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The 2nd Earl of Chesterfield.

Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield PC (1634 – 28 January 1714) was a peer in the peerage of England.[1]

Personal life

He was the son of Henry Stanhope, Lord Stanhope and his wife, Katherine Wotton.[1] He inherited the title of Earl of Chesterfield on the death of his grandfather in 1656.[1] He was educated by Poliander, Professor of Divinity at Leyden (1640) and at the Prince of Orange's College at Breda. He received a DCL in 1669 from Oxford University.

Elizabeth Dormer (Peter Cross, 1667)

His first marriage was to Lady Anne Percy, daughter of the Earl of Northumberland. Following her death, a marriage had been arranged between him and Mary, daughter of the 3rd Lord Fairfax. Despite the fact the banns had been read twice, Mary jilted Chesterfield for the 2nd Duke of Buckingham with whom she had fallen in love. Chesterfield subsequently married Elizabeth Butler, daughter of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde and his wife, Elizabeth Preston.[1] They had one daughter, Lady Elizabeth but it is not certain that Chesterfield was the father. Elizabeth died in 1665, and he married a third time to the second daughter of Charles Dormer, 2nd Earl of Carnarvon, Lady Elizabeth Dormer, who finally provided him with two sons.[1]

According to Samuel Pepys, Chesterfield was a ladies' man, and had been one of the many lovers of Barbara Villiers, the most notorious mistress of King Charles II. His second wife, tired of his neglect, began flirting with the king's brother, the Duke of York, and also with James Hamilton.

He was imprisoned in the Tower of London for wounding Captain John Whalley in a duel (1658) and on suspicion of involvement in Sir George Booth's rising (1659). He also killed a man in a duel, fled to France, and having obtained pardon from Charles II, returned to England in his train (1660).


He was Lord Chamberlain to Catherine of Braganza (1662–1665) and a member of her Council (1670). He was Colonel of a regiment of foot (1667, 1682), a Privy Councillor (1681) and the Warden of the royal forests south of Trent (1679). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in November 1708.[1][2] He died at his home in Middlesex, and was buried in Shelford, Nottinghamshire.


  1. ^ a b c d e f G. E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, page 181-182; volume II, page 184.
  2. ^ "Library and Archive Catalog". Royal Society. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 

See also

List of deserters from James II to William of Orange

Legal offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Monmouth
Justice in Eyre
south of the Trent

1679–bef. 1686
Succeeded by
The Earl of Huntingdon
Military offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Mulgrave
Colonel of The Holland Regiment
Succeeded by
The Earl of Mulgrave
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Philip Stanhope
Earl of Chesterfield
Succeeded by
Philip Stanhope

1893 text

Philip Stanhope, second Earl of Chesterfield, ob. 1713, act. suae 80. We learn, from the memoir prefixed to his “Printed Correspondence,” that he fought three duels, disarming and wounding his first and second antagonists, and killing the third. The name of the unfortunate gentleman who fell on this occasion was Woolly. Lord Chesterfield, absconding, went to Breda, where he obtained the royal pardon from Charles II. He acted a busy part in the eventful times in which he lived, and was remarkable for his steady adherence to the Stuarts. Lord Chesterfield’s letter to Charles II., and the King’s answer granting the royal pardon, occur in the Correspondence published by General Sir John Murray, in 1829.

“Jan. 17th, 1659. The Earl of Chesterfield and Dr. Woolly’s son of Hammersmith, had a quarrel about a mare of eighteen pounds price; the quarrel would not be reconciled, insomuch that a challenge passed between them. They fought a duel on the backside of Mr. Colby’s house at Kensington, where the Earl and he had several passes. The Earl wounded him in two places, and would fain have then ended, but the stubbornness and pride of heart of Mr. Woolly would not give over, and the next pass [he] was killed on the spot. The Earl fled to Chelsea, and there took water and escaped. The jury found it chance-medley.”—Rugge’s “Diurnal,” Addit MSS., British Museum.—B.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

7 Annotations

Bob Whaley  •  Link

Lord Chesterfield, Phillip Stanhope, was the second Earl of Chesterfield and something of a rogue; notorious for drinking, gambling and an exceeding wild nature. His killing of Wolly was indeed his third duel, all of which were illegal at this time. His first encounter was a duel with Lord St. John and his second with the son of Major General Edward Whalley. Edward was first cousin of Oliver Cromwell and one of the regicide judges and signer of the death certificate of Charles I. Edward

M. Stolzenbach  •  Link

This duellist, the second earl (1633-1714) was the grandfather of the famous Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773), the 4th earl, who wrote the "Letters" to his son.

Amazon says:

Not originally intended for publication, the celebrated and controversial correspondences between Lord Chesterfield and his son Philip, dating from 1737, were praised in their day as a complete manual of education, and despised by Samuel Johnson for teaching "the morals of a whore and the manners of a dancing-master."

[Moved from the 17 January 1660 entry by Phil]

David Gurliacci  •  Link

That 4th Lord Chesterfield, also Philip Stanhope

(again, the GRANDSON of the 2nd earl who appears here) is also remembered for receiving a devastating put-down in the form of a letter to him from Samuel Johnson (who was mad that Chesterfield hadn't assisted him as a patron when Johnson was struggling over his dictionary); and for introducing in 1751 the Calendar Bill for 1752 -- which modernized the calendar in Britain and British possessions.

anonymous  •  Link

Gentlemen, please pardon if this is irrelevant, but how did the first Earl of Chesterfield acquire his earldom?

anonymous  •  Link

The 1st Earl of Chesterfield, gentlemen, was the grandfather of his successor, the second Earl of Chesterfield.

Terry F  •  Link

Philip Stanhope, 1st Earl of Chesterfield (1584-1656), son of Sir John Stanhope and his wife Cordell Allington, was an English aristocrat.

He was married in 1605 to Cathrine, daughter of Francis, Lord Hastings. He was the great-grandson of Anne Stanhope (1497-1587), the wife of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (c.1506-1552). He was knighted in 1605 by King James I and made Baron Stanhope of Shelford. He was made 1st Earl of Chesterfield in 1628 by King Charles I. He was succeeded by his grandson, also Philip.

Retrieved from

Arthur J. Merovick  •  Link

I am in possession of two volumes of the record of the graduates of Oxford (writers and clergy), printed in 1721. In one is the bookplate of Philip Earl Stanhope

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.





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