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|Chancellor of the Exchequer|
2 August 1766 –4 September 1767
|Prime Minister||The Earl of Chatham|
|Preceded by||William Dowdeswell|
|Succeeded by||Lord North|
|President of the Board of Trade|
1 March 1763 –20 April 1763
|Preceded by||The Lord Sandys|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Shelburne|
|Born||29 August 1725|
Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England
|Died||4 September 1767 42)(aged|
|Spouse(s)||Lady Caroline Campbell|
|Alma mater|| University of Leiden |
University of Oxford
Charles Townshend (28 August 1725 – 4 September 1767) was a British politician who held various titles in the Parliament of Great Britain. His establishment of the controversial Townshend Acts is considered one of the key causes of the American Revolution.
He was born at his family's seat of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England, the second son of Charles Townshend, 3rd Viscount Townshend, and Audrey (died 1788), daughter and heiress of Edward Harrison of Ball's Park, near Hertford. He was a sickly child, suffered from epilepsy, and had a strained relationship with his parents.Townshend was a brash young man, whose "wonderful endowments [were] dashed with follies and indiscretions." Charles graduated from the Dutch Leiden University on 27 October 1745; while there he had associated with a small group of other English youth, who later became well known in various circles, including Dowdeswell, Wilkes, and Alexander Carlyle. The latter would chronicle their exploits in his Autobiography.
Following his return in 1746, he represented Great Yarmouth in Parliament until 1756, when he found a seat for the admiralty borough of Saltash, subsequently transferring in 1761 to Harwich, another borough where the seat was in the government's gift. Public attention was first drawn to his abilities in 1753, when he delivered a lively attack against Lord Hardwicke's marriage bill, although this measure passed into law.
From 1749- April 1759, Townshend was a member of the Board of Trade. It was during this time that he first showed an interest in increasing British powers of taxation and control over the American colonies.In 1754 and 1755, he served as Lord of the Admiralty, but at the close of 1755, his passionate attack against the policy of the ministry caused his resignation. In the administration which was formed in November 1756, and which was ruled by William Pitt the Elder, the lucrative office of treasurer of the chamber was given to Townshend, but he retired the following Spring and George Grenville took over. The higher post of First Lord of the Admiralty then fell to Townshend's lot and his refusal to accept the nomination led to his exclusion from the new administration.
In the dying days of Grenville's cabinet, to retain the administration of Lord Rockingham, Townshend accepted the position of Paymaster of The Forces, though he questioned the stability of the administration, calling it a "mere Lute-string administration" and stating that it was "pretty 'summer wear', but it will never stand the winter."
Under the ministry of William Pitt the Elder, Townshend accepted the role of Chancellor of the Exchequerin August 1766. A few weeks later his urgent appeals to the great minister for increased power were favorably answered, and he was admitted to the inner circle of the cabinet. The new chancellor proposed the continuance of the land tax at four shillings in the pound, while he held out hopes that it might be reduced next year to three shillings, whereupon his predecessor, William Dowdeswell, by the aid of the landed gentlemen, carried a motion that the reduction should take effect at once. Townshend pledged to find revenue in America with which to meet the deficiency caused by the reduction.
Early in 1767, shortly after The Stamp Act was repealed owing to violent protests, Townshend proposed that the Parliament could procure revenue from the Americans without causing them offense via "external" import taxes instead of internal taxes.These were known as the Townshend Acts. The Acts passed resolutions for taxing several exports to America, such as glass, paint, paper and tea. The Townshend Acts established a Board of Commissioners in Boston to enforce them, which was seen as a threat to the American colonial tradition of self-government. He estimated these export taxes would produce a sum of ₤40,000 for the English treasury. He had the support of his cousin Thomas Townshend who was also a minister in the government. The Townshend Acts would be Townshend's last official act before his death.
Soon after that he died somewhat suddenly of a fever on September 4, 1767.
In August 1755 he had married Caroline Campbell (d. 1794), the eldest daughter of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and the widow of Francis Scott, Earl of Dalkeith, the eldest son of Francis Scott, 2nd Duke of Buccleuch.
Townshend's wife was created (August 1767) baroness Greenwich, and his elder brother George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend, was made Lord-lieutenant of Ireland.
Townshend conceived a great and dangerous passion for his step-daughter Frances Douglas, Lady Douglas, and her memorialist, Lady Louisa Stuart, wrote after his death of his character:
This was careless, gay, inconsiderate, volatile, seemingly foreign to every serious reflection or feeling. He had one of those happy tempers which nothing can ruffle, without a grain of pride, sternness or resentment in his nature. Ready to laugh with every body and at every thing, he poured out wit in torrents; and it was so much the worse for truth if ever truth stood in wit's way.
The American towns of Townsend, Massachusetts and Townshend, Vermont were founded and named after Charles Townshend in 1732 and 1753, respectively.[ citation needed ] Raynham, Massachusetts was also named after him.
George Grenville was a British Whig statesman who rose to the position of Prime Minister of Great Britain. Grenville was born into an influential political family and first entered Parliament in 1741 as an MP for Buckingham. He emerged as one of Cobham's Cubs, a group of young members of Parliament associated with Lord Cobham.
Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend, was an English Whig statesman. He served for a decade as Secretary of State for the Northern Department, 1714–1717, 1721–1730. He directed British foreign policy in close collaboration with his brother-in-law, prime minister Robert Walpole. He was often known as Turnip Townshend because of his strong interest in farming turnips and his role in the British Agricultural Revolution.
Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1754 to 1783 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Sydney. He held several important Cabinet posts in the second half of the 18th century. The cities of Sydney in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Sydney in New South Wales, Australia were named in his honour, in 1785 and 1788, respectively.
Marquess Townshend is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain held by the Townshend family of Raynham Hall in Norfolk. This family descends from Roger Townshend, who in 1617 was created a baronet, of Raynham in the County of Norfolk, in the Baronetage of England. He later represented Orford and Norfolk in the House of Commons. His younger son, the third Baronet, played an important role in the restoration of the monarchy after the Civil War and was also Member of Parliament for Norfolk. In 1661 he was created Baron Townshend, of Lynn Regis in the County of Norfolk, and in 1682 he was further honoured when he was made Viscount Townshend, of Raynham in the County of Norfolk. Both titles were in the Peerage of England.
Raynham Hall is a country house in Norfolk, England. For nearly 400 years it has been the seat of the Townshend family. The hall gave its name to the five estate villages, known as The Raynhams, and is reported to be haunted, providing the scene for possibly the most famous ghost photo of all time, the famous Brown Lady descending the staircase. However, the ghost has been allegedly seen infrequently since the photo was taken. Its most famous resident was Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1674–1738), leader in the House of Lords.
Field Marshal George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend, PC, known as The Viscount Townshend from 1764 to 1787, was a British soldier and politician. After serving at the Battle of Dettingen during the War of the Austrian Succession and the Battle of Culloden during the Jacobite Rising, Townshend took command of the British forces for the closing stages of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham during the Seven Years' War. He went on to be Lord Lieutenant of Ireland or Viceroy where he introduced measures aimed at increasing the size of Irish regiments, reducing corruption in Ireland and improving the Irish economy. In cooperation with Prime Minister North in London he solidified governmental control over Ireland. He also served as Master-General of the Ordnance, first in the North Ministry and then in the Fox–North Coalition.
The Townshend Acts or Towshend Duties, refers to a series of British acts of Parliament passed during 1767 and 1768 relating to the British colonies in America. They are named after Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer who proposed the program. Historians vary slightly as to which acts they include under the heading "Townshend Acts", but five are often listed:
John James Dudley Stuart Townshend, 6th Marquess Townshend, known as Viscount Raynham from 1866 to 1899, was a British peer.
Rear Admiral John Townshend, 4th Marquess Townshend, known as John Townshend until 1855, was a British nobleman, peer, politician, and naval commander.
George Legge, 3rd Earl of Dartmouth KG, PC, FRS, styled Viscount Lewisham until 1801, was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1778 to 1784.
Charles Townshend, 3rd Viscount Townshend, known as The Lord Lynn from 1723 to 1738, was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1722 to 1723 when he was elevated to the House of Lords by writ of acceleration.
Caroline Townshend, 1st Baroness Greenwich was a British peeress, the daughter and eldest child of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, and his wife, the former Jane Warburton. She was a sister of the diarist Lady Mary Coke.
The Boston Tea Party was a political and mercantile protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773. The target was the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, which allowed the British East India Company to sell tea from China in American colonies without paying taxes apart from those imposed by the Townshend Acts. American Patriots strongly opposed the taxes in the Townshend Act as a violation of their rights. Demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company.
British history provides several opportunities for alternative claimants to the English and later British Crown to arise, and historical scholars have on occasion traced to present times the heirs of those alternative claims.
Lord John Townshend PC, styled The Honourable John Townshend until 1787, was a British Whig politician.
Richard Wilson was an Irish-born politician whose origins are obscure.
The Chatham ministry was a British government led by William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham that ruled between 1766 and 1768. Because of Pitt's former prominence before his title, it is sometimes referred to as the Pitt ministry. Unusually for a politician considered to be Prime Minister, Pitt was not First Lord of the Treasury during the administration, but instead held the post of Lord Privy Seal.
Robert Orme was a British soldier who took part in the Battle of the Monongahela in July 1755, at the beginning of the French and Indian War, during which he was shot. He served with the young George Washington, with whom he became friends, and soon after his return to England in 1755 was painted by Joshua Reynolds.
Frances Douglas, Lady Douglas, formerly Lady Frances Scott, was the wife of Archibald Douglas, 1st Baron Douglas, and the mother of novelist Caroline Lucy Scott. Like her brother, Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch, she was closely acquainted with the novelist Walter Scott. She was an amateur artist, some of whose works have survived.
|Parliament of Great Britain|
| Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth |
With: Edward Walpole
| Member of Parliament for Saltash |
With: George Clinton
| Member of Parliament for Harwich |
With: John Roberts
The Earl of Hillsborough
| Treasurer of the Chamber |
Sir Francis Dashwood, Bt
The Lord Holland
| Paymaster of the Forces |
Lord North and George Cooke
| Chancellor of the Exchequer |