Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rose, George Henry

ROSE, Sir GEORGE HENRY (1771–1855), diplomatist, elder son of George Rose (1744–1818) [q. v.] and Theodora, daughter of John Dues of Antigua, West Indies, was born in 1771. His younger brother was William Stewart Rose [q. v.] George was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1792 and M.A. in 1795. While abroad on a tour of pleasure he was offered the opportunity of acting as first secretary to the British embassy at The Hague in June 1792, and remained in that position for a year. In June 1793 he went in a similar capacity to Berlin, and acted as charge d'affaires, independently of Lord Malmesbury's special mission of that period [see Harris, James, first Earl of Malmesbury]. On 26 Aug. 1794 he was returned to parliament as member for Southampton, being re-elected to successive parliaments until 1813. He joined the yeomanry, and became a lieutenant-colonel of the South Hants cavalry on 18 Feb. 1803. In 1805 he was appointed deputy paymaster-general of the king's land forces.

In 1807 Rose renewed his diplomatic career, and went to Washington on a special mission respecting the affair of the Chesapeake—the impressment case which was one of the chief grievances alleged as a cause of the war of 1812. In December 1813 he resigned his seat in parliament, and went to Munich as British minister. On 12 Sept. 1815 he was promoted to Berlin, but his career there was uneventful. In 1818 he was sworn of the privy council and retired from the diplomatic service to succeed his father as clerk of parliaments. In 1819 he received the grand cross of the Hanoverian Guelphic order. He re-entered parliament on 6 March 1818 as member for Christchurch, which he represented continuously till 1844, when he resigned his seat with his clerkship. He was also a metropolitan lunacy commissioner and a deputy-lieutenant for Hampshire. He died at Sandhills House, near Christchurch, on 17 June 1855. In his later years Rose actively interested himself in evangelical and missionary work.

Rose married, on 6 Jan. 1796, Frances, daughter of Thomas Duncombe of Duncombe Park, Yorkshire, and left six sons—one of whom was Hugh Henry, baron Strathnairn [q. v.]—and four daughters.

Rose edited a selection of the letters and diaries of the Earls of Marchmont from 1685 to 1750 (3 vols. London, 1831). Of his religious pamphlets the chief are: ‘A Letter on the Means and Importance of converting Slaves in the West Indies to Christianity’ (1823); ‘Scripture Researches’ (1832), which passed through several editions; and ‘The Early Spread of Circumcision’ (1846).

[Gent. Mag. 1855, ii. 198; Annual Register, 1855, App. to Chron. p. 282; Burke's Peerage; Foreign Office List, 1854, Foster's Peerage, 1882, s.v. ‘Strathnairn.’]

C. A. H.