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George Pitt-Rivers, 4th Baron Rivers (16 July 1810 – 28 April 1866), known as George Beckford until 1828, was a British peer and politician. He held a place as a Lord-in-waiting in several governments, migrating from the Tory to the Liberal Party over the course of his career. He commanded the Dorsetshire Yeomanry Cavalry for a decade. His four sons all suffered from a lung disease, and only the youngest briefly survived him to inherit the barony.
Born George Beckford, Lord Rivers was the elder son of Horace Pitt-Rivers, 3rd Baron Rivers. He was educated at Harrow School from 1821 to 1826, and matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford on 5 June 1828. He took the surname of Pitt in November 1828 after his father inherited the Pitt estates and, by special remainder, the title of Baron Rivers from his maternal uncle, George Pitt, 2nd Baron Rivers.
Lord Rivers succeeded in the barony on the death of his father in 1831 and took his seat in the House of Lords. He adopted the surname of Pitt-Rivers upon inheriting the estate. Initially a Tory, he served as a Lord-in-waiting under Sir Robert Peel from 1841 to 1846. On 12 February 1846, he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Dorsetshire Yeomanry Cavalry, and was lieutenant-colonel commandant of the unit from 25 July 1856 until his death. He was later a Lord-in-Waiting in Lord Aberdeen's coalition government from 1853 to 1855 and in the Whig administrations of Lord Palmerston and Lord Russell from 1855 to 1858 and again from 1859 to 1866.
On 26 February 1859, he was granted a patent for an improved plow.
Lord Rivers married Lady Susan Georgiana Leveson-Gower, daughter of Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Granville, on 2 February 1833 at the British Embassy in Paris. They had four sons and nine daughters; all of the sons died of a lung disease before their majorities. These were:
He died in April 1866, aged 55, and was succeeded in the barony by his fourth but only surviving son, Henry.
The Earl of Ilchester
| Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the
Dorsetshire Yeomanry (Queen's Own)
The Lord Digby
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
| Baron Rivers