BIRCH, John (c.1666-1735), of Garnstone, nr. Weobley, Herefs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1666, 2nd s. of Rev. Thomas Birch, rector of Hampton Bishop, Herefs., afterwards vicar of Preston, Lancs., by his w. Mary. educ. G. Inn, 1682; M. Temple 1687, called 1687. m. (1) 1691, Sarah (d. 1702), da. and h. of Col. John Birch, M.P., of Garnstone, s.p.; (2) 26 Jan. 1704, Letitia, da. of John Hampden, M.P., of Great Hampden, Bucks., sis. of Richard and John Hampden, s.p.
Attorney-gen. of Brecknock, Glamorgan and Radnor 1695-1712; serjeant-at-law 1705; Queen’s serjeant 1712; commr. for forfeited estates 1716-25; cursitor baron of the Exchequer 1729-d.
Birch’s uncle, the well-known Colonel John Birch, M.P. successively for Leominster, Penryn and Weobley, died in May 1691, bequeathing his property to his youngest daughter on condition that she married Birch, which she did a few weeks later. On her death she left Birch in possession of the estate of Garnstone, one mile from Weobley, which he represented as a Whig in every Parliament but one till his death 34 years later, voting from 1715 consistently with the Government. In January 1716 his name was added to the secret committee appointed to draw up articles of impeachment against the Jacobite lords. Next June he was chosen by the House of Commons to be one of the commissioners for the sale of estates forfeited to the Crown by persons attainted of high treason during the rebellion of 1715, with a tax free salary of £1,000 p.a. In this capacity he and another of the commissioners were responsible for the fraudulent sale of the vast Derwentwater estates. In 1731 the fraud was exposed by a parliamentary inquiry; the two commissioners were expelled from the House of Commons; and the sale was annulled.1 At the ensuing by-election Birch stood but was defeated. Returned at the next general election, he died 6 Oct. 1735. In 1737 a petition against his return was decided in favour of his opponent.
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: Romney R. Sedgwick
- 1. See under BOND, Denis.