VANE, Hon. Henry (c.1705-58), of Raby Castle, co. Dur.

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



31 May 1726 - 1727
1727 - 1741
1741 - 1747
1747 - 27 Apr. 1753

Family and Education

b. c.1705, 1st s. of Gilbert Vane, 2nd Baron Barnard, by Mary, da. and coh. of Morgan Randyll of Chilworth, Surr. educ. privately. m. 2 Sept. 1725, Lady Grace Fitzroy, da. of Charles Fitzroy, 2nd Duke of Cleveland and Southampton, 3s. 3da. suc. fa. as 3rd Baron 27 Apr. 1753; cr. Visct. Barnard and Earl of Darlington 3 Apr. 1754.

Offices Held

Jt. vice-treasurer and paymaster gen. [I] 1742-4; P.C. [I] 18 Sept. 1742; ld. of Treasury 1749-55; jt. paymaster of forces 1755-6.

Mayor, Hartlepool 1748, Durham 1755; ld. lt. and v.-adm. co. Durham 1750-8.


Descended from Sir Henry Vane, who purchased Raby, Barnard Castle, and other estates in Durham during the reign of Charles I, Vane unsuccessfully contested that county as a Whig on his family’s interest in 1722. Brought in by the ministry for Launceston at a by-election in 1726, he was put up again for Durham county in 1727, but stood down to avoid splitting the Whig vote, on the understanding that the ministry would find him another seat.1 Having been duly returned by the Government for St. Mawes, he went into opposition, attaching himself to Pulteney, his wife’s first cousin. He never spoke in the House, being prevented from doing so by ‘a monstrous tongue which lolled out of his mouth’.2 In the shadow Government drawn up by the Opposition in 1733 he was put down for Lord Hervey’s post of vice-chamberlain, on which George II observed: ‘I should have made a fine charge for that silly cur’.3 Re-elected for St. Mawes in 1734, on the Boscawen interest, in 1739 he again declared his intention of standing for Durham county at the next general election4 but once more withdrew, this time to be returned for Ripon on the Aislabie interest. After Walpole’s fall Pulteney procured him a lucrative Irish sinecure,5 which he lost when his patron’s adherents were turned out in December 1744. Returned as a government supporter for Durham county in 1747, he now attached himself to his kinsman, the Duke of Newcastle, cultivating him so assiduously that in 1749 a vacancy on the Treasury board was

filled ... with that toad-eater and spy to all parties, Harry Vane: there is no enumerating all the circumstances that make his nomination scandalous and ridiculous.

When not at the Treasury he was said to have been entirely employed in opening and shutting the door for the Duchess of Newcastle’s latest favourite, ‘a common pig, that she had brought from Hanover’.6 Rewarded by Newcastle with an earldom, he died 6 Mar. 1758.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Bp. of Durham to Geo. Bowes, 4 July 1727, Exton Sayer to Geo. Bowes, 18 July 1727, Add. 40748, ff. 28, 31.
  • 2. Horace Walpole’s ms notes, ex inf. W. S. Lewis.
  • 3. Hervey, Mems. 170.
  • 4. Bp. of Durham to Sir Robt. Walpole, 1739, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.
  • 5. Hervey, Mems. 951, 955.
  • 6. Walpole to Mann, 23 Mar. and 25 June 1749.