LIDDELL, George (1678-1740), of Eslington, Northumb.
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Family and Education
bap. 1 Aug. 1678, 4th s. of Sir Henry Liddell, 3rd Bt., M.P., of Ravensworth by Catherine, da. and h. of Sir John Bright, 1st Bt., of Badsworth, Yorks.; cos. of Thomas and uncle of Sir Henry Liddell, 4th Bt.. unm.
The Liddells of Ravensworth were descended from a Newcastle merchant, who bought the Durham estates of the Gascoines, including a rich coal-field, in 1607.1 Like the rest of the family, a coal-owner, George Liddell was one of the founders of the ‘Grand Alliance’, a cartel which dominated the north country coal trade for the rest of the century. From 1727 he was returned for Berwick with the support of the government interest there. On excellent terms with Walpole, who called him ‘the wise man of the north’, he voted with the Government on every recorded division.2 On 14 Apr. 1738 Edward Harley’s parliamentary diary refers to a bill relating to the forfeited Derwentwater estate, the proceeds of which went to Greenwich Hospital.
The outward presence for this bill was to sell part of the estate to clear off the mortgage upon it. The private interest was a job for Colonel Liddell, for it was intended to sell that part of the estate upon which were mines and woods and lands capable of great improvement, and not that part which was fully improved.
In a list of the division on the Spanish convention in 1739, Liddell is shown as ‘director for Greenwich Hospital of Lord Derwentwater’s estates’.3 He died 9 Oct. 1740.