TUCKER, Edward (d.1739), of Weymouth, Dorset.
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Family and Education
s. of Edward Tucker of Weymouth by his w. Joane. m., 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1707.1
Mayor, Weymouth 1702, 1705, 1716, 1721, 1725, 1735; supervisor of the Portland quarries 1714-27, 1737-d.
Tucker, a Weymouth merchant, whose father, a merchant adventurer of Weymouth, was imprisoned as a Quaker in 1665,2 held a government lease of some of the quarries at Portland. At George I’s accession he obtained the post of supervisor of the Portland quarries,3 carrying considerable electoral influence in the borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, which returned four Members. Allying himself with Bubb Dodington, who looked after their interests at Westminster, leaving Tucker to manage the borough, he was returned unopposed for it in 1727, transferring his post, which was incompatible with a seat in the Commons, to one of his sons. In Parliament he voted with the Government on the army in 1732 and the repeal of the Septennial Act in 1734, but was absent from the other recorded divisions. Shortly before the general election of warning from a friend in Weymouth that it was important
for the people there to see that Mr. Tucker cannot dispose of everything in the town as he is daily persuading them that he can and consequently has his principal sway there by being thought to have it alone. For in short that consideration and the Portland stone are what support his power there—personally he is not popular and the people want but a small gleam of encouragement to revolt.
The letter added:
Mr. Tucker is and has been long dangerously ill and by what I know of his infirmities rheumatism palsy and dropsy cannot live long.4
He and his son, John, who was also returned for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in 1735, were among the five ‘friends’ whom Walpole asked Dodington to speak to about the opposition motion of 22 Feb. 1737 for an increase in the allowance of the Prince of Wales. After the division, in which, led by Dodington, they all voted with the Government against the motion, Dodington told Walpole that ‘the connexion between these gentlemen and me was such that we should not have differed in opinion’, if he had decided to vote for the motion.5 Next month he vacated his seat by resuming his Portland place. He died 5 Apr. 1739.