Waldegrave, James, 1st Earl Waldegrave (1685 -1741)
James, 1st Earl Waldegrave, was the eldest son of Henry Waldegrave, Baron Waldgrave of Chewton in Somerset, and Lady Henrietta Fitzjames, eldest daughter of James II and Arabella Stewart. James. He was educated in France, both his parents being members of the Church of Rome, and married a Catholic lady, Mary, second daughter of Sir John Webbe, Baronet, of Hatherop in Gloucestershire, but upon her death in childbirth 22 January 1719, he declared himself a Protestant, and took his seat in the House of Lords. His actions scandalised the Jacobites. In 1723 he was made a Lord of the Bedchamber to George I, and in 1725, was sent as Ambassador Extraordinary to Paris to congratulate Louis XV on his marriage. In 1727 he was made Minister Plenipotentiary to Vienna, with instructions to soothe the Emperor and facilitate the execution of the articles agreed upon between England, France and the Emperor at Paris. He remained there until 1730, and was created Viscount Chewton of Chewton and Earl Waldegrave, 13 September 1729. On 7 August 1730, he was appointed Ambassador and Minister Plenipotentiary to Paris, with instructions to hint jealousy and suspicion at any rapprochement between France and Spain, and to keep an eye on the Jacobite court in Paris. It was a very delicate position, particularly after the outbreak of the war with Spain in 1739, but Waldegrave remained there until 1740, when his health gave way and he returned to England. His former chaplain remained at his post as Chargé d'affaires until 1744. Created a Knight of the Garter 20 February 1738, Waldegrave died of a dropsy 11 April 1741, leaving two sons, James and John, who in turn succeeded him as 2nd and 3rd Earls. Clements believed these to be the stamps of the 2nd Earl. However almost all the known books are French and were published before the death of the 1st Earl in 1741. Moreover, the first binding stamp is French in style.