Henry Frederick Carteret

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The arms of Baron Carteret

Henry Frederick Carteret, Bailiff of Jersey 1776-1826

Dynasty

Henry Carteret was the last of ten successive members of his family to hold the office of Bailiff in an unbroken run from the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 until 1826.

Family

In fact he was neither a Jerseyman nor a Carteret, having been born in 1735 the Honourable Henry Thynne, the second son of Thomas Thynne 2nd Viscount Weymouth, and his second wife Louisa, daughter of John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville. He was thus younger brother of Thomas Thynne, 3rd Viscount Weymouth, later Marquess of Bath.

He was awarded a Master of Arts degree in 1753, after studying at St John's College, Cambridge.

In 1757 he was encouraged by his friend, Lord Gower, to enter Parliament for Staffordshire, when that seat became vacant on the death of Gower's uncle. In 1761 he was elected for the Herefordshire borough of Weobley, which he represented until 1770.

In 1762, his brother sought an office for him, leading to his appointment as Clerk Comptroller of the Green Cloth. He lost this office when the Grenville government fell in 1765, entering into opposition. After his brother returned to office as Secretary of State in 1767, Thynne was able to return to the Board of Green Cloth in 1768 as Master of the Household until 1771.

Privy Councillor

He was made a member of the Privy Council in 1770. In 1771 he was given the office of joint Postmaster General, which he held until 1789. This was worth £3000 per year, and he thereupon retired from the House of Commons.

When his uncle, Robert Carteret, died in 1776 he succeeded him as Bailiff of Jersey, and changed his name to Carteret. He was created Baron Carteret, of Hawnes, in 1784, reviving his uncle's second title.

In 1810, he married his mistress of many years, Eleanor Smart, but there were no children. He lived until 1826, being succeeded as baron by his nephew Lord George Thynne in accordance with a special remainder in the patent when he was created baron.

Jersey

It is not known whether Henry Carteret ever lived in Jersey or played any part in island affairs (J A Messervy claimed that he never did), but the island was administered in his absence by Lieut-Bailiffs, of which there were sometimes two simultaneous holders of the office. One of these was Thomas Le Breton, appointed in 1816 and eventually to succeed Carteret as Bailiff. In the biography of Le Breton in G R Balleine's Biographical Dictionary of Jersey Carteret is described as "non-resident Bailiff".

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