Birth: 1 January 1800

Place or Registered Place of Birth: Southerland, Staffordshire

Baptism: Not Known

Place of Baptism: Not Known

Death: 18 February 1857

Place or Registered Place of Death: Bridgwater House, St.. James' Park, Westminster, London, Middlesex

Place of Burial: Worsley, Manchester, Lancashire

Father: George Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland (1758-1833)

Mother: Elizabeth Gordon (1765-1839)

Spouse(s): Harriet Catherine Greville

Date of Marriage: 18 June 1822

Place or Registered Place of Marriage: St. George's, Hanover Square, London, Middlesex


George Granville Francis Egerton, 2nd Earl of Ellesmere (1823-1862)
Admiral Francis Egerton (1824-1895)
Algernon Fulke Egerton (1825-1891)
Alice Harriet Frederica Egerton (1827-1928)
Arthur Frederick Egerton (1829-1866)
Blanche Egerton (1832-1894)
Granville Egerton (1834-1851)


Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere KG, PC (1 January 1800 – 18 February 1857), known as Lord Francis Leveson-Gower until 1833, was a British politician, writer, traveller and patron of the arts.

Ellesmere was the second son of George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland and his wife, Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.

Ellesmere entered Parliament in 1822 as member for the pocket borough of Bletchingley in Surrey, a seat he held until 1826. He afterwards sat for Sutherland between 1826 and 1831, and for South Lancashire between 1835 and 1846. In politics he was a moderate Conservative of independent views, as was shown by his supporting the proposal for establishing the University of London, by his making and carrying a motion for the endowment of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland, and by his advocating free trade long before Sir Robert Peel yielded on the question. Appointed a Lord of the Treasury in 1827, he held the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1828 till July 1830, when he became Secretary at War for a short time.

In 1833 he assumed, by Royal Licence, the surname of Egerton, having succeeded on the death of his father to the estates which the latter inherited from the Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. In 1846 he was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Brackley, of Brackley in the County of Northampton, and Earl of Ellesmere, of Ellesmere in the County of Salop.

Ellesmere's claims to remembrance are founded chiefly on, his services to literature and the fine arts. Before he was twenty he printed for private circulation a volume of poems, which he followed up after a short interval by the publication of a translation of Goethe's Faust, one of the earliest that appeared in England, with some translations of German lyrics and a few original poems. In 1839 he visited the Mediterranean and the Holy Land. His impressions of travel were recorded in Mediterranean Sketches (1843), and in the notes to a poem entitled The Pilgrimage. He published several other works in prose and verse. His literary reputation secured for him the position of rector of the University of Aberdeen in 1841.

Lord Ellesmere was a munificent and yet discriminating patron of artists. To the collection of pictures which he inherited from his great-uncle, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, he made numerous additions, and he built a gallery to which the public were allowed free access. Lord Ellesmere served as president of the Royal Geographical Society and as president of the Royal Asiatic Society, and he was a trustee of the National Gallery. He also initiated the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, by donating the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare. Ellesmere Island was named after him.

On 18 June 1822, he married Harriet Catherine née Greville, a great-great-granddaughter of the 5th Baron Brooke. They had eleven children, including:

George Egerton, 2nd Earl of Ellesmere (1823-1862);

Hon. Francis Egerton (1824-1895), who became an admiral, and was a Member of Parliament for two constituencies; he married in 1865 (Lady) Louisa Caroline née Cavendish, daughter of the 7th Duke of Devonshire (by marriage); they had issue;

Hon. Algernon Fulke Egerton (1825-1891), who was a Member of Parliament for three constituencies, and married in 1863 Hon. Alice Louisa Cavendish, a niece of the 7th Duke of Devonshire; they had issue;

Hon. Arthur Frederick Egerton (1829-1866), who became Lieutenant-Colonel, and married in 1858 Helen Smith, daughter of Martin Tucker Smith and his wife, Louisa Ridley; they had issue;

Lady Alice Harriot Frederica Egerton (1830-1928), who married George Byng, 3rd Earl of Strafford in 1854; they had no issue;

Lady Blanche Egerton (1832-1894), who married John Montagu, 7th Earl of Sandwich in 1865 as his second wife; they had no issue;

Hon. Granville Egerton (c. 1834-1851), who was killed at sea; unmarried, seemingly no issue.

He was succeeded by his 1st son, George. On the extinction of the senior line of the Dukedom of Sutherland in 1963, his great-great-grandson, the fifth Earl, succeeded as 6th Duke of Sutherland.

George Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland, the son of Granville Leveson-Gower (1721-1803), 1st Marquess of Stafford and Lady Louisa Egerton (1723-1761), was born at Arlington Street, Saint George Hanover Square, Westminster in Middlesex on 9 January 1758 and baptised at Saint George Hanover Square, Westminster in Middlesex on 13 February of that year. George died at Dunrobin Castle, Sutherlandshire in Scotland on 19 July 1833 and was buried at Dornoch Cathedral, Sutherlandshire in Scotland on 31 July 1833.

Elizabeth Gordon, the daughter of William Sutherland (1735-1766) and Mary Maxwell (1740-1766), was born at Leven Lodge, Edinburgh, Midlothian in Scotland on 24 May 1765. Elizabeth died at Hamilton Place, Hyde Park, Westminster in Middlesex on 29 January 1839 and was buried at Dornoch Cathedral, Sutherlandshire in Scotland on 20 February 1839.

George Granville Leveson-Gower and Elizabeth Gordon were probably married either in Scotland or in London, on 4 September 1785.

George Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland KG, PC (9 January 1758 – 19 July 1833), known as Viscount Trentham from 1758 to 1786, as Earl Gower from 1786 to 1803 and as The Marquess of Stafford from 1803 to 1833, was a British politician, diplomat, landowner and patron of the arts. He is estimated to have been the wealthiest man of the nineteenth-century. He remains a controversial figure for his role in the Highland Clearances.

Sutherland was the eldest son of the Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford, by his second wife Lady Louisa, daughter of Scroop Egerton, 1st Duke of Bridgwater. Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Granville, was his half-brother. He was educated at Westminster and at Christ Church, Oxford.

Sutherland sat as Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme from 1779 to 1784 and for Staffordshire from 1787 to 1799. The latter year he was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Gower. Between 1790 and 1792 he was Ambassador to France, despite not having any previous diplomatic experience. The embassy was withdrawn in August 1792 after the outbreak of the French Revolution. After his return to Britain he declined the posts of Lord Steward of the Household and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. However, in 1799 he accepted the office of joint Postmaster General, which he remained until 1801. Sutherland played an important part in the downfall of Henry Addington's administration in 1804. After 1807 he played little part in politics, although late in life he supported Catholic Emancipation and the 1832 Reform Act.

Sutherland also held the honorary posts of Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire from 1799 to 1801 and Lord Lieutenant of Sutherland from 1794 to 1830. He was invested as a Privy Counsellor in 1790, a Knight of the Garter in 1806 and was created Duke of Sutherland on 28 January 1833.

The Leveson-Gower family owned extensive lands in Staffordshire, Shropshire and Yorkshire. In 1803 Sutherland also succeeded to the vast estates of his maternal uncle Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, which included the Bridgewater Canal. According to the will of the Duke of Bridgewater, these passed on the death of the first Duke of Sutherland to his third son Lord Francis Leveson-Gower (see below). This inheritance and his marriage to Elizabeth Sutherland, 19th Countess of Sutherland, who owned most of Sutherland, brought him great wealth. Sutherland is estimated to have been the wealthiest man of the nineteenth-century, surpassing even that of Nathan Rothschild. The precise value of his estate at death is unknown, as it was simply classed as 'upper value'. He was described by Charles Greville as a "leviathan of wealth" and "...the richest individual who ever died".

Sutherland and his wife remain controversial figures for their role in carrying out the Highland Clearances, where thousands of tenants were forced out of their homes. The clearances, described by some commentators as a form of ethnic cleansing, were undertaken between 1811 and 1820. In 1811 parliament passed a bill granting half the expenses of building roads in northern Scotland, on the provision that landowners paid for the other half. The following year Sutherland commenced building roads and bridges in the county, which up to that point had been virtually non-existent. Appalled by the poor living conditions of his tenants and influenced by social and economic theories of the day as well as consulting widely on the subject, he became convinced that subsistence farming in the interior of Sutherland could not be sustained in the long-term. At first the clearances involved relocations from Assynt to coastal villages on the assumption that farmers could take up fishing. However, when the consequences of these actions became clear, the evictions were met with opposition, which was ruthlessly repressed. Resentment mounted when one of Sutherland's factors, Patrick Sellar, was acquitted of murder and then took over one of the massive sheep farms the evictions created. Condemnation was widespread and the Highlanders' grievances were heard in the British House of Commons. However, little was done in practice to prevent the emptying of the glens.

In 1837 a large monument, known locally as the Mannie, was erected on Ben Bhraggie near Golspie to commemorate the Duke's life. The existence of this statue has been the subject of some controversy—in 1994, Sandy Lindsay, a former Scottish National Party councillor from Inverness proposed its demolition. He later altered his plan, asking permission from the local council to relocate the statue and replace it with plaques telling the story of the Clearances. Lindsay proposed moving the statue to the grounds of Dunrobin Castle, after the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles declined his offer to take it. As of May, 2010, however, the statue still stands.

Sutherland married Elizabeth Sutherland, 19th Countess of Sutherland, daughter of William Sutherland, 18th Earl of Sutherland and the former Mary Maxwell, on 4 September 1785. They had four surviving children:

George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland,(1786–1861)

Lady Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower (c. 1788–1870), married Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 13th Duke of Norfolk and had issue.

Lady Elizabeth Mary Leveson-Gower (1797–1891), married Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster and had issue.

Francis Leveson-Gower (later Egerton) 1st Earl of Ellesmere, (1800–1857)

Sutherland died in July 1833, aged 75, and was succeeded by his eldest son, George. The Duchess of Sutherland died in January 1839, aged 73, and was also succeeded by her eldest son, George.

The children of George Granville Leveson-Gower and Elizabeth Gordon were:

George Granville Sutherland Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland (1786-1861)
Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower (1788-1870)
Elizabeth Mary Leveson-Gower (1797-1891)
Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere (1800-1857)

Francis Egerton (Leveson-Gower)
1st Earl of Ellesmere