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George Montague-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax

From Academic Kids

George Montague-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax (6 October 1716 - 8 June 1771) was a British statesman of the Georgian era.

The son of Charles Montague, 1st Earl of Halifax (of the second creation), he became Earl of Halifax on his father's death in 1739. Educated at Eton College and at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was married in 1741 to Anne Richards (died 1753), who had inherited a great fortune from Sir Thomas Dunk, whose name Halifax took. After having been an official in the household of Frederick, Prince of Wales, the earl was made Master of the Buckhounds, and in 1748 he became President of the Board of Trade. While filling this position he helped to found Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, which was named after him, and he helped foster trade, especially with North America.

About this time he attempted, unsuccessfully, to became a secretary of state, but was only allowed to enter the cabinet in 1757. In March 1761 Halifax was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and during part of the time which he held this office he was also First Lord of the Admiralty. He became Secretary of State for the Northern Department under the Earl of Bute in October 1762, switching to the Southern Department in 1763 and was one of the three ministers to whom George III entrusted the direction of affairs during the premiership of George Grenville. In 1762, in search of evidence of sedition, he authorised a raid on the home of John Entick, declared unlawful in the case of Entick v. Carrington. He signed the general warrant under which John Wilkes was arrested in 1763, for which action he was made to pay damages by the courts of law in 1769, and he was mainly responsible for the exclusion of the name of the king's mother, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, from the Regency Bill of 1765.

Together with his colleagues, the Earl left office in July 1765, returning to the cabinet as Lord Privy Seal under his nephew, Lord North, in January 1770. He had just been restored to his former position of secretary of state when he died. Halifax, who was lord-lieutenant of Northamptonshire and a lieutenant-general in the army, was very extravagant. He left no children, and his titles became extinct on his death. Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford speaks slightingly of the earl, and says he and his mistress, Mary Anne Faulkner, had sold every employment in his gift.


Preceded by:
The Lord Monson
First Lord of Trade
1748–1761
Succeeded by:
The Lord Sandys
Preceded by:
The Duke of Bedford
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1761–1763
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Northumberland
Preceded by:
The Lord Anson
First Lord of the Admiralty
1762
Succeeded by:
George Grenville
Preceded by:
George Grenville
Northern Secretary
1762–1763
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Sandwich
Preceded by:
The Earl of Egremont
Southern Secretary
1763–1765
Succeeded by:
Henry Seymour Conway
Preceded by:
The Earl of Bristol
Lord Privy Seal
1770–1771
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire
Preceded by:
The Earl of Sandwich
Northern Secretary
1771
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire

Template:End box

Preceded by:
Charles Montague
Earl of Halifax
Succeeded by:
Extinct

Template:End box

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