BASSET, Francis (1715-69), of Tehidy, nr. Redruth, Cornw.
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Family and Education
b. 1715, 2nd s. of Francis Basset, M.P., by his 2nd w. Mary, da. and h. of John Pendarves, and h. of her uncle, Alexander Pendarves, M.P. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. Feb. 1733, aged 17. m. 19 Oct. 1756, Margaret, da. of Sir John St. Aubyn, 3rd Bt., M.P., sis. of Sir John St. Aubyn, 4th Bt., 2s. 5da. suc. at Tehidy his nephew, J.P. Basset 28 May 1756.
Basset was ‘a Tory by tradition, estate, and connexions’.1 In June 1760, Thomas Jones, Lord Edgcumbe’s agent, wrote about Penryn: ‘Mr. Basset, a neighbouring gentleman and a considerable landowner in the town, has been talked of for candidate, but at present there is not much probability that he will meddle.’2 For reasons unascertained, he did not stand himself but put up two candidates nominated by Robert Clive. Hardwicke, who tried to mediate with Clive, wrote to Bute, 5 Mar. 1761:3
I happen to know that Mr. Basset has a great estate, and is full of money, and from copper mines, discovered and worked upon his estate, not many years ago. Under these circumstances, I doubt he will not be induced to let in a candidate upon Lord Falmouth’s interest, which may occasion an expensive and troublesome contest.
Basset’s candidates lost by a narrow margin, but on a vacancy in 1766 Basset was returned unopposed, as also in 1768. In December 1766 he was classed by Rockingham as ‘Whig’, possibly because like the truest Tories he was averse to all courts or administrations. Charles Townshend classed him in January 1767 as ‘country gentleman, doubtful’. Only one vote of his is recorded; against Government on Wilkes’s petition, 27 Jan. 1769. He is not known to have spoken in the House.
He died 17 Nov. 1769, aged 54.