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Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond and Lennox, KG, PC, FRS (22 February 1735 – 29 December 1806) was a Britishmarker politician and office holder noteworthy for his advanced views on the issue of parliamentary reform. He associated with the Rockingham Whigs and rose to hold the post of Southern Secretary.


The Earl of March, as he was known from birth, was educated at Westminster Schoolmarker and succeeded his father as Duke of Richmond and Lennox in 1750. He had many sisters, including the Ladies Caroline Lennox, Emily Lennox, Louisa Lennox and Sarah Lennox. He was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society on 11 December 1755.

From 1756 to 1758 Richmond was the Colonel of the 33rd Regiment of Foot. In 1757 a second battalion (2nd/33rd) had been raised and in 1758 this battalion became an independent regiment, the 72nd Regiment of Foot. Richmond was appointed Colonel of the new regiment and his younger brother George Lennox took command of the 33rd Regiment (1st/33rd). The 72nd Regiment was disbanded in 1763 at the end of the Seven Years' War.

The Duke of Richmond was appointed British ambassador extraordinary in Parismarker in 1765, and in the following year he became a secretary of state in the Rockingham Whig administration, resigning office on the accession to power of the Earl of Chatham.

In the debates on the policy that led to the War of American Independence Richmond was a firm supporter of the colonists; and he initiated the debate in 1778 calling for the removal of the troops from America, during which Chatham was seized by his fatal illness. He also advocated a policy of concession in Irelandmarker, with reference to which he originated the phrase "a union of hearts" which long afterwards became famous when his use of it had been forgotten. In 1779 the duke brought forward a motion for retrenchment of the civil list; and in 1780 he embodied in a bill his proposals for parliamentary reform, which included manhood suffrage, annual parliaments and equal electoral areas.

Richmond sat in Rockingham's second cabinet as Master-General of the Ordnance; and in 1784 he joined the ministry of William Pitt. He now developed strongly Tory opinions, and his alleged desertion of the cause of reform led to a violent attack on him by Lauderdale in 1792, which nearly led to a duel between the two noblemen. Richmond died in December 1806, and, leaving no legitimate children, he was succeeded in the peerage by his nephew Charles, son of his brother, General Lord George Henry Lennox. The adjoining towns of Richmondmarker and Lenoxmarker in Massachusettsmarker were named in his honor.

He became a Privy Counsellor in 1765.

In 1802 he opened the family seat at Goodwoodmarker to horseracing. More than two hundred years later, Goodwoodmarker has grown to be a world-renowned racecourse.


External links


  1. History of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, (page 41), Brereton / Savoury, ISBN 0952155206

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