BERTIE, Hon. Henry II (1675-1735).
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Family and Education
b. 4 May 1675, 3rd s. of James Bertie, 1st Earl of Abingdon, by 1st w. Eleanora, da. and h. of Sir Henry Lee, 3rd Bt., of Quarrendon, Bucks. and Ditchley, Oxon.; bro. of Hon. James*, Hon. Robert* and Montagu Venables-Bertie*, Lord Norreys. m. (1) 17 July 1708, Annabella Susanna (d. 1708), da. of Hugh Hamilton, 1st Baron Hamilton of Glenawly [I], wid. of Sir John Magill, 1st Bt. [I], of Gill Hall, co. Down and Mark Trevor, 3rd Visct. Dungannon [I], s.p.; (2) 3 Oct. 1712 (with £10,000), Mary, da. of Hon. Peregrine Bertie I*, wid. of Anthony Henley*, 1da.1
Freeman and bailiff, Oxford 1702; ?freeman, Hertford 1703.2
Commr. public accts. 1711–14.
Although the younger son of a peer, Bertie was ‘bred to the understanding of trade and merchandise’ under the great merchant (Sir) Joseph Herne*. He does not, however, appear to have set up in business, and was returned under age for Beaumaris in 1705 on the interest of his brother-in-law the 4th Viscount Bulkeley [I] (Richard Bulkeley*). Sharing his family’s Tory principles, he was appropriately classed as a ‘Churchman’ in a list of the new Parliament. As with all the Berties, it is difficult to trace his activity in the Commons due to the simultaneous presence of several family members, but he may be plausibly identified as a leading sponsor of Lord Bulkeley’s estate bill in the first session. He voted against the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct., and in early 1708 was identified as a Tory. He managed to survive an election hearing over his return at Beaumaris in 1708, and the following year was appointed ‘register’ for the Tory drinking club recently founded by the 2nd Duke of Beaufort, the ‘Board of Brothers’. He predictably voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell, and after his successful re-election at Beaumaris in 1710 was cited as a Tory on the ‘Hanover list’.3
In March 1711 Bertie’s kinsman, the Duke of Leeds (Sir Thomas Osborne†), wrote to Robert Harley* on his behalf, hoping to secure him a place on the customs commission or the Board of Trade. Significantly, Leeds was keen not ‘to do him that injury as to get him nominated in the House of Commons for one of the commissioners of accounts which might perhaps be a bar to those other employments, but he is very fitly qualified for any of them’. No offer of a place being made, Bertie was duly chosen one of the commissioners on 19 Mar. 1711, taking first place in the ballot. A member of the October Club, he was listed as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the 1710–11 session detected the mismanagements of the previous ministry. On 25 Jan. 1712, the day after the Tories had carried their vote of censure on the Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill†), he was one of the Members thanked by the Board of Brothers ‘for their good attendance and service’ in the House. He also distinguished himself by being the only commissioner of accounts not to vote on 6 May in favour of tacking a bill to examine royal grants onto a lottery bill. On a more personal note, he may well have carried up a bill to settle the estate of Anthony Henley, his wife’s first husband. In the next session he may have put his mercantile grounding to good use by advancing economic legislation, possibly as the ‘Mr Bertie’ whom the Journals note as frequently involved with bills to encourage the tobacco trade and the manufacture of sail-cloth. In the key vote of 18 June 1713 he was the only Bertie who voted in favour of the French commerce bill.4
In the succeeding Parliament Bertie may have joined the rest of his family in voting against the Court in the ‘succession in danger’ debate of April 1714. Although possibly wavering in his political loyalties, he retained support within the House, finishing third on 18 June 1714 in the ballot for a new commission of accounts. Significantly, this election was seen as a victory for the October Club against the candidates promoted by (Sir) Thomas Hanmer II (4th Bt.)*. In that session Bertie may also have backed another bill to promote the tobacco trade. Soon after the accession of George I three parliamentary lists confirmed Bertie’s Tory principles, but he was able to retain his seat while remaining in opposition until 1727, when he unsuccessfully challenged the Bulkeley interest. He died at Boulogne on 18 Dec. 1735.5
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Paula Watson / Perry Gauci
- 1. Collins, Peerage, iii. 631; Westminster Abbey Reg. (Harl. Soc. x), 265; Folger Shakespeare Lib. Newdigate newsletter 7 Oct. 1712.
- 2. Oxford Council Acts (Oxf. Hist. Soc. n.s. x), 12; Herts. RO, Hertford bor. recs. 25/105.
- 3. Add. 70250, Duke of Leeds to Robert Harley, 7 Mar. 1711; 49360, f. 3; PRO, HCA 13/81, p. 279.
- 4. Add. 70250, Leeds to Harley, 7 Mar. 1711; 49360, f. 100; BL, Trumbull Alphab. mss 54, John Bridges to Sir William Trumbull*, 9 May 1712.