GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons
NameCharles Townshend
Title2nd Viscount Townshend
DenominationChurch of England
Livedb. 1674-04-18 - d. 1738-06-21 (old)
Linked Manuscripts
Linked Sermons
Linked ReportsLetters of Thomas Tenison -- recipient of letter
Associated PlacesKing's College -- Place of StudyIreland -- PostKing's Lynn -- PostNorfolk -- PostNorwich Cathedral -- PostThe Hague -- Post
Source of DataJennifer Farooq; Hannah Wood
Biographical Sources ConsultedODNB (Article: 27617); ACAD (Venn) (ID: TWNT691C)
Other NoteCharles Townshend, second Viscount Townshend, was born on 18 April 1674 at Raynham, Norfolk, to Horatio Townshend, First Viscount Townshend (1630-87) and his second wife Mary Ashe (d.1685). He was educated at Eton before matriculating at King’s College, Cambridge in 1691; he does not appear to have received his B.A. In 1701 he was appointed high steward of King’s Lynn and of Norwich Cathedral and also served as lord lieutenant of Norfolk (1701-13, 1714-30), positions which afforded him considerable political power. In 1706 he became a founding member of the Royal Society; the following year he was made captain of the yeomen of the guard and was sworn of the privy council. He was appointed ambassador to the Hague in 1709 and was known for his diplomatic acumen; however, he was recalled by the tories in 1711 for exceeding his instructions regarding his negotiation of the barrier treaty. During this time he also lost his position of captain of the yeomen of the guard (1711) and was condemned as a public enemy (1712). He was appointed secretary of state for the northern department in 1714 by George I, but a rift over foreign policy resulted in Townshend exchanging his position for that of the lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1716; he was appointed president of the council in 1720 and was reappointed secretary of state in 1721. Townshend clashed with his political rival, Robert Walpole, over the treaty of Hanover, and as Walpole gained favour in the court Townshend lost political influence. After Townshend’s relationship with Walpole and other ministers deteriorated in the wake of the Treaty of Seville negotiations (1729), Townshend retired in 1730. He dedicated the remainder of his life to agricultural pursuits, championing the value of turnips, introducing the innovative four-crop “Norfolk rotation,” and transforming unusable acreage into arable land. He died at Raynham on 21 June 1738 and was buried on 27 June. He was predeceased by his first wife, Elizabeth (md. 1698, d.1711), with whom he had nine children (five of which survived to adulthood), and by his second wife Dorothy (md. 1713, d.1726), with whom he had 11 children.
GEMMS record createdMarch 08, 2016
GEMMS record last editedAugust 12, 2021