Clarendon, Earl
b. 1800-01-12
d. 1870-06-27
George William Frederick Villiers, fourth Earl of Clarendon and fourth Baron Hyde, was born in London on 12 January 1800. In 1820 he became attache to the British embassy in St.Petersburg; in 1823 he was appointed a commissioner of customs; and between 1827 and 1829 he worked in Ireland arranging the union of the Irish and English excise boards.1
In August 1833 he was sent to Madrid, Spain, as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary; his many successes there led to the award of GCB in October 1837. Villiers became the Earl of Clarendon on the death of his uncle in December 1838, and in October 1839 he reluctantly accepted a position in the Board of Trade. He was soon in conflict with his colleagues, however, and by July 1841 he had left his post.2
In 1847 he became lord lieutenant of Ireland, and in March 1849 he was awarded the Order of the Garter for his work with the Irish. Clarendon returned to England in 1852, and in 1853 he succeeded as the secretary of state for foreign affairs, remaining in that position until 1858 and returning to it in 1868. Clarendon died on 27 June 1870 at his home in London.3
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