Charles Spencer was a Knight of the Garter and a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, as well as Privy Counsellor. He succeeded his half-brother, John Poyntz Spencer (5th Earl), in 1910. He received an M.A. from Trinity College, Cambridge, and was hon. Colonel of the 4th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, for which he was awarded a Volunteer Officer's Decoration. Spencer served as a member of Parliament for North Northamptonshire from 1880-1885, and for Mid-Division Northamptonshire from 1885-95 and 1900-1905; he also served as Vice Chamberlain from 1892-1895 and as Lord Chamberlain of the Household from 1905-1912. Created Viscount Althorp of great Brington, county Northampton in 1905, he also held many foreign Orders. On 25 July 1887 Spencer married the Hon. Margaret Baring [d. 1906], daughter of the 1st Baron Revelstoke. They had three sons and three daughters, of whom son Albert Edward John became the 7th Earl Spencer.
Cooper, Douglas, ed. Great Family Collections. New York, 1965:197-240