Spencer, George John, 2nd Earl Spencer

English politician and book and art collector (1758-1834). Succeeded to the earldom in 1783 as 2nd Earl Spencer. Home Secretary in 1806-07 on retirement he reorganised the Spencer family library at Althorp

English politician (Whig) and book and art collector (1758-1834). On his father's death, on 31 October 1783, he succeeded to the earldom as 2nd Earl Spencer. Lord of Admiralty 1794-1801 and Home Secretary in 1806-07 on retirement in 1807 he reorganised the Spencer family library at Althorp. Various accounts of his library and art works were published in (1814-15); 1822; and 1811. His collection of drawings (which Fritz Lugt believes was formed by the 2nd Earl's father, 1st Earl Spencer), was sold anonymously during his lifetime 10-17 June 1811 (Thomas Philipe) in 899 lots and as formed in the 'middle of the last (18th) century'. His collection of drawings is marked with an S with a single vertical line through it (Lugt 1630). Many drawings at Roscoe's sale in September 1816 had Spencer provenances. Like Roscoe Spencer favoured Catholic emancipation. His library (the greatest private library in Europe) was eventually bought by Mrs Rylands in 1892 and forms the core of the John Rylands Library in Manchester. The library was especially important for books that illustrated the evolution of the art of printing during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Previous owner
  • Nationality
    British: English
  • Born
    1758-09-01
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Surrey: Wimbledon Park
  • Died
    1834-11-10
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Surrey: Wimbledon Park
  • Cause of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
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