George Agar-Ellis, 1st Baron Dover

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The Lord Dover

George James Welbore Agar-Ellis, later 1st Lord Dover by Thomas Lawrence (1823).jpg
First Commissioner of Woods
and Forests
In office
2 December 1830 7 February 1831
Monarch William IV
Prime Minister The Earl Grey
Preceded by Viscount Lowther
Succeeded by Viscount Duncannon
Personal details
Born(1797-01-14)14 January 1797
Died10 July 1833(1833-07-10) (aged 36)
Political party Whig
Spouse(s)Lady Georgiana Howard
(d. 1860)
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

George James Welbore Agar-Ellis, 1st Baron Dover PC FRS FSA (14 January 1797 10 July 1833) was a British politician and man of letters. He was briefly First Commissioner of Woods and Forests under Lord Grey between 1830 and 1831.

Royal Society English learned society for science

The President, Council and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Royal Society, is a learned society. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The society is the United Kingdom's and Commonwealth of Nations' Academy of Sciences and fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement.

Society of Antiquaries of London British learned society for archaeologists

The Society of Antiquaries of London (SAL) is a learned society "charged by its Royal Charter of 1751 with 'the encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries'." It is based at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, and is a registered charity.

Commissioners of Woods and Forests

The Commissioners of Woods, Forests and Land Revenues were established in the United Kingdom in 1810 by merging the former offices of Surveyor General of Woods, Forests, Parks, and Chases and Surveyor General of the Land Revenues of the Crown into a three-man commission. The name of the commission was changed in 1832 to the Commissioners of Woods, Forests, Land Revenues, Works and Buildings. The Crown Lands Act 1851 replaced the Commissioners with two separate commissions, the Commissioners of Works and Public Buildings and the Commissioners of Woods, Forests and Land Revenues dividing between them the public and the commercial functions of the Crown lands.


Background and education

Agar-Ellis was the only son of Henry Agar-Ellis, 2nd Viscount Clifden, and Lady Caroline, daughter of George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. He was elected a Fellow of both the Society of Antiquaries and Royal Society in 1816. [1]

Caroline Agar-Ellis, Viscountess Clifden, formerly Lady Caroline Spencer, was an English noblewoman.

George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough British Duke

George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough,, styled Marquess of Blandford until 1758, was a British courtier, nobleman, and politician from the Spencer family. He served as Lord Chamberlain between 1762 and 1763 and as Lord Privy Seal between 1763 and 1765. He is the great-great-great grandfather of Sir Winston Churchill.

Westminster School school in Westminster, London, England

Westminster School is an independent day and boarding school in London, England, within the precincts of Westminster Abbey. Boys are admitted at age seven and thirteen, and girls at sixteen to the Sixth Form. The school has around 750 pupils; around a quarter are boarders.

Political career

Agar-Ellis was returned to Parliament for Heytesbury in 1818, a seat he held until 1820. [1] [2] He afterwards represented Seaford between 1820 and 1826, [1] [3] Ludgershall between 1826 and 1830 [1] [4] and Okehampton between 1830 and 1831. [1] [5] He supported George Canning's motion in 1822 for a bill to relieve the disabilities of Roman Catholic peers, and consistently supported liberal principles. He took little interest in party politics but was a strong advocate of state support for the causes of literature and the fine arts.

Parliament of the United Kingdom Supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom

The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, and domestically simply as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.

Heytesbury was a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire which elected two Members of Parliament. From 1449 until 1707 it was represented in the House of Commons of England, and then in the British House of Commons until 1832, when the borough was abolished by the Reform Act 1832.

The UK parliamentary constituency of Seaford was a Cinque Port constituency, similar to a parliamentary borough, in Seaford, East Sussex. A rotten borough, prone by size to undue influence by a patron, it was disenfranchised in the Reform Act of 1832. It was notable for having returned three Prime Ministers as its members – Henry Pelham, who represented the town from 1717 to 1722, William Pitt the Elder from 1747 to 1754 and George Canning in 1827 – though only Canning was Prime Minister while representing Seaford.

In 1824 Agar-Ellis was the leading promoter of the grant of £57,000 for the purchase of John Julius Angerstein's collection of pictures, which formed the foundation of the National Gallery. On the formation of Lord Grey's Whig administration in November 1830, he was sworn of the Privy Council [6] and appointed First Commissioner of Woods and Forests. [7] However, he was forced to resign after two months due to bad health.

John Julius Angerstein 18th and 19th-century English art collector and businessman

John Julius Angerstein was a London businessman and Lloyd's underwriter, a patron of the fine arts and a collector. It was the prospect that his collection of paintings was about to be sold by his estate in 1824 that galvanised the founding of the British National Gallery.

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey,, known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from November 1830 to July 1834.

In June 1831, during his father's lifetime, Agar-Ellis was raised to the peerage as Baron Dover, of Dover in the County of Kent. [8] He was president of the Royal Society of Literature in 1832, a trustee of the British Museum and of the National Gallery, and a commissioner of public records.

Royal Society of Literature senior literary organisation in Britain

The Royal Society of Literature (RSL) is a learned society founded in 1820, by King George IV, to "reward literary merit and excite literary talent". The society is a cultural tenant at London's Somerset House.

British Museum National museum in the Bloomsbury area of London

The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.


Georgiana Agar Ellis (after a painting by Thomas Lawrence) Georgiana Agar Ellis, attributed to Joseph Lee.jpg
Georgiana Agar Ellis (after a painting by Thomas Lawrence)

Lord Dover married his third cousin once removed Lady Georgiana Howard, daughter of George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle, in 1822. They had two sons, who became respectively the 3rd Viscount and 5th Viscount, and two daughters. He died on 10 July 1833, aged only 36, predeceasing his father by three years. Lady Dover died in March 1860. [1]

Commonly, "cousin" refers to a "first cousin", people whose most recent common ancestor is a grandparent. A first cousin used to be known as a cousin-german, though this term is rarely used today.

George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle British politician

George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle,, styled Viscount Morpeth until 1825, was a British statesman. He served as Lord Privy Seal between 1827 and 1828 and in 1834 and was a member of Lord Grey's Whig government as Minister without Portfolio between 1830 and 1834.

Henry Agar-Ellis, 3rd Viscount Clifden, styled the Lord Dover from 1833 to 1836, was an Irish courtier and race horse owner.


Lord Dover's works were chiefly historical, and include:

He also edited the Ellis Correspondence (1829) and Walpole's Letters to Sir Horace Mann (1833).

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 George James Welbore Agar-Ellis, 1st Baron Dover
  2. House of Commons: Hertford to Honiton
  3. House of Commons: Salisbury to Shaftesbury
  4. House of Commons: London University to Lymington
  5. House of Commons: Ochil to Oxford University
  6. "No. 18748". The London Gazette . 23 November 1830. p. 2449.
  7. "No. 18753". The London Gazette . 3 December 1830. p. 2539.
  8. "No. 18814". The London Gazette . 17 June 1831. p. 1193.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Samuel Hood
Charles Duncombe
Member of Parliament for Heytesbury
With: William Henry John Scott
Succeeded by
Edward Henry A'Court
Charles Ashe A'Court
Preceded by
Charles Ellis
George Watson-Taylor
Member of Parliament for Seaford
With: Charles Ellis
Succeeded by
John Fitzgerald
Augustus Frederick Ellis
Preceded by
Sandford Graham
The Earl of Brecknock
Member of Parliament for Ludgershall
With: Edward Thomas Foley
Succeeded by
Edward Thomas Foley
Sir Sandford Graham, Bt
Preceded by
Sir Compton Domvile, Bt
Joseph Strutt
Member of Parliament for Okehampton
With: Lord Seymour
Succeeded by
William Henry Trant
John Thomas Hope
Political offices
Preceded by
Viscount Lowther
First Commissioner of Woods and Forests
Succeeded by
Viscount Duncannon
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Dover
Succeeded by
Henry Agar-Ellis