Fortescue, 1st Baron Carlingford Chichester
b. 1823-01-18
d. 1898-01-30
1st Baron Carlingford Chichester Fortescue was born on 18 January 1823 in Glyde, county Louth, Ireland. From 1857-1865, Fortescue held the position of Under-Secretary for the Colonies.1 In his early life, Fortescue studied at Christ Church, Oxford where he received a BA and an MA, and throughout much of his early life Fortescue focused on literature and languages -- studying German in Dresden and Italian in Rome.2 He later got into politics due to his family's interest in his political career, he would later be elected as a Liberal in 1847 for county Louth.3 He stayed in politics until he became under-secretary for the colonies in 1857.
In his position, Fortescue worked within the Colonial Department, responsible for the relay of information coming directly from Vancouver Island to the head Secretary of State.4 Fortescue was a strong proponent of the Christianization of the colonies -- stating directly that Indigenous people were under peculiarly favourable circumstances for Christian teaching.5 He stayed in this position until 1865, in the same year on 7 April he was sworn into the privy council.6 Six years later, Fortescue became the president of the Board of Trade and remained in the position until 1874.7
In his early years in politics, he was an active supporter of the Irish Questions, including but not limited to the question of Irish Home Rule.8 In his later career he continued to take charge of actions in Ireland when he accepted the position of Lord Privy Seal in 1881 -- taking charge of the Land Bill, a land law in Ireland that was meant to improve tenant-landlord relations.9 Due to his political life, Fortescue did well for himself, owning large estates in Louth and Armagh and gaining the title of 2nd Baron of Clermont in 1887 after the death of his brother.10 His overall influence in society was largely due to his wife, Countess Frances of Waldegrave whom he married in 1863 -- becoming her fourth husband.11 In his final years, Fortescue is said to have been extremely unhappy due to his time in politics and when he died on 30 January 1898 in Marseille from influenza, he was said to have died nothing short of bitter and resentful.12
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