7th Earl of Carlisle (1848-1864)
Born 1802 Died 1864
George William Frederick Howard, was born in London on the 18th of April 1802. He was the eldest son of the 6th earl by his wife Lady Georgiana Cavendish, eldest daughter of the Duke of Devonshire. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where (as Lord Morpeth) he earned a reputation as a scholar and writer of graceful verse, obtaining in 1821 both the Chancellor's and the Newdigate prizes for a Latin and an English poem.
In 1826 he accompanied his uncle, the Duke of Devonshire, to Russia, to attend the coronation of the tsar Nicholas, and became a great favorite in society at St Petersburg. At the general election of the same year he was returned to parliament as member for the family borough of Morpeth. In one of his earliest speeches be undertook, at the risk of forfeiting the good opinion of the Liberal party, the defence of the Russian emperor against severe attacks made on him in reference to the suppression of the Polish insurrection of 1830.
In the agitation for parliamentary reform he took the side of Earl Grey; and after the dissolution of parliament, which took place about that time, he was elected member for Yorkshire. This seat he held till after the passing of the Reform Bill in 1832. He was then returned for the West Riding; and in 1835 he was appointed by Lord Melbourne chief secretary for Ireland, a position at that time of great difficulty, O'Connell being then at the height of his reputation. This post he held for about six years (being included in the cabinet in 1839), winning great popularity by his amiable manners and kindly disposition. Losing his seat at the election of 1841, he visited the United States, but in 1846 he was again returned for the West Riding, and was made chief commissioner of woods and forests in Lord John Russell's cabinet. Succeeding to the peerage in 1848, he became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1850. The great event of his life, however, was his appointment by Lord Palmerston to thelord-lieutenancy of Ireland in 1855. This office he continued to hold till February 1858, and again from June 1859 till within a few months of his death.
His literary tastes and culture were displayed in various popular lectures and in several published works. Among these may be mentioned a lecture on The Life and Writings of Pope (1851); The Last of the Greeks, a tragedy (1828); a Diary in Turkish and Greek Waters (1854), the fruit of travels in the East in 1853 and 1854; and a volume of Poems, published after his death. In 1866 appeared his Viceregal Speeches, collected and edited by J. Gaskin. He took warm interest in the reformation of juvenile criminals, and established on his own estate one of the best conducted reformatories in the country.
Lord Carlisle died at Castle Howard on the 5th of December 1864. He was never married, and was succeeded in the peerage by his brother, the Rev. William George Howard (d. 1889), as 8th earl.
Extracted from the entry for CARLISLE, EARLS OF in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.