Thomas, earl of Dorset, an English statesman, born at Buckhurst, Sussex, in 1536, died in London, April 19, 1608. He was educated at Oxford and Cambridge, was called to the bar, was elected to the house of commons, and was created Baron Buckhurst in 1567. In 1570 he was sent as ambassador to France; in 1587 he was ambassador to the Netherlands; and from 1599 till his death he was lord treasurer. In March, 1603, he was created earl of Dorset. He planned the "Mir-rour for Magistrates," a collection of rhymed stories from English history by different authors, and produced the earliest known tragedy in the English language, "Gorboduc," or "Fer-rex and Porrex," played before Queen Elizabeth in 1562. His works were edited by the Rev. Sackville West in J. R. Smith's "Library of Old Authors" (London, 1859).
Charles, sixth earl of Dorset, born Jan. 24, 1637, died in Bath, Jan. 16, 1706. He was a wit, and a favorite of Charles II., and William III. appointed him lord chamberlain. His best composition was the song written before a naval engagement with the Dutch admiral Opdam, beginning "To all you ladies now at land."
George, a soldier and statesman, first Viscount Sackville, son of the first duke of Dorset, and grandson of the preceding, born Jan. 26, 1716, died Aug. 26, 1785. He entered the military service as Lord George Sackville, was present at the battles of Dettingen and Fon-tenoy, served under the duke of Cumberland against the young pretender, and rose to the rank of lieutenant general. At the battle of Minden, Aug. 1, 1759, he commanded the allied cavalry, and for his failure to execute the commander-in-chiefs order to charge the retiring French infantry, he was court-martialled and dismissed from the service. George II. struck his name from the list of privy councillors; but on the accession of George III. he was again taken into favor. In 1775, under the name of Lord George Germain (assumed in compliance with a will), he entered the cabinet of Lord North as secretary of state for the colonies, retaining the office during the American revolutionary war, and incurring great unpopularity by his opposition to efforts for the termination of hostilities.
In February, 1782, the king created him Viscount Sackville.