Thomas Holies Pelhani, duke of, an English statesman, born in 1693 or 1694, died Nov. 17,1768. He was the son and successor of Thomas Pelham, first Baron Pelham, and in 1711 came into possession of the large estates of his maternal uncle, John Holies, duke of Newcastle, whose title had expired with him. In 1714 he was created Viscount Haughton and earl of Clare, and in 1715 marquis of Clare and duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with remainder, failing his issue male, to his brother. He entered political life as a whig and a supporter of the house of Hanover, in whose interests he raised a troop of horse to put down the Jacobites. Rewarded for his loyalty by admission into Walpole's ministry as secretary of state, he succeeded by industry, influential connections, and lavish expenditure of money, and also by the assistance of his brother Henry Pelham, in making himself feared and respected by those who despised his abilities, which were beneath mediocrity. He remained in office during the administration of Henry Pelham, and George II. complained that he could not appoint even a page of the back stairs while there were so many of the Newcastle footmen about him.
In 1746 the Pelham brothers, apprehensive that the king was endeavoring to bring Lord Granville into power, suddenly resigned office with all their colleagues. An attempt was made to form a new ministry, and at the end of 40 hours the old cabinet was recalled, the king complaining bitterly that a man like Newcastle, who was not fit to be chamberlain to a petty court in Germany, should be forced on him and the nation as a minister. On the death of Henry Pelham in 1754, the duke succeeded to the premiership, but resigned in 1756 from inability to reconcile the discordant elements in his cabinet. In 1757 he was reinstated, with Pitt and Henry Fox as his chief supporters in the ministry, but was so overshadowed by the greatness of Pitt that he sank into insignificance and retired in disgust in May, 1762. In November, 1756, he was created duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, with special remainder to Henry Fiennes Clinton, ninth earl of Lincoln, who had married his niece, and who inherited the title in 1768. His administrative incompetency, and the long period (amounting to nearly 40 years) in which he held office, are among the anomalies of British political history.
Henry Pelhani Fiennes Pelham Clinton, duke of, a British statesman, born in London, May 22, 1811, died there, Oct. 18, 1864. He entered the house of commons as a conservative in 1832, bearing the courtesy title of Lord Lincoln, and in 1884-'5 was for a few months a lord of the treasury under Sir Robert Peel. He was afterward a prominent and active member of the opposition until Peel's return to power in 1841, when he was made chief commissioner of woods and forests. In 1846 he sustained Peel in his change of views on the corn laws, notwithstanding the desertion of other conservative leaders, and exchanged his office for that of chief secretary for Ireland, in order to secure the indorsement of his large agricultural constituency of South Notts by a new election. He was however defeated there, mainly through the opposition of his father, but was returned from the Falkirk district of burghs. He retired from office with Sir Robert Peel in the summer of 1846, and up to the period of his elevation to the house of lords (Jan. 12, 1851) continued to exercise considerable influence in parliament as one of the leaders of the small but brilliant band of Peelites. In 1853 he became secretary of state for the colonies in the Aberdeen ministry, in which capacity the functions of minister of war devolved upon him.
Shortly after the outbreak of the Crimean war the colonial department was separated from that of war; and the duke, choosing the latter, received a share of the blame for the misconduct of military affairs. In January, 1855, he defended himself in the house of lords with great spirit; but the commons having ordered an inquiry, he resigned. He afterward visited the Crimea, and was present at the capture of Sebastopol. In 1859 he became a member of Lord Palmerston's administration as colonial secretary, and held the post till April, 1864. In 1860 he accompanied the prince of Wales on his visit to Canada and the United States. He married in 1832 the only daughter of the duke of Hamilton, from whom he was divorced in 1850. She bore five children, the eldest of whom, Henry Pelham Alexander, born Jan. 25, 1834, succeeded as sixth duke.