Politician and British Colonial Officer, Bathurst was born in Gloucestershire, England on 22 May 1762. He was the eldest son of the second Earl of Bathurst. In April 1789 he married the daughter of Lord George Henry Lennox, Georgiana Lennox, with whom he had 6 children.

He embarked on a political career and was Member of Parliament for Cirencester from 1783 until he succeeded his father as Earl in August 1794. Perhaps influenced by his friendship with William Pitt, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1783 to 1801, Bathurst became Lord of the Admirality from 1783 to 1789, Lord of the Treasury from 1789 to 1791 and a Commissioner on the Board of Control for India from 1793 to 1802. He also became Master of the Mint in 1804 and filled the position of President of the Board of Trade.

In 1809, Bathurst took charge of the British Foreign Office for 2 months. In June 1812 he become Secretary of State for War and Colonies under the Earl of Liverpool until April 1827. During this time he created the modern Colonial Office. Bathurst paid attention to monitoring and improving the conduct of soldiers during war. He defended his government’s treatment of Napoleon Bonaparte. Although he supported Lord Charles Somerset, Bathurst was influential in curtailing the former’s autocratic governorship of the Cape. He was instrumental in the abolition of slavery. From 1828 to 1830 he was Lord President of the Council under the Prime Minister then, the Duke of Wellington. He had been made a Knight of the Garter in 1817.

Bathurst a small town in the Eastern Cape, founded in 1820, was named in his honour for his care of the Albany settlers. Bathurst died on 27 July 1834.



Potgieter, D. J.|Uitgewery, p. 206.|Cameron, T. (ed)(1986).|Wallis, F. (2000).

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