection of over 600 illustrations were purchased by Kew Gardens in 1932 and are still available today. 
Tankerville was born in 1743 and was educated at Eton College between 1753 and 1760. He succeeded to the Earldom on the death of his father on 27 October 1767 and married Emma, daughter of Sir James Colebrooke, 1st Baronet, in 1771. He and his new wife settled at Walton on Thames at his house, Mount Felix overlooking the Thames. 
Lady Tankerville amassed a large collection of exotic plants at Mount Felix.  Lady Tankerville's collection was thought to be the largest in the London area. Specimens named after Lady Tankerville include the Nun's Orchid or Phaius tankervilleae.  Artists were employed to create botanical drawings on vellum of the specimens. 
Tankerville often played cricket and seems to have been a very good fielder, though he was not especially noted for batting or bowling. He was the employer of Edward "Lumpy" Stevens, who was a gardener at Tankerville's Walton-on-Thames estate; and William Bedster, who was his butler. It was the accuracy of "Lumpy" Stevens that led to the introduction of a middle stump. Prior to 1776 there were only two stumps and Lumpy's deliveries could go through the hole. A permanent memorial to Lumpy Stevens has been proposed. 
In 1774, Tankerville sat on the committee that formulated some early laws of cricket. They were settled and revised at the Star and Garter in Pall Mall on Friday 25 February 1774. The meeting was chaired by Sir William Draper and the committee included the Duke of Dorset, Harry Peckham and other "Noblemen and Gentlemen of Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, and London".  This meeting was one of the earlier sets of cricket rules and is acknowledged as being the first where the Leg before wicket rule was introduced. 
Tankerville continued in his interest in cricket with Chertsey and Surrey Cricket club until 1781 when he retired from the sport and went into political office through the House of Lords.  He was appointed joint postmaster general and a privy councillor in 1782, but he resigned his office in April 1783. However Tankerville was again appointed under Mr Pitt's administration in January 1784. He died on 10 December 1822 and was succeeded by his eldest son Charles Augustus. 
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Tankerville's other interests included maps and shells. At the end of his life his collection was sold for an undisclosed sum, but thought to be between three and four thousand pounds.  There are a number of flowers, shells and gastropods with the Latin name tankervillii. The gastropod named Amalda tankervillii (Swainson, 1825) is probably named for Tankerville (or less probably his son). 
Tankerville married Emma Colebrooke on 7 October 1771  in Gatton, Surrey.  She was co-heir to her father Sir John Colebrooke. Lady Tankerville's collection of botanical illustrations are at the Royal Botanical Gardens. Phaius tankerville was named in her honour by Sir Joseph Banks.  It was the first tropical orchid to flower in England. 
Their daughter Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennet (21 May 1785 – 27 February 1861) worked with their gardener (William Richardson) to cultivate new strains of tri-colored viola pansy flowers that were presented to the botanical society and horticulture groups in 1812.
Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennet was a watercolour artist included in many exhibitions. She was trained by London artist John Varley. Her works are on exhibit and in private collections including a composition of her home at Belsay Castle rendered in 1834 after her marriage on 26 July 1831 to Sir Charles Miles Lambert Monck, Bt. The painting of her home at Belsay Castle in Northumberland by Lady Mary Elizabeth Monck was found to be included as part of the Monck estate in 1912 and now resides in a private collection in the United States.
Another of her works is the "Burial Place of the Breadalbanes from the Churchyard at Killin" done in 1826–1827 on a trip to the Scottish highlands with her brother. This haunting graveyard work may have been inspired by the seat of her father's estate as the Earl of Tankerville being at Chillingham Castle which was said to be haunted.
From 1815 to 1823 (before her marriage) artist Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennet also trained and worked with the genius London artist John Linnell in engraving as well as miniature painting on ivory. They together produced a set of (12) engravings about Chillingham Castle that were started in 1815 and not finished and published until 1818.
The Hon Henry Grey Bennet, their second son, became the member of parliament for Shrewsbury in 1806 whilst their third son, The Hon John Astley Bennet, became a captain in the Navy but died in September 1812. The 5th Earl, Charles Augustus, who was born on 28 April 1776 was treasurer of the household during the short administration of Mr Fox in 1806. Their daughter, Corisande Emma Bennett, married James Harris, 3rd Earl of Malmesbury on 13 April 1830. 
John William Maule Ramsay, 13th Earl of Dalhousie, styled Lord Ramsay between 1874 and 1880, was a Scottish naval commander, courtier and Liberal politician. He served as Secretary for Scotland in William Ewart Gladstone's short-lived 1886 administration.
Chillingham Castle is a medieval castle in the village of Chillingham in the northern part of Northumberland, England. It was the seat of the Grey and Bennett families from the 15th century until the 1980s, when it became the home of Sir Edward Humphry Tyrrell Wakefield, 2nd Baronet, who is married to a member of the original Grey family.
Edward "Lumpy" Stevens was an English professional cricketer who played first-class cricket in the 18th century. He was an outstanding bowler who is generally regarded as the first great bowler in the game's history. He was universally known by his nickname and was always called "Lumpy" in contemporary scorecards and reports.
Baron Grey of Werke , of Chillingham in the County of Northumberland, was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created on 11 February 1624 for Sir William Grey, 1st Baronet. He had already been created a baronet, of Chillingham in the County of Northumberland, in the Baronetage of England on 15 June 1619. The third Baron was created Viscount Glendale and Earl of Tankerville in the Peerage of England in 1695. He left two daughters but no sons and on his death in 1701 the viscountcy and earldom became extinct. He was succeeded in the barony by his younger brother, the fourth Baron. The latter had previously represented Berwick in Parliament. The barony became extinct on his death in 1706.
William Yalden was an English cricketer and, with Tom Sueter, one of the earliest known wicket-keeper/batsmen. Yalden played mainly for Chertsey and Surrey though he was also a regular, sometimes as captain, in England teams, particularly in matches against Hampshire. His career began in the 1760s and he is known to have played until 1785.
Ford Grey, 1st Earl of Tankerville PC, 1st Viscount Glendale, and 3rd Baron Grey of Werke, was an English nobleman and statesman.
William Bedster was an English cricketer who played during the late 18th century.
The Laws of Cricket were substantially revised before the beginning of the 1774 English cricket season. The scorecards of five top-class matches have survived and there are reports of other senior matches, including two single wicket events. Hampshire did much better than in 1773 and were unbeaten in their known results to the end of July but then they lost twice to Kent in August.
James Edward Harris, 2nd Earl of Malmesbury was a British peer, styled Viscount FitzHarris from 1800 to 1820.
John Bennet, 1st Baron Ossulston was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1663 to 1679. He was created Baron Ossulston in 1682.
Belsay Hall is a Regency style country house located at Belsay, Northumberland. It is regarded as the first British country house to be built entirely in the new Greek revival style. It is a Grade I listed building. It was built to supersede Belsay Castle and its adjoining earlier hall just a few hundred yards away, and is part of the same estate.
Sir James Edward Colebrooke, 1st Baronet sat in the House of Commons from 1751 to 1761.
Charles Augustus Bennet, 5th Earl of Tankerville PC, DL, styled Lord Ossulston until 1822, was a British politician. He served as Treasurer of the Household from 1806 to 1807 in the Ministry of All the Talents.
The Honourable Henry Grey Bennet FRS was a British politician.
Amalda tankervillii is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Ancillariidae.
Phaius tankervilleae, commonly known as the greater swamp-orchid, swamp lily, swamp orchid, nun's-hood orchid, nun's orchid, veiled orchid, Lady Tankerville's swamp orchid or 鹤顶兰 , is a species of orchid native to areas from Asia to islands in the Pacific Ocean. It has large, pleated leaves and tall flowering stems bearing up to twenty five white, brown, mauve and yellow flowers. It was named for Lady Tankerville who owned the greenhouse where the first orchid flowered. It was the first tropical orchid to flower in England.
Phaius tankervilleaevar.australis, also known as the common swamp orchid, southern swamp-orchid, swamp lily or island swamp-orchid, is a species of orchid endemic to eastern Australia. It is an evergreen, terrestrial herb with large, crowded pseudobulbs, large pleated leaves and flowers that are reddish brown on the inside and white outside.
The Hon. Sir Patrick Ramsay was a British diplomat who was minister to Greece, Hungary and Denmark.
George Montagu Bennet, 7th Earl of Tankerville, was a British peer, Royal Navy and British Army officer, cowpuncher, circus clown, and revival meeting singer.
Emma Colebrooke or Emma, Lady Tankerville was a British heiress, art patron and botanist. Lady Tankerville's collection of botanical illustrations are held at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Phaius tankerville was named in her honour by Sir Joseph Banks because it was the first tropical orchid to flower in England and it flowered in her greenhouse.