Sheffield, John Holroyd, earl of, 1735-1821

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John Baker Holroyd, first earl of Sheffield, was born in Ireland on December 21, 1735, the second son of lawyer Isaac Holroyd (1707-1778) and Dorothy Baker (d. 1777). In 1760, he joined the army, rising to the rank of captain in the regiment of light dragoons known as the Royal Foresters. Shortly after the death of his older brother Daniel in 1762, he spent three years traveling Europe; in Lausanne, Switzerland, he made a lifelong friend in Edward Gibbon, whose autobiography and posthumous works he later edited and published. In 1768, he succeeded to the estate of his mother's brother, Jones Baker, and a year later purchased Sheffield Park in Sussex, which he developed into a successful farm. He entered politics in 1780, winning a seat in Parliament for Coventry, which he held for four years. He sat again for Bristol from 1790 to 1802. Although he did not hold high office, Sheffield was a frequent speaker in Parliament, being particularly knowledgeable in the areas of agriculture, trade, and finance. He wrote 15 pamphlets expressing his views on a variety of commercial and political topics, including slavery, the Corn Laws, the Poor Laws, and Irish and American foreign relations. He was president of the Board of Agriculture in 1803 and made president of the Board of Trade and appointed to the Privy Council in 1809.

In 1767, Sheffield married Abigail Way. They had two daughters, Louisa and Maria, before Abigail's 1793 death. In 1794, he married Lucy Pelham, daughter of Thomas Pelham, 1st earl Chichester; she died three years later. In 1798, he married Lady Anne North (1764-1832), daughter of Frederick North, 2nd earl Guilford, and they had a daughter Anne and a son George. Holroyd was created 1st baron Sheffield, of Dunamore, County Meath (Ireland) in 1781; 1st baron Sheffield, of Sheffield, Yorks County in 1802; and 1st earl of Sheffield (Ireland) in 1816. He died May 30, 1821.

From the guide to the Sheffield papers, 1801-1819, (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers relating to the sale of Lenborough Manor, 1771-1786. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Sheffield, John Holroyd, Earl of, 1735-1821. Catalog of the library at Sheffield Park, Sussex, belonging to the Earl of Sheffield, [ca. 1828]. Grolier Club
creatorOf Andrews, Richard. Autograph letter signed : Petersfield, to Lord Sheffield, 1789 May 24. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Papers relating to the sale of Lenborough Manor, 1771-1786. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Chalmers, George, 1742-1825. Letter: to the Right Honorable Lord Sheffield /by George Chalmers of the Office of Trade, Whitehall, 1802 Dec 22. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Letters from others sent to Thomas Cadell, 1766-1825. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Sheffield, John Holroyd, Earl of, 1735-1821. John Baker Holroyd, Earl of Sheffield papers, 1801-1819. University of Michigan, William Clements Library
creatorOf Woodcock, Elbro. Autograph letter signed : Fulham, to Lord Sheffield, 1790 Oct. 23. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Letters of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., collected and edited by George Birkbeck Hill, extra-illustrated, 1413-1900 (inclusive), 1775-1839 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Sheffield, John Holroyd, Earl of, 1735-1821,. Catalogue des livres de la bibliothèque de M. Gibbon : Lausanne : manuscript, 1785 Sept. 26. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Gibbon family. Gibbon family papers, 1519-1813. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Letters and documents from England, 1618-1938. Florida State University
creatorOf Severy. Autograph letter signed : to the Right Honourable Lord Sheffield, 1794 Apr. 8. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Sheffield manor, England. Baronial court records of the Sheffield Manor, 1667-1817. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
creatorOf Repton, Humphry, 1752-1818. Autograph letter signed : Stonelands Park [E. Sussex], to Lord Sheffield, 1805 Dec. 22. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Sheffield, John Holroyd, Earl of, 1735-1821. Autograph letter signed : Sheffield Place [sic], to Sir James-Murray-Pulteney, 1803 Nov. 29. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Deane, Silas, 1737-1789. Papers, 1740-1842. Connecticut Historical Society
creatorOf Sheffield papers, 1801-1819 William L. Clements Library , University of Michigan
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alley, Jerom, 1760-1827. person
associatedWith Alley, Jerome, 1760-ca. 1826 person
associatedWith Andrews, Richard. person
associatedWith Cadell, T. (Thomas), 1742-1802 person
associatedWith Chalmers, George, 1742-1825. person
associatedWith Deane, Silas, 1737-1789. person
associatedWith Gibbon family. family
associatedWith Great Britain. Parliament. corporateBody
associatedWith Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784 person
associatedWith Leonard, George, 1742-1826. person
associatedWith Lutwyche, E. G. person
associatedWith Milligan, Robert, 1746-1809. person
associatedWith Pelham, Thomas, Earl of Chichester, 1756-1826. person
associatedWith Pulteney, James, Sir, ca. 1751-1811, person
associatedWith Repton, Humphry, 1752-1818. person
associatedWith Severy. person
associatedWith Sheffield, Anne Holroyd, Countess of, 1764-1832. person
associatedWith Sheffield manor, England. corporateBody
associatedWith Stanley, Isabella. person
associatedWith Woodcock, Elbro. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Great Britain
United States
United States
Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Great Britain
Smuggling--United States
Private libraries--Sussex--19th century--Catalogs
Russo--Swedish War, 1808-1809--Campaigns


Birth 1735-12-21

Death 1821-05-30





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SNAC ID: 28310353