BLAND, Sir John, 6th Bt. (1722-55), of Kippax Park, Yorks. and Hulme, Lancs.
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Family and Education
bap. 13 Jan. 1722, 1st s. of Sir John Bland, 5th Bt., by Lady Frances Finch, da. of Heneage, 1st Earl of Aylesford. educ. Westminster 1735-9; St. John’s, Oxf. 1740. unm. suc. fa. 14 Apr. 1743.
Bland was returned for Ludgershall on the interest of George Selwyn and in Dupplin’s list of 1754 was classed as a follower of Henry Fox.
Bland was said ‘by his wild dissipation and his unconquerable disposition to play’ to have squandered ‘immense estates and the whole of Manchester and its environs’.1 Horace Walpole described him as ‘good-natured and generous and well-bred’, but added about his passion for gambling: ‘never was such infatuation; I can call it by no term but flirting away his fortune’.2 After an evening’s play during which he lost £32,000, Bland, to escape his creditors, went to France, and lost further large sums to Theobald Taaffe (M.P. 1747-54), an Irish adventurer of infamous reputation. Unable to pay immediately, Bland gave post-dated bills which Taaffe at once presented and, on their being dishonoured, procured Bland’s arrest under a lettre de cachet. ‘To save him from the affront, and prevent him killing himself on the spot’ Charles Selwyn, the English banker in Paris, advanced him £500. ‘But’, wrote Selwyn to Henry Fox, 6 Sept. 1755, ‘his resentment was so great, as we had taken from him the power of procuring himself any satisfaction by engaging his honour that he would not see the person who had done him this injury till he had paid us this money, that he could not get over it’,3 and on 3 Sept. 1755 he committed suicide at Clermont-en-Beauvoisis.