5th Earl of Carlisle (1758-1825)
Born 1748 Died 1825
Frederick Howard, son of the 4th earl, was born in 1748. During his youth he was chiefly known as a man of pleasure and fashion; and after he had reached thirty years of age, his appointment on a commission sent out by Lord North to attempt a reconciliation with the American colonies was received with sneers by the opposition. The failure of the embassy was not due to any incapacity on the part of the earl, but to the unpopularity of the government from which it received its authority. He was, indeed, considered to have displayed so much ability that he was entrusted with the vice-royalty of Ireland in 1780.
The time was one of the greatest difficulty; for while the calm of the country was disturbed by the American rebellion, it was drained of regular troops, and large bands of volunteers not under the control of the government had been formed. Nevertheless, the two years of Carlisle's rule passed in quietness and prosperity, and the institution of a national bank and other measures which he effected left permanently beneficial results upon the commerce of the island.
In 1789, in the discussions as to the regency, Carlisle took a prominent part on the side of the Prince of Wales. In 1791 he opposed Pitt's policy of resistance to the dismemberment of Turkey by Russia; but on the outbreak of the French Revolution he left the opposition and vigorously maintained the cause of war. In 1815 he opposed the enactment of the Corn Laws; but from this time till his death, in 1825, he took no important part in public life.
Carlisle was the author of some political tracts, a number of poems, and two tragedies, The Father's Revenge and The Stepmother, which received high praise from his contemporaries. His mother was a daughter of the 4th Lord Byron, and in 1798 he was appointed guardian to Lord Byron, the poet, who lampooned him in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.
Extracted from the entry for CARLISLE, EARLS OF in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.