Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

(22 September 1694 - 24 March 1773)
Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773)

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773)

Works in ECPA

alphabetical listing / listing in source editions

Source editions

  • Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. I. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758]. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.001)
  • Pearch, G. A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. IV. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1137; OTA K093079.004)

Biographical note

Philip Dormer Stanhope, fourth Earl of Chesterfield, was born in Westminster in 1694, the son of the third Earl (1673-1726) and his wife Lady Elizabeth Savile (c. 1674-1708). He was educated privately and later at Trinity College, Cambridge. After the Hanoverian accession, he was elected to parliament as Whig MP for St Germans (1715) and Lostwithiel (1722-1725). On his father's death in 1726, he inherited the earldom and a seat in the House of Lords, where he distinguished himself as a brilliant speaker. Chesterfield embarked on a diplomatic career as ambassador to The Hague in 1728, but a few years later he found himself dismissed from his posts by the PM Robert Walpole after opposing his Excise Bill. Chesterfield only briefly returned to politics, after Walpole's fall, as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1745-1746) and Secretary of State (1746-1748). In the following years, Chesterfield cultivated his literary patronage with the notable exception of failing to support Johnson'sDictionary (1755). Chesterfield wrote over 400 educational letters to his illegitimate son Philip Stanhope (1732-1768), which were collected by his son's widow for publication in 1774. Chesterfield's Miscellaneous Works were published in 1777.


DMI 1403; ODNB 26255; NCBEL 1585; DLB 104


  • Smith, Margaret M. Index of English Literary Manuscripts. Vol. III, 1700-1800 . London: Mansell, 1986-1997. Pt. 1 Addison-Fielding. 215-222. Print. 4 volumes.


  • McKenzie, Alan T. Selected Bibliography: Philip Dormer Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773). c18 Bibliographies On-Line. Ed. Jack Lynch. Rutgers University, Newark, 3 Aug. 2001. Web. 20 Jan. 2012.

Reference works

  • Baines, Paul, Julian Ferraro, Pat Rogers, eds. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Eighteenth-Century Writers and Writing, 1660-1789. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 61-62. Print.
  • Radcliffe, David H., ed. Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773). Spenser and the Tradition: ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830. Center for Applied Technologies in the Humanities, Virginia Tech, 2006. Web. 4 Nov. 2011.
  • Suarez, Michael F. Chesterfield, 4th Earl of, Philip Dormer Stanhope. A Collection of Poems by Several Hands [1782]. Ed. Robert Dodsley and Michael F. Suarez. Vol. I. London: Routledge/Thoemmes, 1997. 132-133. Print. 6 volumes.