MOORE, Arthur (c.1666-1730), of Fetcham Park, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

1695 - 1700
1701 - 1715
11 Feb. 1721 - 1722

Family and Education

b. c.1666. m. (1) 17 Mar. 1692, Susannah (d. 23 Feb. 1695), da. of Dr. Edward Browne of Crane Court, London, 2da.; (2) 4 Nov. 1696, Theophila, da. and h. of William Smythe of the I. Temple, London, paymaster of the gent. pensioners, 3s. 3da.

Offices Held

Comptroller of army accounts 1704-7; director, E.I. Co. 1706-9; ld. of Trade 1710-14; director, R. African Co. 1710, S. Sea Co. 1711-14; high steward, Great Grimsby 1715-d.

Biography

An Irish adventurer, Moore was said to have begun life as a footman, which gave rise to the story that the elder Craggs,

who had worn livery too and who was getting into a coach with him, turned about and said ‘God! Arthur, I am always going to get up behind; are not you?’1

Speaker Onslow describes him as

of very extraordinary parts, with great experience and knowledge of the world, very able in parliament, and capable in the highest parts of business ... His acquisitions had been very great by trade and afterwards by every method, as it has been said, that his interest and power and opportunities opened to him; but his profusion consumed all.2

He figured prominently in the financial scandals of the last days of Anne’s reign, when he was accused in the House of Lords of corruptly helping Bolingbroke and Lady Masham to fill their pockets at the public expense and was simultaneously expelled from his directorship of the South Sea Company for attempting to use one of their ships for his private trade. Defeated at Grimsby in 1715, he was among the Members and agents of the late Tory Government who were expressly excepted from the Indemnity Act of 1717. He seems to have made his peace with the Government in 1718, when his two younger sons were jointly granted the reversion of their grandfather’s place of paymaster of the gentlemen pensioners.3 He re-appeared in 1720, the year of the South Sea bubble, as the promoter of a joint stock company, which failed to obtain the necessary patent of incorporation.4 Re-elected next year for Grimsby, in succession to another corrupt South Sea director, Sir Robert Chaplin, he defended his former protégés in the South Sea company when the confiscation of their estates came before the House of Commons, also speaking on behalf of John Aislabie.5 Losing his seat in 1722, he died 4 May 1730, ‘broken in all respects but in his parts and spirits.’6

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Paula Watson

Notes