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SACKVILLE, JOHN FREDERICK, third Duke of Dorset (1745–1799), only son of Lord John Philip Sackville, M.P., by Frances, daughter of John, earl of Gower, and grandson of Lionel Cranfield Sackville, first duke of Dorset [q. v.], was born on 24 March 1745, and educated at Westminster School, with which he kept up a connection in later life. As ‘Mr. Sackville’ he was elected member for Kent at the general election of 1768 (Parliamentary Returns), but vacated his seat and was called to the House of Lords on the death of his uncle Charles, second duke of Dorset [q. v.] (5 Jan. 1769), when he succeeded to the title and estates. He was sworn of the privy council on being appointed captain of the yeomen of the guard on 11 Feb. 1782, which post at court he resigned on 3 April 1783, and from 26 Dec. 1783 to 8 Aug. 1789 he filled the responsible position of ambassador-extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the court of France. He quitted that country at the beginning of the revolution. He received the Garter on 9 April 1788, and was lord steward of the royal household 7 Oct. 1789 till he resigned on 20 Feb. 1799. He was also lord lieutenant of Kent from 27 Jan. 1769 till 13 June 1797, and colonel of the West Kent militia from 13 April 1778 till his death, being granted the rank of colonel in the army on 2 July 1779. He was appointed one of the trustees under the will of Dr. Busby on 11 May 1797 (Phillimore, Alumni Westmonasterienses); was elected a governor of the Charterhouse on 4 March 1796, and was high steward of Stratford-upon-Avon for many years. The duke died in his fifty-fifth year at his seat at Knole, Kent, on 19 July 1799, and was buried in the family vault at Withyham, Sussex. Dorset's manners were soft, quiet, ingratiating, and formed for a court, free from affectation, but not deficient in dignity. He possessed good sense, matured by knowledge of the world (Wraxall, Memoirs). A member of the Hambledon Club and a patron of cricket, he was one of the committee by whom the original laws of the Marylebone Club were drawn up. On 4 Jan. 1790 he married Arabella Diana, daughter of Sir Charles Cope, bart., of Brewerne, Oxfordshire; and he left two daughters and a son, George John Frederick, who, dying from a fall in the hunting field in 1815, was succeeded as fifth and last duke by his cousin, Charles Sackville Germain (1767–1843), son of Lord George Sackville Germain [q. v.] The second daughter, Elizabeth (d. 1870), married, in June 1813, George John West, fifth earl De la Warr, who assumed in 1843 the additional surname and arms of Sackville. The countess was in April 1864 created Baroness Buckhurst, and, dying on 9 Jan. 1870, left, with other issue, the present Baron Sackville.

[Doyle's Official Baronage; Haydn's Book of Dignities, ed. Ockerby; Burke's Peerage, s.v. De la Warr and Sackville.]

W. R. W.