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Francis Godolphin Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds

Francis Godolphin Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds (1751-1799), was born on 29 January 1751 and was educated at Westminster School and at Christ Church, Oxford. He was a member of parliament in 1774 and 1775; in 1776 he became a peer as Baron Osborne, and in 1777 Lord Chamberlain of the Queen’s Household. In the House of Lords he was prominent as a determined foe of the prime minister, Lord North, who, after he had resigned his position as chamberlain, deprived him of the office of lord lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1780. He regained this, however, two years later. Early in 1783 the Marquess of Carmarthen, as he was called until he succeeded his father in 1789, was selected as ambassador to France, but he did not take up this appointment, becoming instead William Pitt in December of the same year. As secretary he was little more than a cipher, and he left office in April 1791. Subsequently he took some slight part in politics, and he died in London on 31 January 1799. His Political Memoranda were edited by Oscar Browning for the Camden Society in 1884, and there are eight volumes of his official correspondence in the British Museum. His first wife was Amelia (1754—1784), daughter of Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holdernesse, who became Baroness Conyers in her own right in 1778. Their elder son, George William Frederick (1775—1838), succeeded his father as duke of Leeds and his mother as Baron Conyers.

Text originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.