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Charles Augustus Ellis, sixth Baron Howard de Walden and second Baron Seaford (1799-1868)

This article was written by Henry Morse Stephens and was published in 1888

Charles Augustus Ellis, sixth Baron Howard de Walden and second Baron Seaford, diplomatist, elder son of Charles Rose Ellis, M.P. and his wife Elizabeth Catherine Hervey, only daughter of John Augustus, eldest son of Frederick Augustus Hervey, earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry, was born on 5 June 1799. On 8 July 1803 he succeeded his great grandfather, the Bishop of Derry, as Lord Howard de Walden. This title represented an ancient barony by writ, created by Queen Elizabeth in 1597, which had passed to the Bishop of Derry as representative through females of the younger daughter of the third Earl of Suffolk, and it now again passed by the female line to Charles Augustus Ellis, while the earldom of Bristol was inherited by the next male heir in the usual course.

Lord Howard de Walden was educated at Eton, and on 4 April 1817 he entered the army as an ensign and lieutenant in the Grenadier guards. During the reductions in the strength of the army, made after the evacuation of France, Lord Howard de Walden was placed on half-pay on 25 December 1818. He again entered the Grenadier guards on 6 January 1820, but on 3 October 1822 he was promoted captain in the 8th regiment and placed on half-pay.

He took his seat in the House of Lords in 1820, and Canning, when he came into power on the death of the Marquis of Londonderry, showed every disposition to assist the relation of his dearest friend, George Ellis, and the son of one of his most trusted supporters, Charles Rose Ellis. In July 1824 Canning appointed Lord Howard de Walden under-secretary of state for foreign affairs, and in January 1826 sent him as attaché to Lord Stuart de Rothesay in his famous special mission to Rio de Janeiro. After his return from Brazil Lord Howard de Walden married, on 8 November 1828, Lady Lucy Cavendish-Bentinck, fourth daughter of William Henry, fourth duke of Portland. On 2 October 1832 he was appointed minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary to the court of Stockholm. On 22 November 1833 he was transferred in the same capacity to Lisbon.

During the thirteen years in which he held this appointment Lord Howard de Walden made his reputation as a diplomatist. He took up his duties while the civil war between the Miguelites and the Pedroites was still raging, and he remained to see more than one pronunciamiento in the streets of Lisbon and Oporto. The queen of Portugal and her advisers were greatly inclined to trust to the English minister, and his influence upon the Portuguese policy and the development of parliamentary government in that country is of the greatest importance in the internal history of Portugal during the present century. For his services to English diplomacy he was made a G.C.B. on 22 July 1838, and for his services to Portugal he was permitted to receive and wear the grand cross of the Portuguese order of the Tower and Sword in 1841. On 10 December 1846 Lord Howard de Walden, who in the July of the previous year had succeeded his father as second Lord Seaford, was appointed minister plenipotentiary at Brussels, and he remained at that court in that capacity for more than twenty years, enjoying the friendship both of Leopold I and Leopold II of Belgium. He died on 29 August 1868 at his country château of Lesve, near Namur, leaving a family of six sons and two daughters.

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