Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland

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Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland

Birthdate: (72)
Death: February 12, 1865 (72)
Immediate Family:

Son of General Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland and Frances Julia Percy
Brother of Hugh of Northumberland, 3rd Duke of Northumberland; Emily Frances Northumberland and Agnes Percy

Managed by: Noah Tutak
Last Updated:

About Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland,_4th_Duke_of_Northumberland

Admiral Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland KG PC FRS (15 December 1792 – 12 February 1865), styled Lord Algernon Percy until 1816 and known as The Lord Prudhoe between 1816 and 1847, was a British naval commander, explorer and Conservative politician.


Northumberland was the younger son of General Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland, and Frances Julia, daughter of Peter Burrell. He was educated at Eton and St John's College, Cambridge.

Naval career

Northumberland entered the Royal Navy in 1805, aged 13, and served in the Napoleonic Wars. In 1815, when only 22, he was promoted to captain, taking command of HMS Cossack in August, and commanding her until she was broken up some 10 months later. The following year, aged 23, he raised to the peerage as Baron Prudhoe, of Prudhoe Castle in the County of Northumberland (Prudhoe being a town in Northumberland). He later became an Admiral in the Royal Navy. Between 1826 and 1829 he was part of an expedition to Egypt, Nubia and The Levant.

Northumberland became the first president of the newly formed National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck in 1834, and went on to become the president of its successor, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. In 1851 he offered a prize of £200 for a new design of self-righting lifeboat, won by James Beeching, which became the standard model for the new Royal National Lifeboat Institution fleet.

Political career

Northumberland succeeded his childless elder brother in the dukedom in 1847. In 1852 he was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, with a seat in the cabinet, by the Earl of Derby, a post he held until the fall of the government in December 1852. In 1853 he was made a Knight of the Garter.

Personal life

Northumberland married, aged 49, Lady Eleanor Grosvenor, daughter of Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster, on 25 August 1842. They had no children. He died in February 1865, aged 72, and was succeeded in his titles by his cousin, the 2nd Earl of Beverley. The Duchess of Northumberland died in May 1911.

Northumberland was a good friend of Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, and Prudhoe Bay, on the north coast of Alaska, was named after him. The Irish piper, Owen Cunnigam of Athenry, frequently boasted that he received one hundred pounds a year from the Duke of Northumberland for performing at his castle during the six to eight weeks around Christmas.

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Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland's Timeline

December 15, 1792
February 12, 1865
Age 72