BATHURST, Peter (1687-1748), of Greatworth, Northants. and Clarendon Park, nr. Salisbury, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. 3 May 1687, 4th but 2nd surv. s. of Sir Benjamin Bathurst*; bro. of Allen* and Benjamin Bathurst*. educ. Eton c.1700; Trinity, Oxf. 1703. m. (1) 1709, Leonora-Maria (d. 1720), da. and h. of Charles Howe of Greatworth, 1s. (d.v.p.) 2da.; (2) 3 Oct. 1720, Lady Selina (d. 1779), da. of Robert Shirley, 1st Earl Ferrers, 5s. 10da.1
Bathurst spent his childhood at the court of Princess Anne, where he and his brother Benjamin were companions to the Duke of Gloucester. His father had left him lands in Lincolnshire, and on his marriage he acquired part of his father-in-law’s estate in Northamptonshire. He had also at some stage acquired the Clarendon Park estate which he made his principal residence. He stood as a Tory for Wilton, a few miles westwards, in 1710 and during the course of an acrimonious campaign threatened to deny the town’s flannel-makers their vital supply of blue clay from Clarendon Park. Although he was defeated, the Commons overturned the result in his favour, enabling him to take his seat alongside his elder brother. Most subsequent references in the Journals to ‘Mr Bathurst’ were almost certainly to the senior and more experienced brother. The younger Bathurst’s limited activities come clearly into view from January 1712 when Allen was raised to the peerage. He was nevertheless listed as a ‘worthy patriot’ who in the 1710–11 session was involved in detecting the mismanagements of the previous Whig administration. He was also a member of the October Club. On 26 May he was teller against the East India Company’s petition for a bill to extend their term. By June 1713 he was aligning himself with the ‘whimsical’ Tories, and on the 18th voted against the French commerce bill. He did not seek re-election in 1713, but on re-entering Parliament in 1727 he resumed his connexions with the Tories. Bathurst died on 25 Apr. 1748 and was buried at Laverstock where a fulsome monumental inscription describes him in private life as ‘a lover of letters and liberal knowledge, affectionate and affable to a numerous family’, and in the public sphere as ‘a lover of his country, which he long and faithfully served in Parliament . . . without seeking or even expecting, any other reward than the honest consciousness of having acted as became him’. Clarendon went initially to his eldest son, Peter†, but eventually reverted to the descendants of his eldest daughter, Selina.2