George Child Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey

George Child Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey, GCH, PC (19 August 1773 – 3 October 1859), previously George Villiers and styled Viscount Villiers until 1805, was a British courtier and Conservative politician from the Villiers family.

The Earl of Jersey
George Child Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey (1).jpg
Child Villiers, in 1836
Lord Chamberlain of the Household
In office
24 July 1830 – 24 November 1830
MonarchWilliam IV
Prime MinisterThe Duke of Wellington
Preceded byThe Duke of Montrose
Succeeded byThe Duke of Devonshire
In office
15 December 1834 – 8 April 1835
MonarchWilliam IV
Prime MinisterSir Robert Peel, Bt
Preceded byThe Duke of Devonshire
Succeeded byThe Marquess Wellesley
Master of the Horse
In office
4 September 1841 – 29 June 1846
Prime MinisterSir Robert Peel, Bt
Preceded byThe Earl of Albemarle
Succeeded byThe Duke of Norfolk
In office
1 March 1852 – 17 December 1852
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Derby
Preceded byThe Duke of Norfolk
Succeeded byThe Duke of Wellington
Personal details
Born19 August 1773 (1773-08-19)
Died3 October 1859 (1859-10-04) (aged 86)
Political partyConservative
SpouseLady Sarah Fane (1785–1867)
Parent(s)George Villiers, 4th Earl of Jersey
Frances Twysden
Alma materSt John's College, Cambridge

He added the name of Child to his own by royal licence in 1819.

Background and educationEdit

Styled Viscount Villiers from birth, he was the son of George Villiers, 4th Earl of Jersey, by his wife Frances Twysden, daughter of the Right Reverend Philip Twysden, Bishop of Raphoe. He attended Harrow and obtained a Master of Arts degree from St John's College, Cambridge. He was a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales in 1795.[1]

Political careerEdit

Lord Jersey succeeded in the earldom on the death of his father in 1805 and took his seat in the House of Lords. He served as Lord Chamberlain of the Household under the Duke of Wellington between July[2] and November 1830 and was sworn of the Privy Council in July 1830.[3] He was Lord Chamberlain for a second time under Sir Robert Peel from 1834 to 1835. He again held office under Peel as Master of the Horse from 1841 to 1846, and again briefly under Lord Derby in 1852. He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Oxford.


Lord Jersey married Lady Sarah Sophia Fane, daughter of John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, on 23 May 1804. She was the eldest grandchild and heiress of Robert Child, the principal shareholder of the banking firm Child & Co. Lord Jersey added the surname Child to the Villiers surname by royal licence in 1819.

Lady Jersey was one of the great hostesses of English society, a leader of the ton during the Regency era and the reign of George IV, and a patroness of Almack's. Lord Jersey was an ardent fox hunter and a breeder and trainer of horses, owning two Epsom Derby winners, in Mameluke (1827) and Bay Middleton (1836) as well as other notable thoroughbreds such as Glencoe.[4] His wife's numerous love affairs did not trouble him: asked why he had never fought a duel to protect her honour, he replied that he could hardly fight every man in London.[5] Lord and Lady Jersey had seven children:

Lord Jersey died on 3 October 1859, aged 86, and was succeeded by his eldest son, George. The Countess of Jersey died in January 1867, aged 81.


  1. ^ n Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "No. 18711". The London Gazette. 27 July 1830. p. 1580.
  3. ^ "No. 18709". The London Gazette. 23 July 1830. p. 1533.
  4. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Jersey, Earls of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 329.
  5. ^ Ridley, Jasper Lord Palmerston Constable London 1970 p.42

External linksEdit

  Media related to George Child Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by Lord Chamberlain
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord Chamberlain
Succeeded by
Preceded by Master of the Horse
Succeeded by
Preceded by Master of the Horse
Succeeded by
Peerage of England
Preceded by Earl of Jersey
Succeeded by