Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount

(1674—1738) politician, diplomatist, and agricultural innovator

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Townshend succeeded to his peerage in 1687. He became a Whig, specializing in foreign affairs. In 1713 he married Robert Walpole's sister and the following year became secretary of state for the northern department. Shifted to the less powerful post of lord‐lieutenant of Ireland in 1717, he resigned from the government along with Walpole and remained in opposition during the Whig schism until 1720 when he became lord president of the council, returning to the northern department the following year. From 1722 he and Walpole ran the administration. Disagreement over foreign policy led to his resignation from the ministry in 1730. In retirement he devoted himself to agriculture on his estate at Rainham, and has come down to posterity as ‘Turnip Townshend’.

Subjects: World History — British History.

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