BRANDLING, Charles (1733-1802), of Gosforth, Northumb.

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



1784 - Dec. 1797

Family and Education

bap. 5 July 1733, 1st surv. s. of Ralph Brandling of Felling, co. Dur. by Eleanor Ogle of Eglingham, Northumb.  m. 3 Sept. 1756, Elizabeth, da. and h. of John Thompson of Shotton, co. Dur., 5s. 8da.  suc. bro. 1751; removed the family seat to Gosforth in 1760.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Northumb. 1781-2.


The Brandlings were an established landed family who had sat in Parliament in the 16th and 17th centuries. The demand for coal and the rich deposits on their estates created a natural gravitation towards Newcastle: Charles Brandling, though not himself a banker, twice (in 1772 and 1793) gave financial support to Newcastle banks in danger of failing;1 two daughters married Newcastle merchant bankers; and two sons became important in its commercial concerns. In contrast, his eldest son married into a local landed family.

At Newcastle in 1784 both the old Members were candidates, but Andrew Robinson Bowes withdrew at the poll and Brandling and Sir Matthew White Ridley were returned unopposed. Brandling was classed by William Adam as a supporter of Pitt, voted for parliamentary reform, 18 Apr. 1785, and for Richmond’s fortifications plan, 27 Feb. 1786. Ridley wrote to his brother on 27 Feb. 1786 that most of the country gentlemen opposed these fortifications, ‘but there are still some who professedly saying they do not understand them, think it right to let the ministers of the country judge for them, Charles Brandling of Gosforth to wit’.2

In his first recorded speech, 21 Feb. 1787, he commended the commercial treaty with France. Ten other speeches are reported in this Parliament, five of them on matters dealing with the coal trade. Over the Regency bill he was involved in a dispute when he described as ‘reprehensible, pusillanimous, and contemptible’ the conduct of the sheriff of Northumberland in opposing the Newcastle address of confidence in Pitt, for which he afterwards apologized. And on 14 Feb. 1789 he ‘spoke in warm praise’ of Pitt’s conduct on the Regency question, and

concluded with a declaration, that so satisfied was he in his conscience with the wisdom and rectitude of the measures he had supported during the late parliamentary discussions, that he should cheerfully submit his conduct to his constituents, and rest in hopes of their future favour on his confidence in their approbation.3

He died 29 June 1802.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Richard Brown


  • 1. M. Phillips, Banks, Bankers, and Banking in Northumb. 29, 53.
  • 2. Ridley mss at Blagdon.
  • 3. Stockdale, xvi. 311-13, 335-6, 474.