The second son, Lord Charles Spencer (1740–1820), was M.P. for Oxfordshire from 1761 to 1784, and again from 1796 to 1801. He was comptroller of the household in 1762–3, being also sworn of the privy council in the latter year, but in 1764 voted against the court on Sir W. Meredith's motion against general warrants (Walpole, Letters, iv. 186). He became treasurer of the king's chamber and a lord of the admiralty in 1779, and was vice-treasurer of Ireland in 1782, postmaster-general from 31 March 1801 to February 1806, and master of the mint from February to October 1806. He married Mary, daughter of Vere, lord Vere, and sister of the Duke of St. Albans; and died at Petersham on 16 June 1820 (Gent. Mag. i. 573). A portrait of him was engraved by Turner from a painting by Ashby. His wife sat to Sir Joshua Reynolds, and engravings were executed by Pott, S. W. Reynolds, and Watson.
[Doyle's Official Baronage; G. E. C[okayne]'s and Burke's Peerages; Gent. Mag. 1758, pp. 341, 397, 556; Dibdin's Ædes Althorpianæ, p. lix n.; Evans's Cat.; Eccles's New Blenheim Guide, 14th ed. pp. 20, 28, 35; Lord Hervey's Memoirs, 1884, i. 240, 289 n., 290–1, iii. 41, 48, 266, 283–4, 326; Marchmont Papers ed. Rose, ii. 20, 22, 101; H. Walpole's Reminiscences and Letters, ed. Cunningham, vols. i–iii. passim, and Memoirs of George II, i. 10, 328, 406, 419, iii. 124–6; Bubb Dodington's Diary; Lord Stanhope's Hist. of Engl. 1846, iv. 204–5, 211; Cunningham's Lives of Eminent Englishmen, v. 43.]
SPENCER, DOROTHY, Countess of Sunderland (1617–1684), Waller's ‘Sacharissa,’ was born at Sion House, and baptised at Isleworth on 5 Oct. 1617. She was the eldest child of Robert Sidney, second earl of Leicester [q. v.], who had in the preceding year married Dorothy, daughter of Henry Percy, ninth earl of Northumberland [q. v.] Philip Sidney, third earl of Leicester [q. v.], Algernon Sidney [q. v.], and Henry Sidney, earl of Romney [q. v.], were her brothers.
Before the death, in 1626, of Dorothy's grandfather, Robert Sidney, first earl of Leicester [q. v.], her parents resided at his seat at Penshurst, and the whole of her youth was spent quietly in the country. When she was eighteen, or possibly sooner, Edmund Waller [q. v.], then a young widower, having made her acquaintance when on a visit to his cousins at Groombridge, near Penshurst, began to pay court to Dorothy, and by his verses secured for her a renown which she would not otherwise have enjoyed. The name of Sacharissa, which he bestowed upon her, was formed, ‘as he used to say pleasantly,’ from sacharum—sugar. Johnson says ‘he fixed his heart, perhaps half fondly, perhaps half ambitiously,’ upon the lady. He may have been, as Aubrey says, passionately in love with her, but most of the poems about Sacharissa were ‘occasional,’ for there are no grounds for assuming that she was in his mind when he wrote the songs ‘On a Girdle’ or ‘Go, lovely Rose;’ and if too much may easily be made of an apparent want of passion in Waller's verses, there can be little doubt that his attachment was largely nourished by literary ambitions.
He catcht at love and filled his arms with bays.
Dorothy at no time gave him any encouragement, but he continued his suit until 1638.
By 1636 the claims of various suitors were exercising the thoughts of Dorothy's mother. ‘Next to what concerns you,’ she wrote to her husband, ‘I confess she is considered by me above anything in this world.’ Lord Russell was suggested as a suitable husband, but in 1637 he married Lady Ann Carr. Proposals were then made on behalf of Lord Devonshire, whose sister, Lady Rich, had been Dorothy's intimate friend. Relatives urged Lady Leicester to come to London to press the suit, and though a large family necessitated economy, Lord Leicester built a town house, to which the family moved in March 1637. But Lord Devonshire hesitated, and finally married Lady Elizabeth Cecil. Lord Lovelace was next suggested, but his character made Lady Leicester uneasy, and her daughter ‘abhorred the man.’ Another admirer was Sir John Temple's son, afterwards Sir William Temple (1628–1698) [q. v.], a lifelong friend of the family. Dorothy Osborne, who subsequently became Temple's wife, more than once alluded laughingly to his admiration for Lady Sunderland, whose portrait always hung in his closet (Letters of Dorothy Osborne).
In 1639 an eligible suitor was found in Henry, lord Spencer, a studious and thoughtful youth, nineteen years old [see under Spencer, Robert, second Earl of Sunderland]. Arrangements having been speedily completed, Dorothy Sidney was married on 20 July 1639, and Waller wrote an excellent letter to Dorothy's sister, Lady Lucy, conveying all good wishes for the happiness of the bride. Lord Leicester was delighted with the match (Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. pt. ii. pp. 9, 51, 55, 117). In the autumn Lord and Lady Spencer joined the Earl of Leicester in Paris, and there two children were born to them—in 1640 Dorothy, who married, in 1656, Sir George Savile (afterwards Marquis of Halifax) [q. v.]; and in 1641