, He was educated at Oxford and became a barrister, but his career ambitions were rooted in politics. He first became MP in 1797 for Old Sarum but by1799 he had won the seat for Montgomeryshire which he was to hold until his death in 1850. By the time of the case of the three young Newtown men he was a Privy Councillor and had served as a Cabinet Minister. Later the same year he would serve in government again, this time as Secretary of State for War, though he later resigned this post over the Reform Bill. He was a lifelong friend and patron of the poet Southey and a keen antiquarian. He raised the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry Cavalry in 1803 and commanded them until he handed over to his son in 1844.