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This document was written by William Prideaux Courtney in 1893
Henry LawesLuttrell, second Earl Carhampton was born on 7 August 1743. Hewas the eldest son of Simon Luttrell (d. 1787), successively Baron Irnham, Viscount Carhampton, and Earl Carhampton, all in the Irish peerage, by his wife Maria, daughter, and at length heiress, of Sir Nicholas Lawes. The Countess-dowager Carhampton died at a great age at the family seat, Sheepy Hall, Wiltshire, in December 1798. Possibly he is the Henry Luttrell mentioned in Foster's Alumni Oxonienses as the son of Simon Luttrell of Coton Hall, Warwickshire, and as having matriculated at Christ Church on 13 January 1755, aged 17. Luttrell probably also fathered Henry Luttrell.
He was placed in the army, becoming an ensign in the 48th foot on 21 November 1757. Subsequently he became a lieutenant in the 34th foot on 27 March 1759, a captain in the 16th light dragoons on 6 August 1759, and a Major on 14 April 1762. On the same day he was appointed deputy adjutant-general to the forces in Portugal; on 8 October he was granted local rank of lieutenant-colonel in that country, and on 13 February 1765 he was advanced to be lieutenant-colonel of the 1st regiment of horse.
His father was ‘devoted to Lord Bute,’ through whose influence the son was at the general election of 1768 elected for the borough of Bossiney in Cornwall. When a candidate in the court interest was required to oppose Wilkes in Middlesex, Luttrell, who cherished ‘a personal enmity’ against him, vacated his Cornish seat in March 1769 to stand for that county. At the poll on 13 April, he was defeated by 1,143 votes to 296, but by a resolution of the House of Commons he was two days later declared to have been duly elected.
For some time before the election bets were made on his life; on the polling day he owed his safety to his opponent's friends, and for some months afterwards he ‘did not dare to appear in the streets or scarce quit his lodging’. On 8 September 1770 the post of adjutant-general of the land forces in Ireland was given to him for reward, but he was still discontented; in 1772 he threatened to resign, and in April 1774 he tried to embroil the ministry by a complaint that the sheriffs of Middlesex had summoned Wilkes, and not him, to attend in parliament.
From 1774 to 1784 he sat once again for Bossiney. He represented Plympton Earls in Devonshire 1790-4, and from 1817 to his death he was member for Ludgershall in Wiltshire. At the general election in 1783 he was returned in the Irish parliament for the borough of Old Leighton. About 1798 he sold his Irish property at Luttrellstown, and he spent the latter years of his life at his seat of Painshill in Surrey. At first vehement against the union, he afterwards supported it. He became colonel, brevet, on 29 August 1777, and major-general on 20 November 1782.
On his father's death in 1787 he succeeded to the peerage, and he was appointed colonel of the 6th regiment of dragoons on 23 June 1788. In 1789 he became lieutenant-general of the ordnance in Ireland, and in 1795 was entrusted with the suppression of the Defenders in Connaught and the pacification of the province. His impressment of many rebels as sailors provoked much hostile criticism; but in 1796 he was promoted to the commandership of the forces in Ireland. He continued his high-handed policy. ‘Carhampton,’ the lord-lieutenant Lord Camden wrote to the Duke of Portland on 22 January 1796, ‘did not confine himself to the strict rules of law’.
A conspiracy, for which two men were executed, was formed in May 1797 to assassinate him. On 2 August 1797 he was made master-general of the ordnance, and in December Sir Ralph Abercromby relieved him of the office of commander-in-chief. He became general in the army on 8 January 1798, and resigned the mastership of the ordnance in 1800. He was also governor of Dublin, and patent-custumer at Bristol. He died at Bruton Street, London on25 April 1821, when his name stood third in the list of generals. On 25 June 1776 he married Jane, daughter of George Boyd of Dublin, a very beautiful woman, who survived him. Having no children, he was succeeded in the peerage by his brother John, who in 1787 assumed the additional surname of Olmius, and died in 1829.
Luttrell was a man of wit and daring. The story goes that when challenged to a duel by his father, he refused the summons because it was not given by a 'gentleman.' The ‘Memoirs of Miss Arabella Bolton (1770), and some lines in an ode to Colonel L— in the New Foundling Hospital for Wit, (iv. 123-7), refer to his seduction, while at Oxford, of a gardener's daughter near Woodstock. She was the mother of Henry Luttrell. His speech in the court of chancery on 9 December 1815, on the disputes arising out of the will of the Duchess of Cumberland, was printed in 1816.
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