English man of letters
Born 1797 Died 1833
George James Welbore Agar-Ellis, born on the 14th of January 1797, was the only son of the 2nd Viscount Clifden. He was educated at Westminster school and at Christ Church, Oxford. In 1818 he was returned to parliament as member for Heytesbury. He afterwards represented Seaford (1820), Ludgershall (1826) and Okehampton (1830). He seconded Canning's motion in 1822 for a bill to relieve the disabilities of Roman Catholic peers, and consistently supported liberal principles. In party politics, however, he took little interest, but he zealously advocated in parliament and elsewhere that state encouragement should be given to the cause of literature and the fine arts. In 1824 he was the leading promoter of the grant of £57,000 for the purchase of John Julius Angerstein's collection of pictures, which formed the foundation of the National Gallery.
On the formation of Lord Grey's administration, in November 1830, he was appointed chief commissioner of woods and forests, but was compelled by delicate health to resign it after two months' occupancy. In June 1831, during the lifetime of his father, he was raised to the House of Lords, receiving an English peerage with the title of Baron Dover. He was president (1832) of the Royal Society of Literature, a trustee of the British Museum and of the National Gallery, and a commissioner of public records. He died on the 10th of July 1833.
Lord Dover's works are chiefly historical, and include The True History of the Iron Mask, extracted from Documents in The French Archives (1826), Inquiries respecting the Character of Clarendon (1827), and a Life of Frederick II (1831). He also edited the Ellis Correspondence (1829) and Walpole's Letters to Sir Horace Mann (1833).
Being the entry for DOVER, GEORGE JAMES WELBORE AGAR-ELLIS, BARON in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.