Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Eden, Morton

EDEN, MORTON, first Baron Henley (1752–1830), diplomatist, fifth and youngest son of Sir Robert Eden, third baronet, was born 8 July 1752. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, 13 July 1770, took no degree, and at the age of twenty-four entered upon a diplomatic career. Appointed minister plenipotentiary to the electoral (now royal) court of Bavaria, and minister at the diet of Ratisbon, 10 Oct. 1776, he soon gave such satisfaction in his office that in February 1779 he was transferred to Copenhagen, with the style of envoy extraordinary. Three years later he was removed to Dresden. In 1783 he came over to England and was married to Lady Elizabeth Henley, fifth daughter of Robert, earl of Northington, and coheiress to her brother Robert, the second and last earl. Henley returned to Dresden, and was advanced to the dignity of minister plenipotentiary, continuing in his post until 1791. He was then appointed minister plenipotentiary to the Duke of Saxe-Gotha, but was appointed before the close of the year envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the court of Berlin. He was nominated a knight of the Bath in 1791, and at the special request of George III was publicly invested with the insignia of the order by the king of Prussia, 1 Jan. 1793. In this year he proceeded to Vienna as ambassador to the emperor of Austria; and in 1794 he was sworn in a privy councillor, and despatched to Madrid as ambassador extraordinary. The British government, however, soon had need of his services in the east of Europe, and in the same year (1794) he was reappointed envoy extraordinary to Vienna. He remained in the Austrian capital for five years. On his retirement from the public service in November 1799 he was created a peer of Ireland, under the title of Baron Henley of Chardstock, Dorsetshire. He died 6 Dec. 1830. He had issue three sons and one daughter. His eldest son, Frederick, died in 1823. His second son, Robert, second Baron Henley, is noticed below. Henley took a considerable interest in scientific questions, and was a fellow of the Royal Society.

[Annual Register, 1830; Gent. Mag. 1831; Foster's Alumni Oxon.]

G. B. S.