2nd Earl of Macclesfield (1694-1701)
Born c.1659 Died 1701
Charles was born in France and was naturalized in England by act of parliament in 1677. Like his father he was concerned in the intrigues of the Duke of Monmouth; in 1685 he was sentenced to death for being a party to the Rye House plot, but was pardoned by the king. In 1688 he was elected member of parliament for Lancashire, which he represented till 1694, when he succeeded to his father's peerage. Having become a major-general in the same year, Macclesfield saw some service abroad; and in 1701 he was selected first commissioner for the Investiture of the elector of Hanover (afterwards King George I) with the order of the Garter, on which occasion he also was charged to present a copy of the Act of Settlement to the dowager electress Sophia. He died on the 5th of November 1701, leaving no legitimate children.
In March 1698 Macclesfield was divorced from his wife Anna, daughter of Sir Richard Mason of Sutton, by act of parliament, the first occasion on which a divorce was so granted without a previous decree of an ecclesiastical court. The countess was the mother of two children, who were known by the name of Savage, and whose reputed father was Richard Savage, 4th Earl Rivers (d. 1712). The poet Richard Savage claimed that he was the younger of these children. The divorced countess married Colonel Henry Brett about the year 1700, and died at the age of eighty-five in 1753. Her daughter Anna Margaretta Brett was a mistress of George I. The 2nd earl of Macclesfield was succeeded by his brother Fitton Gerard, 3rd earl (c. 1665-1702), on whose death without heirs the title became extinct in December 1702.
Extracted from the entry for MACCLESFIELD, CHARLES GERARD, 1ST EARL OF in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.