George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax

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George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax (born November 11, 1633 in Thornhill, Yorkshire , † April 5, 1695 in London ) was an English politician and author .

George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax

Origin and early years

The von Savile family belonged to the lower nobility; his father was Sir William Savile, 3rd Baronet, who stood out on the king's side in the English Civil War . Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury , who later became his intimate enemy, was his uncle. The family was wealthy with significant land holdings and good relationships. When his father died in 1644, he inherited his possessions and the title of 4th Baronet , of Thornhill in the County of York , which had been bestowed on his great-grandfather in 1611 in the Baronetage of England.

Educated at the Shrewsbury School and trained by private tutors in France and Italy, he was elected as a member of the House of Commons as early as 1660 . He then decided not to run again and instead to serve as a lieutenant in the cavalry in Yorkshire. In 1667 he was promoted to captain and appointed to Prince Rupert's regiment.

Political career

1667 Savile was raised to the hereditary peer at the instigation of the Duke of York as Viscount Halifax and Baron Savile , of Eland in the County of York . Through these two titles belonging to the Peerage of England , he received a seat in the English House of Lords .

As a member of the Privy Council , to which he was appointed in 1672, he opposed the pro-Catholic and pro-French course of King Charles II , which led to his dismissal from the council only four years later. However, especially during the Papist conspiracy , he took moderate positions. In 1679, however, he was rehabilitated by his elevation to Earl of Halifax and reassigned to the Privy Council. In 1675 he was admitted to the Royal Society as a Fellow .

In the following years Savile's influence grew, so he was in 1682 Lord Seal Keeper , at the same time again, now Marquess of Halifax , and in 1685 Lord President of the Council . After King James II's accession to the throne, however, he was again dismissed from the Privy Council in 1685 because of the protest against the repeal of the Test Act and the Habeas Corpus Act .

In 1688 Savile was a negotiator in talks with the Prince of Orange-Nassau (later King William III ), who, at the instigation of part of the nobility, had landed with troops in England to overthrow King James II ( Glorious Revolution ). After the king fled, Savile took over the presidency of the House of Lords and initiated measures to restore law and order. He then switched to Williams and was elected Speaker of the House of Lords. In this function he practically wore the crown to William and his wife Maria . He then also directed the proclamation of the accession to the throne.

In 1689 Savile was again keeper of the lord seal, but then quickly lost support from the parties that were forming because he could not be captured and represented independent positions. As a result, he was ousted from all offices in the following years.

Savile died in 1695, he is buried in Westminster Abbey .


Savile was married twice. First he married Lady Dorothy Spencer in 1656, a daughter of Henry Spencer, 1st Earl of Sunderland , with whom he had a daughter and a son, his heir to the title, William Savile . After her death in 1672 Savile married Gertrude Pierrepont, with whom he had a daughter. Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield , himself a noted politician, was his grandson.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Powicke & Fryde: Handbook of British Chronology. Second Edition, London, 1961, 430
  2. ^ A b Powicke & Fryde: Handbook of British Chronology. Second Edition, London, 1961, 94
  3. ^ Powicke & Fryde: Handbook of British Chronology. Second Edition, London, 1961, 137
predecessor Office successor
William Savile Baronet (of Thornhill)
William Savile
New title created Viscount Halifax
William Savile
New title created Earl of Halifax
William Savile
New title created Marquess of Halifax
William Savile