WEST, Temple (1713-57), of Upper Grosvenor St., London.

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



17 Jan. 1753 - 1754

Family and Education

b. 1713, yr. s. of Rev. Richard West, D.D., prebendary of Winchester and archdeacon of Berkshire, by Maria, 1st da. of Sir Richard Temple, 3rd Bt., M.P., of Stowe, sis. of Richard Temple, M.P., 1st Visct. Cobham, and of Hester, 1st Countess Temple; cos. of the Lytteltons and Grenvilles. m. Frances, o. da. of Adm. Sir John Balchen, sis. and h. of Capt. George Balchen, R.N., 3s.

Offices Held

Lt. R.N. 1734, capt. 1738; cashiered 1745; reinstated 1746; commodore and c.-in-c. at the Nore 1748; r.-adm. 1755; second in command to Adm. John Byng in the Mediterranean 1756; ld. of Admiralty Nov. 1756-Feb. 1757, July 1757-d.; v.-adm. 1756.


Entering the navy as a volunteer in September 1727, Temple West received his first command in 1737. Court martialled and cashiered for taking an inactive part in Admiral Thomas Mathews’s action off Toulon on 11 Feb. 1744, he was soon reinstated, no doubt through the influence of his cousin, George Grenville, a member of the Admiralty board. On 3 May 1747 he was flag-captain to Admiral Peter Warren in Admiral George Anson’s battle off Finisterre. During a period ashore he was brought in as a stop-gap for Buckingham in January 1753 at a by-election caused by the accession of his cousin Richard Grenville, Lord Cobham, to the peerage, but did not stand again. As second in command to Admiral John Byng he was superseded after the action off Minorca in May 1756, but was appointed to the Admiralty board under Lord Temple next November. Following Byng’s court-martial, at which he gave evidence, he struck his flag and later resigned from the Admiralty, writing to Temple on 27 Jan. 1757 that he was ‘fully resolved to forego anything rather than serve on terms which subject an officer to the treatment shewn Admiral Byng’.1 He resumed his post in July but died a few weeks later, 9 Aug. 1757.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. Charnock, Biog. Navalis, iv. 422.