2nd Earl of Macclesfield (1732-1764)
Born c.1697 Died 1764
George, 2nd earl of Macclesfield of this line, was celebrated as an astronomer. As Viscount Parker he was member of parliament for Wallingford from 1722 to 1727, but his interests were not in politics. In 1722 he became a fellow of The Royal Society, and he spent most of his time in astronomical observations at his Oxfordshire seat, Shirburn Castle, which had been bought by his father in 1716; here he built an observatory and a chemical laboratory.
The earl was very prominent in effecting the change from the old to the new style of dates, which came into operation in 1752. His action in this matter, however, was somewhat unpopular, as the opinion was fairly general that he had robbed the people of eleven days. From 1752 until his death on the 17th of March 1764 Macclesfield was president of the Royal Society, and he made some observations on the great earthquake of 1755. His successor was his son Thomas (1723-1795), from whom the present earl is descended.
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.