Online Encyclopedia

WHARTON (FAMILY)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 575 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WHARTON (FAMILY). The Whartons of Wharton were an old north of England family, and in 1543 THOMAS WHARTON (1495–1568) was created a baron for his services in border warfare. From him descended the 2nd, 3rd and 4th barons; and the Iatter, PHILIP WHARTON (1613–1696), was the father of THOMAS WHARTON (1648–1715), who in 1706 was created 'earl and in 1714 marquess of Wharton. The 1st marquess was one of the chief Whig politicians after the Revolution. He is famous in literary history as the author of the famous political ballad, Lilliburlero, which " sang James II. out of three kingdoms." Wharton was lord-lieutenant of Ireland in Anne's reign, and incurred the wrath of Swift, who attacked him as Verres in the Examiner (No. 14), and drew a separate " character " of him, which is one of Swift's masterpieces. He was a man of great wit and versatile cleverness, and cynically ostentatious in his immorality, having the reputation of being the greatest rake and the truest Whig of his time. Addison dedicated to him the fifth volume of the Spectator, giving him a very different " character " from Swift's. His first wife, ANNA WHARTON (1632–1685), was an authoress, whose poems, including an Elegy on Lord Rochester, were celebrated by Walter and Dryden. His son, PHILIP WHARTON (1698–1731), duke of Wharton, succeeded to his father's lnarquessate and fortune, and in 1718 was created a duke. But he quickly earned for himself, by his wild and profligate frolics and reckless playing at politics, Pope's satire of him as " the scorn and wonder of our days "(Moral Essays, i. 179). He spent his large estates in a few years, then went abroad and gave eccentric support to the Old Pretender. There is a lively picture of his appearance at Madrid in 1726 in a letter from the British consul, quoted in Stanhope's History of England (ii. 140). He was outlawed in 1729, and at his death the titles became extinct. In 1843 a claim was made before the House of Lords for a revival of the barony in favour of Mr Kemys-Tynte, a descendant of the 1st baron in the female line. For the history of the family see E. R. Wharton's Whartons of Wharton Hall (1898).
End of Article: WHARTON (FAMILY)
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