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Charles Mordaunt Peterborough, 3d earl of

Peterborough, Charles Mordaunt, 3d earl of, 1658–1735, English general and diplomat. He supported the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and William III made him a privy councillor, first lord of the treasury, and earl of Monmouth. He lost favor with the king, however, and was briefly imprisoned (1696) in connection with the plot of Sir John Fenwick. He succeeded to the earldom of Peterborough in 1697 and returned to favor at the accession (1702) of Queen Anne. During the War of the Spanish Succession he went to Spain (1705) in command of a fleet and land force. In that year he led the successful assault on Barcelona, after which Archduke Charles (later Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI) was proclaimed king. Peterborough then moved on to Valencia, making no effort to return to help Barcelona against French siege, and he became involved in unauthorized negotiations with Victor Amadeus II of Savoy. He was recalled (1707) to England, charged with incompetence and exceeding his authority, and his actions became the subject of partisan controversy between the Tories, who supported him, and the Whigs, who did not. Vindicated in 1711, he served on various diplomatic missions, but he lost favor completely on the accession (1714) of George I.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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