MELBOURNE, WILLLUI LA51B, Viscount, English minister, was second son of sir Peniston Lamb, of Brocket hall, Herts, who was raised to the peerage. Melbourne was born in London in 1779. His university education he received first at Trinity college, Cambridge, and next at Glasgow, where lie studied jurisprudence and politics under prof. Millar. He entered the house of commons for Leominster in 1805, and joined the whig opposition, under the leadership of Charles James Fox. He accepted the chief secretaryship of Ireland in Mr. Canning's government, and this partial alienation from the whigs was increased when he not only took office under lord Goderich, butsremained for a short time in the government of the duke of Wellington. In 1828 the death of his father transferred him to the upper house. In 1830 he accepted the seals of the home office in the government of earl Grey, but his administration was by no means popular or successful. In July, 1834, earl Grey retired, and William IV. sent for Melbourne. In November, the king chose to consider the removal of lord Althorp to the upper house as the breaking up of the Melbourne ministry, and sent for sir Robert Peel, to form a conservative administration. But the hou.se of commons resented the interference of
the crown, and a new parliament having shattered the new government, Melbourne again became first lord of the treasury. On the accession of queen Victoria in 1837, it became the duty of 3Ielbourne to instruct the young sovereiela in the various duties of her high station, and fit her to perform her part as the constitUtional monarch of a free country. In 1841 his rrovernment was succeeded by that of sir Robert Peel. Henceforward. Mel bourne toolAttle part in public affairs. He had little of the oratorical faculty, and was ineffective as a speaker, but possessed a cheerful temper and cordial frankness of man ner, which made him many friends. He possessed classical tastes and rare social qual ities, joined with an easy temper and careless habits. Sydney Smith, in his second letter to archdeacon Singleton, has described his character with an exquisite mixture of sarcasm and compliment. He married (1805) a daughter of the earl of 13essborough, who, under the title of LADY CAROLINE LAMB (b. 1785, d. 182.8), attained some celebrity as a novel writer and a correspondent of lord Byron. Melbourne died Nov. 24, 1848.