Oxford University Press © 1997
Pierrepont, Evelyn, second Duke of Kingston 1711-1773
Name: Pierrepont, Evelyn
Title: second Duke of Kingston
Active Date: 1751
Burial: Holme-Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire
Spouse: Elizabeth Chudleigh, the wife of the Hon. Augustus John Hervey...
Sources: Thomas Whitehead's Original Anecdotes, 1792; Walpole's Memoirs of...
Contributor: G. F. R. B. [GEORGE FISHER RUSSELL BARKER]
Pierrepont, Evelyn, second Duke of Kingston 1711-1773, born in 1711, was only son of William, earl of Kingston, by his wife Rachel, daughter of Thomas Baynton of Little Chalfield, Wiltshire. Evelyn, first duke of Kingston [q.v.], was his grandfather. He was educated at Eton. His father died on 1 July 1713, and his mother on 18 May 1722. He succeeded his grandfather as second Duke of Kingston on 5 March 1726, and took his seat in the House of Lords on 1 June 1733 (Journals of the House of Lords, xxiv. 292). 'The Duke of Kingston, says his aunt in 1726, 'has hitherto had so ill an education, 'tis hard to make any judgment of him; he has his spirit, but I fear will never have his father's sense. As young noblemen go, 'tis possible he may make a good figure amongst them (Letters and Works of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, 1837, ii. 209). He was appointed master of the staghounds north of the Trent on 8 July 1738, and on 20 March 1741 was elected a knight of the Garter. On 17 April 1741 he became one of the lords of the bedchamber, a post, however, which he did not long retain. Upon the outbreak of the rebellion in 1745, Kingston, at his own expense, raised a regiment of light horse, which greatly distinguished itself against the rebels at the battle of Culloden. He was gazetted a colonel in the army on 4 Oct. 1745, major-general on 19 March 1755, and lieutenant-general on 4 Feb. 1759. At the coronation of George III in September 1761, Kingston was the bearer of St. Edward's staff. In January 1763 he was appointed lord lieutenant and custos rotulorum of Nottinghamshire, and also steward of Sherwood Forest, but resigned both these offices in August 1765. In September 1769 he became recorder of Nottingham, and on 26 May 1772 he was promoted to the rank of general in the army. He died at Bath on 23 Sept. 1773, aged 62, and was buried at Holme-Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire, on 19 Oct. following. Kingston is described by Walpole as being 'a very weak man, of the greatest beauty, and finest person in England (Journal of the Reign of King George III, 1859, i. 259). He went through the ceremony of marriage with the notorious Elizabeth Chudleigh [q.v.], the wife of the Hon. Augustus John Hervey (afterwards third Earl of Bristol) [q.v.], at St. George's, Hanover Square, on 8 March 1769. In the riot which occurred in London on the 22nd of that month, Kingston was 'taken for the Duke of Bedford, and had his new wedding coach, favours, and liveries covered with mud (WALPOLE, Letters, 1857, v. 149). All his honours became extinct upon his death without issue. On the death of the Countess of Bristol in August 1788, his estates devolved upon his nephew, Charles Meadows, who assumed the name of Pierrepont, and was subsequently created Earl Manvers [see art. Meadows, Sir Philip]. Kingston lost a large number of valuable manuscripts, letters, and deeds by fires at Thoresby (4 April 1745) and at New Square, Lincoln's Inn (27 June 1752). There is no record of any speech or protest by him in the House of Lords. A full-length portrait of Kingston, signed P. Tillemans, belonged in 1867 to Earl Manvers.
Thomas Whitehead's Original Anecdotes, 1792; Walpole's Memoirs of the Reign of King George III, 1845, iii. 351-2; G. E. C.'s Complete Peerage, iv. 407; Doyle's Official Baronage, 1886, ii. 302; Collins's Peerage, 1812, v. 628-9 n.; Burke's Extinct Peerage, 1883, p. 428; Eddison's Hist. of Worksop, 1854, pp. 165-81; The Beauties of England and Wales, vol. xii. pt. i. pp. 368-70; Historical Register, vol. vii., Chron. Diar, p. 27; Political State of Great Britain, vi. 47-8; Gent. Mag. 1773 pp. 470-1, 1745 p. 218, 1752 pp. 287, 381, 1769 p. 165; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. iv. 269, 418, 8th ser. v. 307, vi. 388.
Contributor: G. F. R. B.