ONGLEY, Samuel (1697-1747), of Old Warden, Beds.
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Family and Education
bap. prob. 2 Nov. 1697, o. surv. s. of Samuel Ongley of St. Michael’s, Cornhill, London, draper, by Elizabeth, da. of Edward Falkingham of St. Michael’s, Cornhill.1 educ. ?Merchant Taylors’ 1709-12; St. John’s, Oxf. 13 Dec. 1716, aged 19. m. 19 Sept. 1726, Anne, da. of John Harvey of Northill, Beds., s.p. suc. uncle Sir Samuel Ongley, M.P., at Old Warden 1726.
Sea coal meter in the customs house 1721-c.1728.
Although there are discrepancies in accounts of Ongley’s birth and parentage, he was certainly the heir of Sir Samuel Ongley, M.P. for Maidstone, a linen draper in Cornhill and director of the South Sea Company, who died unmarried on 25 Aug. 1726, ‘very rich, said £10,000 p.a., £5,000 to be sure’.2 Immediately after succeeding to Old Warden he married his neighbour’s sister at Northill. A month later, on 25 Oct. 1726, Lady Elizabeth Osborn wrote:3
It was agreed [by the Whig country gentlemen of Bedfordshire] that Ongley has hardly any principles, at least not violent if he is a Tory, and that ’tis necessary to court him and bring him over if they can to the Whig interest. My brother carries him ... in his coach to Bedford, and then is to carry him to the Whig inn where they will meet ... all the Whigs who are to propose ... to him
that he should stand for the county against the young 3rd Duke of Bedford’s Tory nominees. In the end he stood unsuccessfully as a ducal candidate for the borough in 1727, and on petition was declared to be incapable of claiming to sit in Parliament because of his customs house officer.4 This he must soon have resigned, for in January 1729 he was returned unopposed at a double by-election for the notoriously venal borough of New Shoreham. The following month he was appointed to the gaols committee of the House of Commons. In 1734 he moved back to Bedford where he was returned unopposed and again in 1741, voting against the Administration in all recorded divisions. Shortly before the next general election he died on 15 June 1747, his estates passing to his cousin Robert Henley, afterwards Ongley, M.P.