Fitzwilliam inherited the wealth and vast estates of his uncle Lord Rockingham in 1782 and became head of the Whig political interest in Yorkshire. He was a lifelong friend of Fox and in 1782 he also succeeded Rockingham as patron of Edmund Burke. He reluctantly broke with Fox in 1794 and joined Pitt's cabinet, being sent to Ireland in January 1795 as lord‐lieutenant. Under Burke's influence he attempted to persuade the cabinet to catholic emancipation, but he was dismissed in March. He rejoined Fox and Grenville after 1802 and was lord president of the council under Grenville in 1806.
Subjects: British History.