Charles Whitworth, 1st Earl Whitworth
Charles Whitworth, 1st Earl Whitworth GCB
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

, PC (29 May 1752–13 May 1825), known as The Lord Whitworth between 1800 and 1813 and as The Viscount Whitworth between 1813 and 1815, was a British diplomat and politician.

Early years

Whitworth, the eldest of the three sons (there were also four daughters) and heir of Sir Charles Whitworth
Charles Whitworth (MP)
Sir Charles Whitworth was a British Member of Parliament, known for his expertise in statistics and finance.He represented the constituencies of Minehead from 1747 until 1761, and Bletchingley until 1768, in which year he was knighted...

, MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

, (a nephew of Charles Whitworth, 1st Baron Whitworth), was born at Leybourne Grange, Kent, on 19 May 1752 and baptised there on 29 May 1752. He was educated at Tonbridge School
Tonbridge School
Tonbridge School is a British boys' independent school for both boarding and day pupils in Tonbridge, Kent, founded in 1553 by Sir Andrew Judd . It is a member of the Eton Group, and has close links with the Worshipful Company of Skinners, one of the oldest London livery companies...

, his preceptors there including James Cawthorn and "Mr. Towers" .

He entered the first regiment of footguards in April 1772 as ensign, became captain in May 1781, and was eventually on 8 April 1783 appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 104th regiment. His transference from military life to diplomacy is not easy to explain, but in the account given by Wraxall
Nathaniel William Wraxall
Sir Nathaniel William Wraxall, 1st Baronet was an English author-Life:He was born in Queen Square, Bristol, the son of a Bristol merchant, Nathaniel Wraxall, and his wife Anne, great niece of Sir James Thornhill the painter...

 , disfigured though it is by malicious or purely fanciful embroidery, there is perhaps a nucleus of truth. Whitworth was
The good offices of the queen and Dorset, according to this authority, procured for Whitworth in June 1785 his appointment as envoy-extraordinary and minister-plenipotentiary to Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, of which country the unfortunate Stanisław Poniatowski was still the nominal monarch. He was at Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 during the troubled period immediately preceding the second partition. Recalled early in 1788, he was in the following August nominated envoy-extraordinary and minister-plenipotentiary at St. Petersburg, a post which he held for nearly twelve years.

Envoy-Extraordinary and Minister-Plenipotentiary at St. Petersburg

Whitworth was well received by Catherine II
Catherine II of Russia
Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great , Empress of Russia, was born in Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia on as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg...

, who was then at war with Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, but the harmony between the two countries was disturbed during the winter of 1790–1 by William Pitt
William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger was a British politician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24 . He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806...

's subscription to the view of the Prussian government that the three allies — England, Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

, and Holland — could not with impunity allow the balance of power in Eastern Europe to be disturbed. Pitt hoped by a menace of sending a British fleet to the Baltic to constrain Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 to make restitution of its chief conquest, Oczakow and the adjoining territory as far as the Dniester
The Dniester is a river in Eastern Europe. It runs through Ukraine and Moldova and separates most of Moldova's territory from the breakaway de facto state of Transnistria.-Names:...

, and thus to realise his idea of confining the ambition of Russia in the south-east as well as that of France in the north-west portion of Europe. The Russian government replied by an uncompromising refusal to listen to the proposal of restitution.

War began to be talked of, and Whitworth sent in a memorandum in which he dwelt upon the strength of the czarina's determination and the great display of vigour that would be necessary to overcome it. In the spring of 1791 he wrote of a French adventurer, named St. Ginier, who had appeared at St. Petersburg with a plan for invading Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 by way of Cashmere
Cashmere may refer to:* Cashmere wool, wool from the Cashmere goatPlaces* Another term for Kashmir, a region of the Indian subcontinent* Cashmere, New Zealand, a suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand* Cashmere, Queensland, a suburb of Brisbane, Australia...

, and in July he communicated to Grenville
George Grenville
George Grenville was a British Whig statesman who rose to the position of Prime Minister of Great Britain. Grenville was born into an influential political family and first entered Parliament in 1741 as an MP for Buckingham...

 a circumstantial account of a plot to burn the English fleet at Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

 by means of Irish and other incendiaries in Russian pay. In the meantime Pitt had become alarmed at the opposition to his Russian policy in parliament, Burke
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

 and Fox
Charles James Fox
Charles James Fox PC , styled The Honourable from 1762, was a prominent British Whig statesman whose parliamentary career spanned thirty-eight years of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and who was particularly noted for being the arch-rival of William Pitt the Younger...

 both uttering powerful speeches against the restoration of Oczakow to the Porte, and early in April 1791 a messenger was hastily despatched to St. Petersburg to keep back the ultimatum which Whitworth had on 27 March been ordered to present to the empress. His relations with the Russian court were now for a short period considerably strained. Catherine, elated by recent victories of Suvorov
Alexander Suvorov
Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov , Count Suvorov of Rymnik, Prince in Italy, Count of the Holy Roman Empire , was the fourth and last generalissimo of the Russian Empire.One of the few great generals in history who never lost a battle along with the likes of Alexander...

, said to him with an ironical smile: "Sir, since the king your master is determined to drive me out of Petersburg, I hope he will permit me to retire to Constantinople" . Gradually, however, through the influence of Madame Gerepzof
Olga Zherebtsova
Olga Alexandrovna Zherebzova, née Zubova, also known as Madame Gerebtzoff , was the sister of the celebrated Zubov brothers, Prince Platon and Counts Nicholas and Valerian....

, the sister of the favourite, the celebrated Zubof
Platon Zubov
Prince Platon Alexandrovich Zubov was the last of Catherine the Great's favourites and the most powerful man in Russian Empire during the last years of her reign....

, and in consequence of the alarm excited in the mind of Catherine by the course things were taking in France, Whitworth more than recovered his position.

Great Britain's influence upon the peace finally concluded at Jassy
Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

 on 9 January 1792 (→ Treaty of Jassy
Treaty of Jassy
The Treaty of Jassy, signed at Jassy in Moldavia , was a pact between the Russian and Ottoman Empires ending the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–92 and confirming Russia's increasing dominance in the Black Sea....

) was, it is true, little more than nominal, but Whitworth obtained some credit for the achievement, together with the cross of a KB
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

 (17 November 1793). Wraxall's statement that the relations between Whitworth and Madame Gerepzof were similar to those between Marlborough
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Prince of Mindelheim, KG, PC , was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs through the late 17th and early 18th centuries...

 and the Duchess of Cleveland
Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland
Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland was an English courtesan and perhaps the most notorious of the many mistresses of King Charles II of England, by whom she had five children, all of which were acknowledged and subsequently ennobled...

 is utterly incredible .

The gradual rapprochement between the views of Russia and England was brought about mainly by the common dread of any revolutionary infection from the quarter of France, and in February 1795 Catherine was induced to sign a preliminary treaty, by the terms of which she was to furnish the coalition with at least sixty-five thousand men in return for a large monthly subsidy from the British government. This treaty was justly regarded as a triumph for Whitworth's diplomacy, though, unfortunately, just before the date fixed for its final ratification by both countries, the czarina was struck down by mortal illness (February 1795). Paul I
Paul I of Russia
Paul I was the Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801. He also was the 72nd Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta .-Childhood:...

, in his desire to adopt an original policy, refused to affix his signature, and it was not until June 1798 that the outrage committed by the French upon the order of the knights of St. John
Knights Hospitaller
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta , also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta , Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. It is the world's...

 at Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

, who had chosen him for their protector, disposed him to listen to the solicitations of Whitworth. The latter obtained his adhesion to an alliance with Great Britain offensive and defensive, with the object of putting a stop to the further encroachments of France, in December 1798, and the treaty paved the way for the operations of Suvarof and Korsakof in Northern Italy and the Alps.

Whitworth was now at the zenith of his popularity in St. Petersburg, and Paul pressed the British government to raise him to the peerage. The request was readily complied with, and on 21 March 1800 the ambassador was made Baron Whitworth, of Newport Pratt in the County of Mayo, in the Peerage of Ireland; but before the patent could reach him the czar had been reconciled to Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

. Irritated, moreover, by the British seizure and retention of Malta, Paul abruptly dismissed Whitworth, and thereupon commenced that angry correspondence which developed into the combination of northern powers against Great Britain.

Interlude in Denmark

In July 1800 the seizure of the Danish frigate Freya for opposing the British right of search led to strained relations with Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, and, in order to anticipate any hostile move from Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, Whitworth was despatched in August on a special mission to that capital. To give the greater weight to his representations, a squadron of nine sail of the line, with five frigates and four bombs, was ordered to the Sound under Admiral Dickson. The Danish shore batteries were as yet very incomplete, and Whitworth's arguments for the time being proved effectual. He returned to England on 27 September, and on 5 November was made a privy councillor
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...



His former friend, John Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset
John Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset
John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset was the only son of Lord John Philip Sackville, second son of Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset. He succeeded to the dukedom in 1769 on the death of his uncle, Charles Sackville, 2nd Duke of Dorset...

, had died in July 1799, and on 7 April 1801 he married the widow Duchess Arabella Diana (daughter of Sir Charles Cope, bart., by Catharine, fifth daughter of Cecil Bisshop, bart., of Parham
Bishopp Baronets
The Bishopp Baronetcy, of Parham in the County of Sussex, was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1620 for Thomas Bishopp, who had previously represented Gatton in Parliament. In 1815 the abeyance of the ancient Barony of Zouche was terminated in favour of the eighth Baronet, a...

, who afterwards married Lord Liverpool
Charles Jenkinson, 1st Earl of Liverpool
Charles Jenkinson, 1st Earl of Liverpool PC , known as the Lord Hawkesbury between 1786 and 1796, was a British statesman. He was the father of Prime Minister Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool....

). She was a capable woman of thirty-two, with a taste for power and pleasure, says Wraxall, kept "always subordinate to her economy". By the death of the Duke she came into possession of ₤13,000 a year, besides the borough of East Grinstead, while Dorset House and Knole Park
Knole House
Knole is an English country house in the town of Sevenoaks in west Kent, surrounded by a deer park. One of England's largest houses, it is reputed to be a calendar house, having 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and 7 courtyards...

 subsequently passed into her hands.

Ambassador at Paris

The peace of Amiens was concluded on 27 March 1802, and Whitworth, whose means were now fully adequate to the situation, was chosen to fill the important post of ambassador at Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. His instructions were dated 10 September 1802, and two months later he set out with a large train, being received at Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

 with enthusiasm; a considerable period had elapsed since a British ambassador had been seen in France. He was presented to Napoleon and Mme. Bonaparte
Joséphine de Beauharnais
Joséphine de Beauharnais was the first wife of Napoléon Bonaparte, and thus the first Empress of the French. Her first husband Alexandre de Beauharnais had been guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she had been imprisoned in the Carmes prison until her release five days after Alexandre's...

 on 7 December, and six days later his wife was received at St. Cloud
St. Cloud
St. Cloud may refer to:*Saint Cloud, also known as Clodoald, a son of the Frankish king Chlodomer*Saint-Cloud, a town in France*Château de Saint-Cloud, a royal château in FranceIn the United States:*St. Cloud, Florida...

. The duchess, whose hauteur was very pronounced, had considerable scruples about calling upon the wife of Talleyrand. As early as 23 December Whitworth mentions in a despatch the rumour that the first consul was meditating a divorce from his wife and the assumption of the imperial title, but during his first two months' sojourn in Paris there seemed a tacit agreement to avoid disagreeable subjects. Napoleon ignored the attacks of the English press, the retention of Malta, and the protracted evacuation of Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, while England kept silence as to the recent French aggressions in Holland, Piedmont
Piedmont is one of the 20 regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of about 4.4 million. The capital of Piedmont is Turin. The main local language is Piedmontese. Occitan is also spoken by a minority in the Occitan Valleys situated in the Provinces of...

, Elba
Elba is a Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy, from the coastal town of Piombino. The largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago, Elba is also part of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago and the third largest island in Italy after Sicily and Sardinia...

, Parma
Parma is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its ham, its cheese, its architecture and the fine countryside around it. This is the home of the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world....

, and Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....


The British government was, however, obstinate in its refusal to quit Malta until a guarantee had been signed by the various powers ensuring the possession of the island to the knights of St. John. This difficulty, which constituted the darkest cloud on the diplomatic horizon, was first raised by Talleyrand on 27 January 1803. Three days later was published a report filling eight pages of the Moniteur from Colonel Sebastiani
Horace François Bastien, baron Sébastiani
Horace François Bastien Sébastiani de La Porta was a French soldier, diplomat, and politician, who served as Naval Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of State under the July Monarchy. Joining the French Revolutionary Army in his youth, he rose in its ranks and became a supporter...

, who had been sent by Napoleon upon a special mission of inquiry to Egypt. In this report military information was freely interspersed with remarks disparaging to England, in which country the document was plausibly interpreted as a preface to a second invasion of Egypt by the French. The Addington
Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth
Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, PC was a British statesman, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1804....

 ministry consequently instructed Whitworth, through the foreign minister Hawkesbury
Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool KG PC was a British politician and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since the Union with Ireland in 1801. He was 42 years old when he became premier in 1812 which made him younger than all of his successors to date...

, to stiffen his back against any demand for the prompt evacuation of Malta. On 18 Feb. Napoleon summoned the ambassador, and, after a stormy outburst of rhetoric, concluded with the memorable appeal, "Unissons-nous plutôt que de nous combattre, et nous réglerons ensemble les destinées du monde." Any significance that this offer might have had was more than neutralised by the first consul's observation, "Ce sont des bagatelles" (much commented upon in England), when, in answer to reproaches about Malta, Whitworth hinted at the augmentation of French power in Piedmont, Switzerland, and elsewhere.

The crisis, of extreme importance in the career of Napoleon ("il était arrivé," says Lanfrey
Pierre Lanfrey
Pierre Lanfrey , a French historian and politician, was born at Chambéry .His father had been one of Napoleon's officers. The son studied philosophy and history in Paris and wrote historical works of an anti-clerical and rationalizing tendency...

, "à l'instant le plus critique de sa carrière") as well as in the history of England, was arrived at on 13 March 1803, the date of the famous scene between Napoleon and the British ambassador at the Tuileries. At the close of a violent tirade before a full court, interrupted by asides to foreign diplomatists expressive of the bad faith of the British, Napoleon exclaimed loudly to Whitworth, "Malheur à ceux qui ne respectent pas les traités. Ils en seront responsables à toute l'Europe." ("Woe to those who do not respect treaties! They will be responsible to all Europe.") "He was too agitated," says the ambassador, "to prolong the conversation; I therefore made no answer, and he retired to his apartment repeating the last phrase." Two hundred people heard this conversation ("if such it can be called"), "and I am persuaded," adds Whitworth, "that there was not a single person who did not feel the extreme impropriety of his conduct and the total want of dignity as well as of decency on the occasion." The interview was not, however, a final one (as has often erroneously been stated). Whitworth was received by the first consul once again on 4 April, when the corps diplomatique were kept waiting for an audience for four hours while Napoleon inspected knapsacks. "When that ceremony was performed he received us, and I had every reason to be satisfied with his manner towards me" (Whitworth to Hawkesbury, 4 April 1803). Napoleon wished to temporise until his preparations were a little more advanced, but the pourparlers henceforth had little real significance. On 1 May an indisposition prevented the ambassador from attending the reception at the Tuileries, on 12 May he demanded his passports, and on 18 May Britain declared war against France. Whitworth reached London on 20 May, having encountered the French ambassador, Andréossy
Antoine-François Andréossy
Antoine-François, comte Andréossy was a French general and diplomat of noble origin and Italian descent.-Biography:...

, three days earlier at Dover . Throughout the trying scenes with the first consul, his demeanour was generally admitted to have been marked by a dignity and an impassibilité worthy of the best traditions of aristocratic diplomacy.

Irritated by his failure to stun him by a display of violence (such as that which had so daunted the Venetian plenipotentiaries before the treaty of Campo Formio
Treaty of Campo Formio
The Treaty of Campo Formio was signed on 18 October 1797 by Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Philipp von Cobenzl as representatives of revolutionary France and the Austrian monarchy...

), Napoleon did not hesitate to suggest in one of his journals that Whitworth had been privy to the murder of Paul I in Russia. At St. Helena in July 1817 he alluded to him with calmness as "habile" and "adroit", but he always maintained that the accepted version of the celebrated interview of 13 March was "plein des faussetés" .

Later years

After his return, not occupying a seat in either house of parliament, Whitworth sank for ten years into comparative insignificance, but in 1813, owing to his wife's connection with Lord Liverpool, he was made on 2 March a lord of the bedchamber
Lord of the Bedchamber
A Lord of the Bedchamber, previously known as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber was a courtier in the Royal Household of the King of the United Kingdom and the Prince of Wales. A Lord of the Bedchamber's duties consisted of assisting the King with his dressing, waiting on him when he ate in private,...

 to George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

, and on 3 June was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was the British King's representative and head of the Irish executive during the Lordship of Ireland , the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

, in succession to the Duke of Richmond
Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond
Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, 4th Duke of Lennox KG, PC was a British soldier and politician and Governor General of British North America.-Background:...

, a post which he held until October 1817. In the same month he was created an English peer as Viscount Whitworth, of Adbaston in the County of Stafford. On 2 January 1815 he was promoted to the grand cross of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

, and on 25 November was created Baron Adbaston, in the County of Stafford, and Earl Whitworth. After the restoration of the Bourbons
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

 in France, which as a political expedient he highly approved, he visited Paris in April 1819 with the Duchess of Dorset and a numerous train. His official capacity was denied, but he was generally deemed to have been charged with a mission of observation. He visited Louis XVIII and the princes, but carefully avoided any interview with the ministers. He revisited Paris in the following October on his way to Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, where he was received with great distinction, though political significance was again disclaimed for the visit. He returned to England and settled at Knole Park in 1820, his last public appearance being as assistant lord sewer at the coronation of George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

 on 19 July 1821.


Whitworth died without issue at Knole on 13 May 1825, when all his honours became extinct. His will was proved on 30 May by the Duchess of Dorset, his universal legatee, the personalty being sworn under £ 70,000. The duchess died at Knole on 1 August following, and was buried on 10 August at Withyam, Sussex, twenty-two horsemen following her remains to the grave. Her only son (by her first husband), the fourth Duke of Dorset, having died in 1815 after a fall from his horse, her large property (estimated at ₤ 35,000 per annum) was divided between her two sons-in-law, the Earls of Plymouth and De la Warr
George Sackville-West, 5th Earl De La Warr
George John Sackville-West, 5th Earl de la Warr PC , styled Viscount Cantelupe until 1795, was a British courtier and Tory politician.-Background:...

. "Knole in Kent was judiciously bequeathed to the former, he being the richer man of the two, on the express condition that his lordship should expend £ 6,000. per annum on this favourite residence of the Sackvilles for several centuries" .

Excavation of Whitworth's grave in the 1990s revealed the poor state of his teeth, resulting from the dangerous products used in his time to clean teeth.


Whitworth, according to Napoleon, was a "fort bel homme" , and this description is confirmed by the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence
Thomas Lawrence (painter)
Sir Thomas Lawrence RA FRS was a leading English portrait painter and president of the Royal Academy.Lawrence was a child prodigy. He was born in Bristol and began drawing in Devizes, where his father was an innkeeper. At the age of ten, having moved to Bath, he was supporting his family with his...

, an engraving from which appears in Doyle's Official Baronage. There is a very fine mezzotint engraving of this portrait by Charles Turner. The original forms one of the small collection of British masters in the Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

 at Paris. A portrait of "Captain Whitworth" of much earlier date, engraved by R. Laurie after A. Graff, is identified by John Chaloner Smith
John Chaloner Smith
John Chaloner Smith was an Irish civil engineer and writer on British mezzotints.-Life:He was born in Dublin. His father was a proctor of the ecclesiastical courts, and married a granddaughter of Travers Hartley, M.P. for Dublin in the Irish parliament. Chaloner Smith was admitted to Trinity...

as a portrait of the diplomatist.


  • David Bayne Horn: British diplomatic representatives, 1689–1789. – London : Offices of the Society, 1932, pp. 94, 119
  • Stanley Thomas Bindoff: British diplomatic representatives, 1789–1852. – London : Offices of the Society, 1934, pp. 108–9
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