BEAUCLERK, Lord Vere (1699-1781), of Hanworth, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 14 July 1699, 3rd s. of Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St. Albans, and bro. of Charles Beauclerk, Earl of Burford, and Lords George, Henry, Sidney, and William Beauclerk. m. 13 Apr. 1736, Mary, da. and coh. of Thomas Chambers of Hanworth by Lady Mary Berkeley, da. of Charles, 2nd Earl of Berkeley, 4s. 2da. cr. Baron Vere of Hanworth, 28 Mar. 1750.
Capt. R.N. 1721; extra commr. of the navy 1732; ld. of Admiralty 1738-Mar. 1742, Dec. 1744-9; r.-adm. 1745, v.-adm. 1746, adm. 1748; ret. 1749; ld. lt. Berks. 1761-71.
Lord Vere Beauclerk entered the navy about 1713,1 serving in the Mediterranean 1722-7, and again under Sir Charles Wager in 1731. Succeeding his brother, the 2nd Duke of St. Albans, at Windsor in 1726, he consistently voted with the Government. In 1736 he married a great heiress, sister of Lady Temple and niece of Lady Elizabeth Germain, becoming connected through the latter with the Duke of Dorset.2 Appointed a lord of the Admiralty in 1738, he transferred at the next general election to the Admiralty borough of Plymouth, which had been kept warm for him by his brother Lord Henry. He lost his place on Walpole’s fall, but was re-appointed under the Duke of Bedford in December 1744. Thereafter his ambitions centred on a peerage. He wrote to Newcastle, 16 Dec. 1746:
My only view and desire therefore is to be moved from the House of Commons into the other House, my health indeed being scarce able to bear the fatigue of attending my duty both here and there. I have served the crown three and thirty years, have been above twenty in Parliament, and I don’t know that in all that time I ever asked or desired what impartial people have thought unreasonable.3
On Sandwich’s appointment as first Lord in 1748 Beauclerk threatened to resign but was dissuaded from so doing by Newcastle, who wrote to him:
I then said to the Duke of Dorset, that, as I knew your lordship’s object was to go to the House of Lords, nothing in my opinion, would be so likely to bring that about, as a cheerful acquiescence, and going on, in good humour, with the then disposition of the Admiralty ... I did press the peerage to the King, as far as it was decent for me. I am very ready, when I see any tendency to the making of peers ..., to renew my application.4
When Sir Thomas Robinson returned to England at the end of 1748, Beauclerk offered to resign his seat and place for him in return for a peerage,5 but other arrangements were made. In July 1749, on Lord Anson’s being preferred to him for vice-admiral of Great Britain, he resigned, writing to Newcastle:
As his Majesty has thought proper to give a junior officer a superior commission over my head, I must conclude he thinks me unfit for his service. I therefore request your Grace to obtain his leave for my quitting it, I mean both at the Admiralty and as a flag officer.6
Next year he was made a peer. He died 2 Oct. 1781.