Sir Charles Dilke, 1st Baronet

Sir Charles Dilke, 1st Baronet

Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, 1st Baronet (18 February 1810 – 10 May 1869), English Whig politician, son of Charles Wentworth Dilke, proprietor and editor of The Athenaeum, was born in London, and was educated at Westminster School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge.[1] He helped pass the parliamentary Reform Act of 1832, enacted under the Whig administration of the 2d Earl Grey.

He studied law, and in 1834 took his degree of LL.B., but did not practise. He assisted his father in his literary work, and was for some years chairman of the council of the Society of Arts, besides taking a prominent part in the affairs of the Royal Horticultural Society and other bodies. In 1841 he co-founded The Gardeners' Chronicle alongside Joseph Paxton, John Lindley and William Bradbury. He was one of the most zealous promoters of the Great Exhibition (1851) (of which Paxton was again an integral part), and a member of the executive committee. At the close of the exhibition he was honoured by foreign sovereigns, and the queen offered him knighthood, which, however, he did not accept; he also declined a large remuneration offered by the royal commission. In 1853 Dilke was one of the English commissioners at the New York Industrial Exhibition, and prepared a report on it. He again declined to receive any money reward for his services.

He was appointed one of the five royal commissioners for the Great Exhibition of 1862; and soon after the death of the prince consort he was created a baronet. In 1865 he entered parliament as member for Wallingford. In 1869 he was sent to Russia as representative of England at the horticultural exhibition held at St Petersburg. His health, however, had been for some time failing, and he died suddenly in that city, on the 10th of May 1869. A selection from his writings, Papers of a Critic (2 vols., 1875), contains a biographical sketch by his son.


  1. ^ Dilke, Charles Wentworth in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Malins
Member of Parliament for Wallingford
Succeeded by
Stanley Vickers
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Sloane Street)
Succeeded by
Charles Wentworth Dilke

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