The young George was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He succeeded to the earldom in 1739. The family estates were not large, and George was somewhat profligate.
In 1748 Halifax was appointed head of the Board of Trade. In 1751 he proposed that a third secretaryship of state be created for the colonies, including the whole of the West Indies, and that he be appointed to the post; the king refused.
In 1757 Halifax was admitted to the cabinet as president of the Board of Trade and then as lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1761, an office that he held simultaneously with that of secretary of state for the Northern Department in the third Earl of Bute’s administration (1762— 1763). When Bute was succeeded by George Grenville in 1763, Halifax took over as secretary of state for the south. However, with the demise of the Grenville ministry in 1765, Halifax was dismissed. In January 1770 he was appointed Lord Privy Seal; and exactly one year later, he was reinstated as secretary of state for the Northern Department, under the administration of his nephew Lord North. However, he was considered too old and, according to Horace Walpole, “too sottish” to realize the fact. Halifax’s faculties declined rapidly with increasing age, and he died on 8 June 1771 in harness.
Quotes from others about the person
“He was eulogized by the king as “so amiable a man.””
He had the good luck to marry, in 1741, Anne, the daughter of William Richards, who had inherited the property of Sir Thomas Dunk, a great clothier of Tonge, in Hawkhurst, Kent. She brought him what was in those days a vast sum: £110,000 (more than £11 million at modern values); and he took her name in recognition of this fortune.