Rockingham, Charles Watson Wentworth
ROCKINGHAM, CHARLES WATSON WENTWORTH, SECOND MARQUIS OF (1730-1782), twice prime minister of England, was the only son of Thomas 'Watson Wentworth, whose father had inherited the great Wentworth estates in Yorkshire on the death of 'William Wentworth, fourth earl of Strafford, and who had himself succeeded his second cousin as sixth Lord Rockingham in 1746 and been created marquis of Rockingham in the same year. Charles Watson Wentworth was born in 1730 on the 19th of March (Albe-marle), or the 13th of May (Collins), and -was educated at Eton. He showed his spirit as a boy by riding across from Wentworth to Carlisle in 1745 with but one servant, to join the duke of Cumberland in his pursuit of the Young Pretender. He wa,s created earl of Mahon in the peerage of Ireland on 4th September 1750, and succeeded his father as second marquis of Rockingham on 14th December in the same year. In 1751 he became lord-lieutenant of the North and West Ridings of Yorkshire and a lord of the bedchamber, and in 1760 was made a knight of the Garter. After George III. had begun his policy of divid-ing the great Whig families, those Whig noblemen and gentlemen who did not choose to join the sections headed by the Grenvilles, the duke of Bedford, or any other great nobleman, selected as their chief the young marquis of Rockingham. In May 1762 the king's favourite, the earl of Bute, became first lord of the treasurys, and the marquis of Rockingham was amongst those who in the following year were dismissed from their lord-lieutenancies. The opposition now grew so strong that Lord Bute iesigned in April 1763 and the king, true to his policy, appointed George Grenville to be his successor. But Grenville's section of the Whig party was not strong enough to main-tain him in power long, and on 12th July 1765 Lord Rockingham formed his first administration with General Conway and the duke of Grafton as secretaries of state. The cabinet seemed stronger than it really was, for it was divided by intestine quarrels, and the earl of Chatham refused to have anything to do with it. Nevertheless Rockingham recovered his lord-lieutenancies and won reputation as a good administrator. In May 1766 the duke of Grafton, a far abler man than Rockingham, though neither so conciliatory in his manners nor so generally popular, seceded from the Government, and in August See lliemoirs of th,e Marquis of Rockingham awl his Contemporaries by George Thomas, Earl of Albemarle, 2 vols., 1852, and such bio-graphicalworks as blacknight's Life of Burke, Lord E. Fitzmaurice's Life of Lord Shelburne, 3:4.