William Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Harrington
2nd Earl of Harrington
Earl of Harrington COA.svg
Coat of Arms of the Earls of Harrington
PredecessorWilliam Stanhope, 1st Earl of Harrington (Father)
SuccessorCharles Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Harrington (Son)
Other titlesViscount Petersham
Baron Harrington
Born(1719-12-18)18 December 1719
Died1 April 1779(1779-04-01) (aged 59)
ResidenceElvaston Castle
Wars and battlesBattle of Fontenoy
OfficesCaptain and Colonel of the 2nd Troop Horse Grenadier Guards
MP for Aylesbury(1741–1747)
MP for Bury St Edmunds(1747-1754)
(m. 1746)
ParentsWilliam Stanhope, 1st Earl of Harrington
Anne Griffith (daughter of Colonel Edward Griffith and Elizabeth Lawrence)
OccupationPeer and Soldier

General William Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Harrington (18 December 1719 – 1 April 1779) was a British politician and soldier.

The son of William Stanhope, 1st Earl of Harrington, he took up a military career and joined the Foot Guards in 1741, and was also returned for Aylesbury. He was wounded at the battle of Fontenoy and shortly thereafter (5 June 1745) was appointed colonel of the Second Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards, an appointment he held for the remainder of his life.

Elvaston Castle
Elvaston Castle

He married Lady Caroline FitzRoy (1722–1784), daughter of Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, on 11 August 1746. They had seven children:

In 1747, he became MP for Bury St Edmunds, and in 1755, was promoted major-general. He succeeded to the earldom in 1756, and was promoted lieutenant-general in 1758 and general in 1770.

He was known to society as "the goat of quality" for the dissipation of his personal life: he visited the brothel of Sarah Prendergast in King's Place, St James's, London, four times a week.[5][6] His wife Lady Harrington formed "The New Female Coterie", a group of demimondaines which met in the same house.[5]


  1. ^ Courthope, William, ed. (1838). Debrett's Complete Peerage of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (22nd ed.). London. p. 555.
  2. ^ Gurney (1783): p.54
  3. ^ Buchan (2008): p.35
  4. ^ Brooke, John. "Stanhope, Henry Fitzroy". History of Parliament. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  5. ^ a b Rubenhold, Hallie (2008). Lady Worsley's Whim. London: Vintage Books. p. 175.
  6. ^ Burford, E. J. (1988). Royal St. James's: being a story of kings, clubmen and courtesans. Hale. p. 208. ISBN 0-7090-3274-9.