BERKELEY, Norborne (?1717-70), of Stoke Gifford, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1741 - Apr. 1763

Family and Education

b. ?1717, o.s. of John Symes Berkeley of Stoke Gifford, Glos. by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Walter Norborne of Calne, Wilts., wid. of Edward Devereux, 8th Visct. Hereford. His sis. m. Charles Noel, 4th Duke of Beaufort, and he became guardian to the 5th Duke in 1756. educ. Westminster 1726 (aged 9)—1727. unm. Confirmed to barony of Botetourt 13 Apr. 1764.

Offices Held

Groom of the bedchamber 1760-4; lord of the bedchamber 1767- d.; ld. lt. Glos. 1762-6; gov. Virginia 768- d.


Berkeley was returned unopposed in 1754 and again in 1761. He was classed as a Tory in Dupplin’s list of 1754, but on 31 May 1759 he seconded an address moved by Pitt.1 In December 1760 Berkeley was one of the five Tories whose introduction into the bedchamber greatly upset Newcastle.2 In Bute’s list of December 1761 he was classed as ‘Tory’ and ‘Bute’; and he appears in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries, December 1762. He was described in Grafton’s Autobiography (p. 184) as ‘much attached to Lord Bute, and considered to be wholly devoted to his Majesty’. James Harris writes that Berkeley, supporting the cider bill, 22 Mar. 1762, told the House of his own independency—‘that he had been for the jew-bill, and avowed it to his constituents, though the year before a general election—signified to us now, however, that he expected a seat among the peers’. In April 1763 he vacated his seat; claimed the Botetourt peerage which had been in abeyance for 250 years, and the following year established his claim.

In 1768 Botetourt was appointed governor of Virginia. Horace Walpole writes:3

Lord Botetourt, a very courtier, who was ruined in his fortune, was sent governor to Virginia, where resided some of the ablest of the American patriots; yet in the two years that he lived to govern them his soothing flattering manners had so wrought on the province, that his death was bewailed with the most general and affectionate concern.

He died 15 Oct. 1770.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Bedford Corresp. ii. 383.
  • 2. Newcastle to J. Yorke, 5 Dec. 1760 Add. 32915, f. 308.
  • 3. Mems. Geo. III, iv. 156.