Spencer, Frederick, 4th Earl Spencer (1798 -1857)

Styled The Honourable Frederick Spencer until 1845, he was born in London, the fifth son of George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer, and Lady Lavinia Bingham, daughter of Charles Bingham, 1st Earl of Lucan. He was the younger brother of John Spencer, 3rd Earl Spencer. He was educated at Eton from 1808 to 1811. Spencer joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman on 18 September 1811, and fought in the Napoleonic Wars in the Mediterranean between 1811 and 1815. He served for a time under his brother, Captain the Hon. Robert Cavendish Spencer as a lieutenant aboard his ship HMS Owen Glendower, before receiving his own command, that of the brig HMS Alacrity on the South America Station. During the Greek War of Independence he commanded HMS Talbot at the Battle of Navarino on 20 October 1827,, and was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in November of that year. For his actions he was made a Knight of the Order of St Louis of France, and awarded the Order of St Anne of Russia, and the Order of the Redeemer of Greece. Spencer then retired from naval life and was elected Whig Member of Parliament for Worcestershire in 1831. He held this seat until 1832, and then represented Midhurst between 1832 and 1834, and again between 1837 and 1841. He was later an equerry in the household of the Duchess of Kent (Queen Victoria's mother) from 1840 to 1845. The latter year he succeeded his elder brother in the earldom and took his seat in the House of Lords. When the Whigs came to power under Lord John Russell in 1846, Lord Spencer was appointed Lord Chamberlain of the Household, and was sworn of the Privy Council the same year. He resigned as Lord Chamberlain in 1848, but returned to the government as Lord Steward of the Household in early 1854 under Lord Aberdeen, a post he held until shortly before his death in 1857. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1849. In 1852 he was promoted to Rear-Admiral, and to Vice-Admiral (on the reserve list) in 1857. Lord Spencer was twice married. He married firstly his cousin, Georgiana Poyntz (1799–1851), on 23 February 1830. They had three children. After Georgiana's death in 1851 he married secondly, Adelaide Horatia Seymour (1825–1877), daughter of Sir Horace Seymour on 9 August 1854. They had two children. Lord Spencer died at the family seat at Althorp, Northamptonshire, in December 1857, aged 59, and was succeeded in the earldom by his only son from his first marriage, John Poyntz Spencer, who became a prominent Liberal politician. Spencer's son from his second marriage, Charles, who succeeded in the earldom in 1910, was also a successful Liberal politician. He was the great-great-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales. The Countess Spencer died at Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, in October 1877, aged 52.
Seat / Residence(s): Althorp House
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Spencer, Frederick, 4th Earl Spencer  (1798 - 1857) (Stamp 3) Coronet: Earl
Spencer, Frederick, 4th Earl Spencer  (1798 - 1857) (Stamp 1) Monogram: Dieu defend le droit
Arms: Quarterly argent and gules in the second and third quarters a fret overall on a bend sable three escallops argent
Heraldic Charges: bend, on a, Heraldic Charges: escallops (3), Heraldic Charges: fret, Heraldic Charges: quarterly
Spencer, Frederick, 4th Earl Spencer  (1798 - 1857) (Stamp 2) Coronet: Earl
Spencer, Frederick, 4th Earl Spencer  (1798 - 1857) (Stamp 4) Coronet: Earl