Sunderland, Charles Spencer, 3d earl of, 1674–1722, English statesman; son of the 2d earl. His marriage (1700) to a daughter of the 1st duke of Marlborough brought him a secretaryship of state (1706), and he was powerful in the Whig junto that controlled affairs from 1708 to 1710. He fell with the Whigs in 1710. After the accession (1714) of George I, he was at first given minor offices, but through intrigue he secured the dismissal of Viscount Townshend and Robert Walpole and became a secretary of state (1717) and first lord of the treasury (1718), sharing leadership with the 1st Earl Stanhope. He was so involved with the development of the South Sea Bubble that its collapse forced him out of office in 1721. He was an important collector of books and manuscripts.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.