George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield

George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield, PRS (c. 1695 or 1697 – 17 March 1764) was an English peer and astronomer.

Styled Viscount Parker from 1721 to 1732, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for Wallingford from 1722 to 1727, but his interests were not in politics. In 1722 he became a fellow of the Royal Society, and he spent most of his time in astronomical observations at his Oxfordshire seat, Shirburn Castle, which had been bought by his father in 1716; here he built an observatory and a chemical laboratory.

He was very prominent in effecting the changeover to the Gregorian calendar, which came into effect in 1752. His action in this matter, however, was somewhat unpopular, as the opinion was fairly general that he had robbed the people of eleven days. When his son ran for parliament as a Whig in 1754, resentment over his role in the calendar reform was one of many issues raised by the son's Tory opponents; a famous 1755 Hogarth painting influenced by the events of these elections is the main historical source for the "Give us our eleven days" slogan.

From 1752 until his death, Macclesfield was president of the Royal Society, and he made some observations on the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake.

In 1750 Macclesfield was offered the honorary position of vice president of the Foundling Hospital, which he accepted and kept until his death in 1764. The Foundling Hospital was a charitable institution created a decade earlier, dedicated to saving London's abandoned children. The Earl seems to have taken his position seriously, as he commissioned the artist Benjamin Wilson to paint a full size portrait of him, which he then donated to the Hospital. The portrait is still in the Foundling Hospital Collection and available to view at the Foundling Museum.

In 1755, Parker was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He also was a corresponding member of the Académie des sciences.[2]

The Earl of Macclesfield

George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield
Teller of the Exchequer
In office
Preceded byThe Lord Torrington
Succeeded byGeorge Grenville
Personal details
Arms of Parker
Arms of Parker, Earls of Macclesfield: Gules, a chevron between three leopard's faces or[1]


George Parker was born in cir 1695 to Thomas Parker, 1st Earl of Macclesfield and his wife Janet née Carrier. George Parker married twice. Firstly, on 18 September 1722 to Mary Lane daughter of Ralph Lane, Turkey merchant, of Woodbury; with issue:

Secondly, on 20 December 1757 at St James Westminster, to Dorothy Nesbitt, with no known issue

See also


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Macclesfield, Charles Gerard, 1st Earl of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 202–203.
  • R.H. Nichols and F A. Wray, The History of the Foundling Hospital (London: Oxford University Press, 1935).
  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.723
  2. ^ Hill, Elisabeth (1961). Whyte, Lancelot Law (ed.). "Roger Boscovich: A biographical essay". Roger Joseph Boscovich, S.J., F.R.S., 1711-1787: Studies of his life and work on the 250th anniversary of his birth: 41. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Hucks
Henry Grey
Member of Parliament for Wallingford
With: William Hucks
Succeeded by
William Hucks
George Lewen
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Torrington
Teller of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
George Grenville
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Thomas Parker
Earl of Macclesfield
Succeeded by
Thomas Parker



1751 (MDCCLI)

was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar, the 1751st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 751st year of the 2nd millennium, the 51st year of the 18th century, and the 2nd year of the 1750s decade. As of the start of 1751, the Gregorian calendar was

11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923. In Britain and its colonies, 1751 only had 282 days due to the Calendar Act of 1750.

1751 in Great Britain

Events from the year 1751 in Great Britain.

1754 British general election (Oxfordshire)

The Oxfordshire Election of 1754, part of the British general election of that year and involving the selection of two Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent the Oxfordshire constituency, was probably the most notorious English county election of the 18th century. It was depicted in Hogarth's famous series of paintings and engravings, The Humours of an Election.

1764 in Great Britain

Events from the year 1764 in Great Britain.

1764 in science

The year 1764 in science and technology involved some significant events.

Edward Stone (natural philosopher)

Edward Stone (1702–1768) was a Church of England cleric who discovered the active ingredient of aspirin.

Frank Nicholls

Frank Nicholls (1699 – 7 January 1778) was a physician. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1728. He was made reader of anatomy at Oxford University when young and moved to London in the 1730s.

George Lane Parker

Hon. George Lane Parker (1724–1791) was a British Army officer and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1769 and 1780.

George Parker

George Parker may refer to:

George Parker (astrologer) (1654–1743), English almanac maker

Sir George Parker, 2nd Baronet (c. 1673–1727), English politician, MP

George Parker (Royal Navy officer) (1767–1847), Royal Navy Admiral

George C. Parker (1860–1936), American fraudster

George Parker (cricketer) (1899–1969), South African cricketer

George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield (c. 1695–1764), astronomer

George Parker, 4th Earl of Macclesfield (1755–1842), British peer and politician

George Parker, 7th Earl of Macclesfield (1888–1975), British peer and landowner

George Parker (athlete) (1897–1974), Australian athlete

George Parker (MP) (1619–1673), English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1659 and 1660

George D. Parker (1873–1937), American-born actor, writer and director

George Howard Parker (1864–1955), American zoologist

George Parker (New Zealand politician) (1839–1915), New Zealand politician

George Swinnerton Parker (1866–1952), founder of Parker Brothers

George Safford Parker (1863–1937), American inventor and industrialist

George Wells Parker (1882–1931), African American political activist

George M. Parker (general) (1889–1968), Major general of the United States Army

George Parker (footballer) (1921–2002), Australian rules footballer

George G. C. Parker, American economist

George Parker (squash player) (born 1996), English squash player

George P. Parker (1885–1937), Attorney General of Utah

George Lane Parker (1724–1791), British Army officer and politician

James Dodson (mathematician)

James Dodson FRS (c.1705–1757) was a British mathematician, actuary and innovator in the insurance industry.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1722

This is a list of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1722.

Moses Williams (antiquarian)

Moses Williams (2 March 1685 – 2 March [burial date] 1742) was a Welsh antiquarian, scholar and cleric.

Parker (surname)

Parker is a surname of English origin, derived from Old French with the meaning "keeper of the park". "Parker" was also a nickname given to gamekeepers in medieval England. It is the 48th-most common surname in England. Within the United States, it is ranked as the 47th-most common surname.

Shirburn Castle

Shirburn Castle is at the village of Shirburn, 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Thame, Oxfordshire. Shirburn Castle was the seat of the Earls of Macclesfield.

George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield (c.1695–1764), celebrated as an astronomer, spent much time conducting astronomical observations at Shirburn Castle, which his father had bought in 1716. Here he built an observatory and a chemical laboratory. The observatory was "equipped with the finest existing instruments" and the 2nd Earl of Macclesfield used it from 1740. In 1761 the astronomer Thomas Hornsby observed the transit of Venus from the castle grounds.

The Macclesfield Psalter was discovered in Shirburn Castle in 2004 when the contents of the Library were catalogued for auction. It is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

The present owner of the castle is the Beechwood Estates Company, the Macclesfield family estate management company. Following a long-running and acrimonious court battle, Richard Timothy George Mansfield Parker, the 9th Earl of Macclesfield, was evicted from the family seat at the end of 2004.The castle was used for external shots of the Balcombe family home in the "Happy families" episode of the Inspector Morse TV series, the Midsomer Priory for the Midsomer Murders TV series as well as an exterior shot of Mycroft Holmes's country estate for the 2011 film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Teller of the Receipt of the Exchequer

The Teller of the Receipt of the Exchequer was an office in the English Exchequer.

The Tellers of the Exchequer received any money to be paid into the Exchequer, noted the amount in a book, and sent a copy of the entry, called a Teller's Bill, to the Tally Court so that a tally could be made of it. At the end of each day, the money they had received, as determined by the Bills, was removed from their chests to be deposited in the Treasury. During the reign of Richard I, these officials numbered ten, but by the time of Henry III, they had been reduced to four, which number remained constant until the abolition of the office. With several other offices of the ancient Exchequer, that of Teller of the Receipt was done away with on 10 October 1834; the office's responsibilities were given to the new Comptroller General of the Exchequer.

Thomas Anson (MP)

Thomas Anson (c. 1695 – 30 March 1773), FRS was a British Member of Parliament, traveller and amateur architect from the Anson family.

Anson was the son of William Anson (1656–1720) and Isabella Carrier, sister-in-law to Thomas Parker, 1st Earl of Macclesfield. The family estate was Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire. Admiral George Anson, 1st Baron Anson was his younger brother and along with their cousin, George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield, they were taught mathematics and navigation by Isaac Newton's friend, the mathematician William Jones, who was later to propose Anson's membership for the Royal Society in 1730. Anson went up to St John's College, Oxford, and later studied law at the Inner Temple.

Upon his father's death, Anson abandoned law and began the first of many travels to the continent, as was then the fashion for young men of fortune and taste. In 1732 Anson and his friend the Earl of Sandwich formed a riotous dining-club called the Society of the Dilettanti, which also had the more serious purpose of encouraging study of Greek architecture. In 1740 Thomas briefly joined his brother George on The Centurion, as he and his crew began their circumnavigation of the globe. Anson left them in order to travel to Egypt. This qualified him for the Egyptian Society and the Divan Society, the latter being a wild drinking-club of which Lord Dashwood and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu were avid members.

He was elected to the House of Commons for Lichfield in 1747, a seat he held until 1770.

In 1748 Anson was sent to Versailles by Lord Sandwich with secret correspondence for the Duc de Choiseul and Madame de Pompadour. In Paris he bought crayons for his friend the Duchess of Bedford, and his sister-in-law, Lady Anson, sent him a long list of presents she desired.

In 1762 he succeeded to the vast fortune of Spanish treasure amassed by his admiral brother. This enabled him to further indulge his passion for architecture at Shugborough. Anson and another member of the Society of the Diletantti rebuilt the house in the Greek revival style that the pair were championing in England. Anson filled Shugborough with paintings, books and objets d'art, and had Vasalli paint allegories upon the ceilings. The park was strewn with temples and follies, including the mysterious Shepherd's Monument, the Pagoda, Pigeon House and the Tower of the Winds. The park has been described by some as a metaphor for Lord Anson's circumnavigation of the globe. Others contend that it engages aspects of many cultures, both as a tribute to Admiral Anson's voyage, and as a representation of Thomas Anson's interest in syncretic philosophies.Anson died unmarried in March 1773. The Anson estates were passed on to his nephew, George Adams, who assumed the surname of Anson and was ancestor of the Earls of Lichfield.

Thomas Hornsby

Thomas Hornsby (1733 in Durham – 11 April 1810 in Oxford) was a British astronomer and mathematician.

Thomas Parker, 3rd Earl of Macclesfield

Thomas Parker, 3rd Earl of Macclesfield FRS (12 October 1723 – 9 February 1795), styled Viscount Parker between 1732 and 1764, was a British peer and politician.

17th century
18th century
19th century
20th century
21st century

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