James Harris, 2nd Earl of Malmesbury

Last updated

1806;died 1815)
The Earl of Malmesbury
Governor of the Isle of Wight
In office
August 1807 10 September 1841
Relations Edward Harris, 4th Earl of Malmesbury (grandson)
Children James Harris, 3rd Earl of Malmesbury
Edward Alfred John Harris
Charles Amyand Harris
Parent(s) James Harris, 1st Earl of Malmesbury
Harriet Maria Amyand

James Edward Harris, 2nd Earl of Malmesbury (19 August 1778 10 September 1841) was a British peer, styled Viscount FitzHarris from 1800 to 1820.


Early life

Though the son of a great British statesman, James Harris, 1st Earl of Malmesbury, and the former Harriet Maria Amyand (1761–1830). Among his siblings were the Rev. Hon. Thomas Alfred Harris, Rector of Hartley, Lady Catherine Harris (wife of Gen. Sir John Bell), and Lady Frances Harris (wife of Lt.-Gen. Hon. Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, second son of William Cole, 1st Earl of Enniskillen). [1]

His paternal grandparents were James Harris of Great Durnford (a grandson of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury) and the former Elizabeth Clarke (daughter and, eventual, heiress of John Clarke, of Sandford). His mother was the second daughter of Sir George Amyand, 1st Baronet and Anna Maria Korteen (a daughter of John Abraham Korteen, of Hamburg, Germany). [1]


Unlike his father, the young James Harris only dabbled in politics. His real interests lay in being a sportsman, and he was known for his meticulous records of what game he had killed and of the local and national British weather. [2] He built up an extensive collection of stuffed game, which was donated to various museums. [3]

A précis writer, Malmesbury served in the Home Office as private secretary to the Secretary of State for Home Affairs from July 1801 to July 1802 under Lord Pelham. He was first returned as a Member of Parliament for Helston in 1802, serving until 1804. He was a Lords Commissioner of the Treasury from May 1804 to February 1806 during the Second Pitt ministry while he represented Horsham as MP. He then was returned for Heytesbury from 1807 to 1812 and Wilton from 1816 to 1820. [4]

From March 1807 to August 1807, he served as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs under George Canning (while The Duke of Portland was Prime Minister), before becoming Governor of the Isle of Wight, in which role he until his death. [4]

Personal life

On 17 June 1806, he married Harriet Susan Dashwood (1783–1815), a daughter of Theresa Elizabeth March (daughter and co-heiress of John March of Waresley Park) and Francis Bateman Dashwood, of Well Vale, Lincolnshire. Her brother, Francis John Bateman Dashwood, married Georgiana Anne Anderson-Pelham (daughter of Charles Anderson-Pelham, 1st Baron Yarborough). Together, they were the parents of three sons: [5]

His wife died in 1815 and was buried at Salisbury and later at the Priory Church, Christchurch, Hampshire. Lord Malmesbury died on 10 September 1841. [4]

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  1. 1 2 Malmesbury, James Howard Harris Earl of (1844). Diaries and Correspondence of James Harris, First Earl of Malmesbury: Containing an Account of His Missions to the Courts of Madrid, Frederick the Great, Catherine the Second, and the Hague; and His Special Missions to Berlin, Brunswick, and the French Republic. R. Bentley. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  2. "Biology Collections Hampshire Museums Service". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2007.
  3. "Collections Online | James Edward Harris, 2nd Earl of Malmesbury". www.britishmuseum.org. British Museum . Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  4. 1 2 3 "HARRIS, James Edward, Visct. FitzHarris (1778-1841), of Heron Court, Hants". www.historyofparliamentonline.org. History of Parliament Online . Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  5. 1 2 Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1895). Armorial Families: A Complete Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage, and a Directory of Some Gentlemen of Coat-armour, and Being the First Attempt to Show which Arms in Use at the Moment are Borne by Legal Authority. Jack. p. 470. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  6. "Whitehall, March 19, 1890" (PDF). The London Gazette . 25 March 1890. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  7. Knight, Henry Joseph Corbett (1917). The Diocese of Gibraltar: A Sketch of Its History, Work and Tasks. Society for promoting Christian knowledge. p. 77. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Helston
With: John Penn
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Horsham
With: Edward Hilliard
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Heytesbury
With: Charles Moore
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Wilton
With: Ralph Sheldon
Succeeded by
Ralph Sheldon
John Penruddocke
Political offices
Preceded by Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Vice-Admiral of Hampshire
Succeeded by
Governor of the Isle of Wight
Succeeded by
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by Earl of Malmesbury
Succeeded by