Whitworth, Charles, Lord

, author of a very curious account of the Russian empire, was son of Richard Whitwonh, esq. of Blowerpipe, in Staffordshire, who, about the time of the revolution, had settled at Adbaston. He married Anne Moseley, niece of sir Oswald Moseley, of Cheshire, by whom he had six sons and a daughter: Charles; Richard, lieutenant-colonel of the queen’s own royal regiment of horse; Edward, captain of a man of war; Gerard, one of the chaplains to king George the First; John, captain of dragoons; Francis, surveyor-general of his majesty’s woods, and secretary of the island of Barbadoes, father of Charles Whitworth, esq. member of parliament in the beginning of the present reign for Minehead in Somersetshire; and Anne, married to Tracey Pauncefort, esq. of Lincolnshire.

Charles, the eldest son, was bred under that accomplished minister and poet Mr. Stepney; and, having attended him through several courts of Germany, was, in 1702, appointed resident at the diet of Ratisbon. In 1704 he was named envoy -extraordinary to the court of Petersburg!), as he was sent ambassador-extraordinary thither on a more solemn and important occasion, in 1710. M. de Matueof, the Czar’s minister at London, had been arrested in the public street by two bailiffs, at the suit of some tradesmen, to whom he was in debt. This affront had like to have been attended with very serious consequences. The Czar demanded immediate and severe punishment of the offenders, with threats of wreaking his vengeance on all English merchants and subjects established in his dominions. In this light the menace was formidable, and the Czar’s memorials urged the queen with the satisfaction which she had extorted herself, when only the boat and servants of the earl of Manchester had been insulted at Venice. Mr. Whitworth had the honour of terminating this quarrel. In 1714, he was appointed plenipotentiary to the diet of Augsbourg and Ratisbon; in 1716, envoy-extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the king of Prussia; in 1717, | envoy-extraordinary to the Hague. In 1719, he returned in his former character to Berlin; and in 1721 the late king rewarded his long services by creating him baron Whitworth of Galway, in the kingdom of Ireland. The next year his lordship was entrusted with the affairs of Great Britain at the congress of Cambray, in the character of ambassador-extraordinary and plenipotentiary. He returned home in 1724, and died the next year at his house in Gerard street, Londou. His body was interred in Westminster-abbey.

His “Account of Russia, as it was in the year 1710,” was published by the late lord Orford at Strawberry-hill, who informs us that besides this little piece, which must retrieve and preserve his character from oblivion, lord Whitworth left many volumes of state letters and papers in the possession of his relations. One little anecdote of him lord Orford was told by the late sir Luke Schaub, who had it from himself. Lord Whitworth had had a personal intimacy with the famous Czarina Catherine, at a time when her favours were not purchased, nor rewarded at so extravagant a rate as that of a diadem. When he had compromised the rupture between the court of England and the Czar, he was invited to a ball at court, and taken out to dance by the Czarina. As they began the minuet, she squeezed him by the hand, and said in a whisper, “Have you for got little Kate?” 1

Lord Whitworth’s ms Account of Russia was communicated to lord Orford, by Richard Owen Cambridge, esq. having been purchased by him in a very curious set of books, collected by Mons. Zolman, secretary to the late Stephen Poyntz, esq. This little library relates solely to Russian history and affairs, and contains, in many languages, every thing that perhaps has been written on that country. 1


Lord Orford’s preface to the “Account,” &c.