James Harris, first earl of, an Endish diplomatist, born in Salisbury, April 21, 1746, died in London, Nov. 20, 1820. He was the eldest son of James Harris, secretary and comptroller to Queen Charlotte, and author of "Hermes," studied at Oxford and Leyden, and was appointed in 1767 secretary of legation at Madrid. He was for four years English ambassador in Berlin, and from 1777 to 1784 in St. Petersburg. In the house of commons Le was the follower of Fox, after whose withdrawal from the cabinet he received from Pitt the appointment of ambassador at the Hague, and in September, 1788, was raised to the peerage as Baron Malmesburv, having been knighted in 1780. In 1793 he joined the party of Pitt, who again appointed him to a mission to Berlin. In 1794he negotiated the marriage between the prince of Wales and Caroline of Brunswick, and accompanied the bride to England. In 1796 and 1797 he was employed in fruitless negotiations for peace with the French republic. Becoming deaf, he spent the rest of his life in retirement.
In 1800 he was created Viscount Fitz-Harris and earl of Malmesbury.
James Howard Harris, third earl of, grandson of the preceding, born in London, March 25, 1807. He studied at Eton and at Oxford, where he graduated in 1S28. He was returned to the house of commons for the family borough of Wilton in June, 1841, and in September succeeded his father in the bouse of lords. He was secretary of state for foreign affairs in the Derby administration from March to December, 1852; and being a personal friend of Louis Napoleon, he was among the first to urge the recognition of the second empire. He was reappointed foreign secretary in March, 1858, but resigned in April, 1859. He was lord keeper of the privy seal from 1866 to the end of 1868, when he retired on account of failing health. Besides editing the "Diaries and Correspondence " of bis grandfather (4 vols., London, 1844), he has published "The First Lord Malmesbury, his Family and Friends: a Series of Letters from 1745 to 1820 " (2 vols., 1870).