Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton, 2nd Duke of Newcastle under Lyne (1720-1794)

The 2nd son of Henry Clinton, 7th Earl of Lincoln (1684-1728) and Lucy Pelham (d 1736), who was sister of the 1st Duke of Newcastle under Lyne, Henry succeeded to the title 9th Earl of Lincoln on the death of his elder brother, George, in 1730. He was known as Lord Lincoln until he inherited the dukedom of Newcastle under Lyne from his uncle in 1768. Educated at Eton and then Cambridge, he was awarded a Doctor of Laws.

He was a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to George II and George III and amongst other official posts was Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire (1742-1757), Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire (1768-1794), High Steward of Westminster (1759-1794) and Comptroller of Customs of the Port of London (1749-1794). He took no real interest, however, in these posts, nor in national politics to the intense disappointment of his two uncles Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle under Lyne, and Henry Pelham, who were both leading statesman.

On succeeding to the Newcastle title he took the additional surname Pelham and made Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire (where he had overseen extensive improvement works on behalf of his uncle, Thomas, the 1st Duke) his principal seat. He continued also to reside at Oatlands, the Clinton country seat in Surrey. Through Thomas, Henry also inherited other estates in Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Middlesex, while from his other uncle, Henry Pelham, who was also his father-in-law, he inherited part of the Pelham estates in Sussex (sold in 1767 and 1772) and also his father-in-law's private papers. As well as these Pelham family properties, he inherited estates in Lincolnshire, the Bedford Level and Surrey, through the Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, side of his family.


Portrait of 2nd Duke of Newcastle under Lyne by William Hoare

Portrait of 2nd Duke of Newcastle under Lyne by William Hoare

Portrait of Catherine, Countess of Lincoln by William Hoare

Portrait of Catherine, Countess of Lincoln by William Hoare

Children of the 2nd Duke of Newcastle by William Hoare

Children of the 2nd Duke of Newcastle by William Hoare


In 1744 Henry married his cousin Lady Catherine Pelham (1727-1760), the daughter of his uncle, Henry Pelham (1696-1754), and by her he had 4 sons:

He was a devoted family man and was distraught when his wife died in 1760. He was close to two of their three surviving sons but became estranged from Thomas over his marriage to Lady Anna Maria Harrington. When he died in 1794 and was succeeded by Thomas, his only surviving son, he left the bulk of his estate in trust for his grandson, later the 4th Duke. 

Archive Collections

The 2nd Duke's papers are part of the Newcastle (Clumber) Collection held in Manuscripts and Special Collections, and include his extensive personal correspondence.

There are a small number of letters from the 2nd Duke to the 3rd Duke of Portland, in the Portland (Welbeck) collection held in Manuscripts and Special Collections (Pw F 2964-2969)

The British Library holds the following items: Correspondence with the 1st Duke of Newcastle, Newcastle Collection, Add. MS 32692-33072 passim; letters to Lord Hardwicke, Hardwicke MSS, Add. MS 35,592 and 35,679; letter to William Eden, 1778, Auckland Papers, Add. MS 34,314; correspondence with C. Jenkinson, 1782, Liverpool Papers, Add. MS 38,217 and 38,309

The National Archives holds the following items: Letters to William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, 1763-1766 and 1791, PRO 30/8/48 and PRO 30/8/163

Published Sources

To date there have been no significant publications about the 2nd Duke

University Theses

  • Priestley, Clive, The life and career of Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton (1720-1794), 9th Earl of Lincoln (1730) and 2nd Duke of Newcastle under Lyme (1768) (2 vols., University of Nottingham MA dissertation, 1958). East Midlands Collection Not 508.V38 NEW, Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham

Manuscripts and Special Collections

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