The Earl of Chesterfield
Master of the Mint
In office
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterWilliam Pitt the Younger
Preceded byThe Earl of Effingham
Succeeded byThe Marquess Townshend
Master of the Horse
In office
MonarchGeorge III
Prime Minister
Preceded byThe Earl of Westmorland
Succeeded byThe Marquess of Hertford
Personal details
Born10 November 1755 (1755-11-10)
Died29 August 1815 (1815-08-30) (aged 59)
Bretby, Derbyshire
  • Anne Thistlethwayte
    (m. 1777; died 1798)
  • Lady Henrietta Thynne
    (m. 1799; died 1813)
Alma materUniversity of Leipzig, Saxony

Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl of Chesterfield KG, PC, FRS, FSA (10 November 1755 – 29 August 1815), known as Philip Stanhope until 1773, was a British politician and diplomat. He was British Ambassador to Spain between 1784 and 1787, Master of the Mint between 1789 and 1790, Joint Postmaster General between 1790 and 1798 and Master of the Horse between 1798 and 1804.

Background and education

Stanhope was the son of Arthur Charles Stanhope, of Mansfield Woodhouse, and Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of Charles Headlam, of Kerby Hall, Yorkshire,[1] and cousin, godson and, later, adopted son of Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (whose titles he inherited at his death in 1773). He was a great-great-great-grandson of Philip Stanhope, 1st Earl of Chesterfield. His adoptive father directed his early education and his tutors included the poet Cuthbert Shaw and Edward Gibbon's friend the Swiss Jacques Georges Deyverdun, as well as Adam Ferguson, Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and the forger Dr William Dodd.[2] He was later educated at the University of Leipzig, Saxony.[1] During his service in Germany he became a member of the Masonic Lodge Minerva zu den drei Palmen Leipzig in 1773.[3]

Political and diplomatic career

Lord Chesterfield became a favourite of George III.[2] In 1784 he was sworn of the Privy Council[4] and appointed Ambassador to Spain, a post he held until 1787, although he never went to Spain. He later held office under William Pitt the Younger as Master of the Mint between 1789 and 1790 and as joint Postmaster General between 1790 and 1798 and under Pitt and Henry Addington as Master of the Horse between 1798 and 1804.[1][5]

Lord Chesterfield was also Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire between 1781 and 1782. He was elected a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries in 1776.[1] In 1805 he was appointed a Knight of the Garter.[6]


Portrait of his first wife Anne née Thistlewayte by Thomas Gainsborough

Lord Chesterfield married firstly, Anne, daughter of Reverend Robert Thistlewayte, on 20 August 1777. They had one child:

After his first wife's death in October 1798 he married secondly, Lady Henrietta Thynne, daughter of Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath, on 2 May 1799. They had two children:

The Countess of Chesterfield died at Chesterfield House, Mayfair, London, in May 1813, aged 50. Lord Chesterfield survived her by two years and died at Bretby, Derbyshire, in August 1815, aged 59. He was succeeded in the earldom by his only son, George.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl of Chesterfield
  2. ^ a b Lot Notes for the auction at Christie's of Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl of Chesterfield (1755–1815) by Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788)
  3. ^ Masonic Lodge Minerva zu den drei Palmen Leipzig
  4. ^ "No. 12508". The London Gazette. 6 January 1784. p. 1.
  5. ^ "No. 14091". The London Gazette. 13 February 1798. p. 138.
  6. ^ "No. 15800". The London Gazette. 23 April 1805. p. 550.