DASHWOOD, George II (1680-1758), St. George's, Hanover Square, Mdx.
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Family and Education
bap. 7 Mar. 1680, 4th but 1st. surv. s. of Sir Samuel Dashwood*; bro.-in-law of Robert Bristow II* and John Bristow†. educ. I. Temple 1697; Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1698; ?travelled abroad (France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Low Countries) 1700–3. m. by 1712, Catherine (d. 1779), da. of Robert Bristow I* of Micheldever, Hants, 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1705.
Sheriff, Suff. 1731–2.1
Given his family’s political connexions, the heir of Sir Samuel Dashwood can be identified with some certainty as the George Dashwood ‘of London’ returned in 1710 as the Member for Stockbridge. Born into a prosperous mercantile household, Dashwood chose not to follow his father’s example, declining to seek civic or commercial advancement in the City. However, he may have revealed his empathy with Sir Samuel’s Tory principles as early as August 1703, when a ‘Mr Dashwood’ fought and lost a duel with Lord Wharton (Hon. Thomas*) at Bath. Wharton’s challenger was described as ‘a hot young gentleman’, and at least one report suggested that it was the son of Sir Samuel. Another account thought the duel a deliberate Tory ploy to embarrass the Whig magnate, and the incident evidently brought the young Dashwood much publicity, an observer at Bath describing it as ‘the subject of all discourse both here and at London’. In consideration of such newly acquired fame, he may plausibly be identified as the ‘George Dashwood’ who petitioned the House on 2 Nov. 1705 and 14 Dec. 1706 to contest the return for the Bath election of May 1705. The death of Sir Samuel Dashwood clearly gave him financial independence, particularly after he had received £15,000 from his uncle Sir Francis Dashwood, 1st Bt.*, for the sale of his share of the manor of West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.2
Proof of Dashwood’s standing within Tory circles came in February 1710 when he was elected a ‘nephew’ of the Board of Brothers, the Duke of Beaufort’s drinking club. The following September Beaufort was a key figure in Dashwood’s election campaign at Stockbridge, a notoriously venal borough which was accustomed to electing outsiders. Dashwood was duly returned unopposed alongside the Earl of Barrymore [I] (James Berry*), a fellow member of the Board of Brothers, and was cited in the ‘Hanover list’ as a Tory. Although failing to make any significant contribution to Commons business in his only Parliament, he initially maintained the party line, listed as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the first session sought to discover the mismanagements of the previous administration. Moreover, on 25 Jan. 1712, the day after the vote of censure against the Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill†), he was one of the eight Members to receive the thanks of the Board of Brothers for their ‘good attendance and service’ in the House. The following month he was identified as a member of the October Club, but before the Parliament was over he had broken with his party, choosing to vote on 18 June 1713 against the French commerce bill. Only a few weeks before, he had presented at court an address on behalf of his constituents which gave thanks for the end of the war, but his apostasy in that division may have cost him his seat, since he did not appear at the succeeding Stockbridge election.3
There is no evidence to suggest that Dashwood pursued any political activity after 1713. However, following his purchase of an estate at Heveningham, Suffolk in 1719, he was eventually prepared to undertake public office as sheriff of that county. He did not completely sever his links with the capital, and even though his fortune was bolstered in March 1738 by his brother Thomas’ bequest of ‘a considerable estate’, he chose to sell his Suffolk holdings in 1745. By the time of his death, on either 10 or 11 Jan. 1758, he had settled in the fashionable area of St. George’s, Hanover Square, and further testimony to his wealth was provided by his substantial bequests to his two daughters. His widow subsequently achieved some eminence by serving as a lady of the bedchamber to Queen Charlotte, the consort of George III, but his only son Samuel did not reveal any political ambitions.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Perry Gauci
- 1. IGI, London; Hoare, Wilts. Frustfield, 11; Addison Letters, 27, 30, 33, 38.
- 2. Cunningham, Hist. GB, i. 351; Add. 28890, f. 401; Wharton Mems. 35; Bodl. D.D. Dashwood (Bucks.) mss A2, f. 9.
- 3. Add. 49360, f. 18; Beaufort mss at Badminton House, Beaufort letter bk. Beaufort to Robert Pitt*, 14 Sept. 1710; G. Holmes, Pol. in Age of Anne, 297; London Gazette, 30 May–2 June 1713.
- 4. Suckling, Suff. ii. 390; Survey of London, xxxiii. 58; Hist. Reg. Chron. 1738, p. 13; Gent. Mag. 1758, p. 46; London Mag. 1758, p. 52; PCC 9 Hutton; Hoare, 11.