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Mount-Temple, William Francis Cowper-Temple

MOUNT-TEMPLE, WILLIAM FRANCIS COWPER-TEMPLE, BARON (1811-1888), English politician, second son of the 5th Earl Cowper, was born at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, on the 13th of December 1811. He was educated at Eton, and entered the Royal Horse Guards, attaining the rank of brevet-major in 1852. His mother, Emily Mary, was sister to the prime minister, Lord Melbourne, whose secretary William Cowper became in 1835; in this year he entered parliament as member for Hertford, which he continued to represent until 1863. As commissioner of works (1860-1866) he carried the bills for the Thames Embankment (1862), and for the new law courts (1863); but he is best known for the amendment, known as the " Cowper-Temple clause," which he introduced into the second reading of the Education Bill of 1870, that no catechism nor denominational teaching of any kind should be included in the religious instruction given in rate-aided schools. His mother, who married Lord Palmerston as her second husband, died in 1869, and under his stepfather's will William Cowper succeeded to some of the Palmerston estates in Ireland and Hampshire, and assumed the additional name of Temple. He was M.P. for South Hampshire from 1868 until 1880 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Mount-Temple of MountTemple, Sligo. He died at Broadlands, near Romsey, on the 16th of October 1888. He was twice married, but left no children, the Palmerston estates descending to the Right Hon. Evelyn Ashley (1836-1907), who was under-secretary of state for the colonies from 1882 to 1885.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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