DASHWOOD, George I (1669-1706), of St. Anne Soho, Westminster
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Family and Education
bap. 25 Nov. 1669, at least 3rd s. of George Dashwood of Hackney, Mdx. by Margaret, da. of William Perry of Thorpe, Surr.; bro. of Sir Robert Dashwood, 1st Bt.* educ. Trinity, Oxf. 1684. m. 4 June 1698, Algerina (d. 1748), da. of Sir Algernon Peyton, 1st Bt., of Doddington, Isle of Ely, Cambs. 2s. 5da.
Lt.-col. Edmund Soame’s* regt. ft. 1705–d.
Dashwood’s identification principally rests on the evidence of his proprietorial and familial links with Sudbury and its neighbourhood. Further support comes from a list of placemen in 1705, which cites the Member as holding an army commission, albeit a captaincy of horse. Such a career did not reflect Dashwood’s background as the son of an extremely wealthy excise farmer, whose business interests had tied him firmly to the capital. However, from his father Dashwood inherited lands in Suffolk and Essex, and his interest in East Anglia was further improved by his marriage into the Peyton family of Doddington, Isle of Ely. Indeed, his bride may have brought as part of her dowry the manor of Boxford, about six miles from Sudbury. By the time of his candidacy at the general election of 1702 he may have already purchased property within the town itself, for only three years later he voted as a Sudbury freeholder at the Suffolk election. In order to procure Tory votes for the borough contest he promised to fund several local projects, but these inducements were insufficient to enable him to overcome the Whig candidates. However, following Dashwood’s petition to the House on 24 Oct., the return of John Haskins Stiles* was declared void, thereby presenting Dashwood with a second opportunity to gain election. At the Sudbury poll of February 1703 Stiles defeated Dashwood by only 21 votes, but, undaunted, the latter petitioned the Commons on 22 Feb. and again on 10 Nov. His perseverance was rewarded when the House ruled in his favour on 6 Dec. 1703, a decision which was widely regarded as a victory for party prejudice.1
Soon after taking his seat Dashwood was confirmed as a Tory by the Earl of Nottingham (Daniel Finch†), who listed him as a likely supporter, possibly in connexion with proceedings concerning the Scotch Plot. In the next session he was forecast on 30 Oct. 1704 as probably in favour of the Tack, and two parliamentary lists marked him as voting for the measure on 28 Nov. However, an opponent subsequently accused him of deserting his party, describing him as ‘a Tacker in principle, yet turned Sneaker now’. During that session he also featured as a teller in two divisions: on 11 Jan. 1705, to block a resolution to allow Protestants in the North to arm themselves; and on 3 Mar. against a motion to adjourn debate on the Aylesbury case. Having campaigned with such persistency to gain his seat, he revealed that his ambitions lay elsewhere, petitioning the Duke of Ormond in January 1704 for a lieutenant-colonelcy in one of the six newly raised regiments of foot. In the previous reign Ormond had unsuccessfully sought for Dashwood ‘a company in the guards’, but on this occasion Dashwood was more fortunate, gaining his commission in March 1705.2
Even though he had achieved his long-desired military appointment, Dashwood still contested the Sudbury election of 1705, but failed to carry the poll. One report suggested that he had alienated many local townsmen by ‘tricking’ them over the recent Stour navigation bill, he having been named to its drafting committee, and by failing to pay his local poor rate. He was also accused of falling out with ‘his party’, but he did vote for the Tory candidates at the succeeding Suffolk election. Undeterred by such allegations, on 2 Nov. 1705 he sought to alert the House to the corrupt electoral practices of his opponents, but then withdrew his petition on 6 Dec. before the case could be heard, a decision possibly influenced by his regiment’s posting to Spain. Although out of the Commons, he may have continued to court local voters by promoting the Stour navigation, since on 12 Feb. 1706 a ‘Mr Dashwood’ submitted clauses to the Lords’ committee reviewing that measure. He was never to serve overseas, dying at Torbay in September 1706 as the regiment prepared to embark for the Iberian peninsula. It was reported on 7 Sept. that Dashwood ‘is dead on board the fleet at Torbay’, and his body was subsequently conveyed to Norfolk for burial. His heir, George, although retaining a proprietorial interest in Sudbury and eventually settling at Bury St. Edmunds, did not endeavour to emulate his father’s electoral success.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Perry Gauci
- 1. IGI, London, Norf., Suff.; Add. 19126, ff. 100–3; PCC 112 Vere; Copinger, Manors of Suff. i. 26–27; Suff. Poll 1705.
- 2. London Post, 23 May 1705; Nat. Lib. Ire. ms 2458, p. 89.
- 3. London Post, 23 May 1705; Suff. Poll 1705; HMC Lords, n.s. vi. 398; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 84; PCC 138 Poley, 191 St. Eloi; Le Neve, Mon. Angl. 1700–15, p. 123.