James Waldegrave, 1st Earl Waldegrave

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James Waldegrave
Coat of arms of James Waldegrave, 1st Earl Waldegrave, KG, PC

James Waldegrave, 1st Earl Waldegrave, KG, PC (1684 – 11 April 1741) was a British diplomat who served as ambassador to Austria and France.


Waldegrave was the son of the 1st Baron Waldegrave and Henrietta FitzJames, the illegitimate daughter of James II and Arabella Churchill.

Waldegrave inherited his father's title in 1690 and on 20 May 1714, he married Mary Webb (who died in childbirth in 1719), a daughter of Sir John Webb, 3rd Baronet and they had three surviving children:

After the death of his wife, he converted from Roman Catholicism (the religion he was brought up in) to Anglicanism to take his seat in the House of Lords, he was briefly a Lord of the Bedchamber in 1723 and then from 1730–41 and Ambassador to Austria from 1727–30 and to France from 1730–40. During his ambassadorship to France, he still spent enough time in London to be one of the founding Governors of the new charity there, known as the Foundling Hospital (created in 1739). In 1729, he had been created Earl Waldegrave and on his death in 1741, was succeeded by his eldest son, James.

Sir James inherited Hever Castle in Kent which had remained in the Waldegrave family for 160 years, it was deemed too small for Sir James and he sold it in the early 1700s to Sir William Humfreys, Lord Mayor of London (1714).[1]



External links[edit]

  • "Waldegrave, James (1685-1741)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
François-Louis de Pesmes de Saint-Saphorin
British Ambassador to Austria
Succeeded by
Thomas Robinson
Preceded by
The Lord Walpole of Wolterton
British Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
Anthony Thompson
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Robert Honywood
Vice-Admiral of Essex
Title next held by
The Earl of Rochford
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Earl Waldegrave
Succeeded by
James Waldegrave
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Henry Waldegrave
Baron Waldegrave
Succeeded by
James Waldegrave