Philip Yorke, 2nd Earl of Hardwicke

British politician

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The Earl of Hardwicke

Oil on canvas portrait

Lord Hardwicke in the parliamentary robes of an earl, by George Romney c. 1776
Philip Yorke

9 March 1720

Died 16 May 1790
Alma mater Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
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(m. 1740)​

Philip Yorke, 2nd Earl of Hardwicke, PC, FRS (9 March 1720 – 16 May 1790), styled Viscount Royston between 1754 and 1764, was an English politician and writer.


The eldest son of Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke, he was educated at Newcome’s School and later Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.[1] He was appointed Teller of the Exchequer in 1738, a post he held for life. In 1741 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[2]

He sat in the House of Commons as member for Reigate (1741–47), and afterwards for Cambridgeshire; he kept notes of the debates which were afterwards embodied in Cobbett‘s Parliamentary History.

Wimpole Hall

During the political crisis over the loss of Minorca to the French in 1756, Lord Royston was tapped with collecting favourable press accounts of the ministry. He joined his father, as well as Lord Mansfield, to defend the Newcastle ministry during the parliamentary inquiries following the execution of Admiral John Byng.[3]

He was styled by the courtesy title Viscount Royston from 1754 to 1764, when he succeeded to the earldom on the death of his father. He inherited the Wimpole estate, Cambridgeshire which his father had bought from Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford. On the accession of George III in 1760, Yorke was sworn of the privy council.[4]

In politics he supported the Rockingham Whigs. He was Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire (1757 to his death) and high steward of Cambridge University. He edited a quantity of miscellaneous state papers and correspondence, to be found in manuscript collections in the British Museum. Between 1756 and 1760, he served in the honorary position of vice president of the Foundling Hospital, a charitable institution providing for London’s abandoned children.

He died in 1790 and was buried in Flitton, Bedfordshire with a monument by Thomas Banks.[5]


With his brother, Charles Yorke, he was one of the chief contributors to Athenian Letters; or the Epistolary Correspondence of an agent of the King of Persia residing at Athens during the Peloponnesian War (4 vols., London, 1741), a work that for many years had a considerable vogue and went through several editions.

Marriage and children[edit]

Ladies Amabel and Mary Jemima Yorke 1760 by Joshua Reynolds

On 22 May 1740 he married Lady Jemima Campbell, only daughter of John Campbell, 3rd Earl of Breadalbane by his wife Lady Amabel de Grey, daughter and heiress of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent (1671–1740). On the death of her grandfather the Duke of Kent in 1740, Jemima succeeded him in her own right as the 2nd Marchioness Grey and 4th Baroness Lucas. By his wife he had two daughters and co-heiresses:

Death and succession[edit]

He was succeeded in the earldom by his nephew Philip Yorke, 3rd Earl of Hardwicke.


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  1. ^ .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a,.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F} .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){ .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}“Yorke, Philip (YRK737P)”. A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ “Fellows Details”. Royal Society. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  3. ^ M. John Cardwell, Arts and Arms: Literature, Politics and Patriotism During the Seven Years War, (Manchester University Press, 2004), 50-1.
  4. ^ “No. 10062”. The London Gazette. 16 December 1760. p. 7.
  5. ^ Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1660-1851, Rupert Gunnis
  6. ^ The Register of Births & Baptisms in the Parish of St James within the Liberty of Westminster Vol. IV. 1741-1760. 16 February 1750.
  7. ^ The Register of Births & Baptisms in the Parish of St James within the Liberty of Westminster Vol. IV. 1741-1760. 7 March 1756.
  • R. H. Nichols and F. A. Wray, The History of the Foundling Hospital (London: Oxford University Press, 1935).

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by

Member of Parliament for Reigate
With: James Cocks 1741–1747
Charles Cocks 1747
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Member of Parliament for Cambridgeshire
With: Soame Jenyns 1747–1754
Marquess of Granby 1754–1764
Succeeded by

Political offices
Preceded by

Teller of the Exchequer
Succeeded by

Honorary titles
Preceded by

Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire
Succeeded by

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by

Earl of Hardwicke
Succeeded by