Ellesmere, Francis Egerton, 1st earl of (ĕlzˈmēr) [key], 1800–1857, British politician, author, and philanthropist. His family name was Leveson-Gower, but he changed it on inheriting (1833) the estates of his great uncle, Francis Egerton, 3d duke of Bridgewater. In Parliament (1822–46) he supported the liberal Tory policies, becoming an early exponent of free trade. He served as secretary for Ireland (1828–30) and secretary for war (1830). He supported many intellectual societies, and he enlarged the Bridgewater Collection of paintings and opened it to the public. His many writings include essays, translations, poems, and plays. He was created an earl in 1846.
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