CASWALL, Timothy (c.1733-1802), of Sacombe Park, nr. Ware, Herts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1733, 1st s. of George Caswall of London and Weybridge by his w. Mary. Gd.-s. of Sir George Caswall, M.P., a London banker. m. 28 Jan. 1762, Mary Constantia, da. of Thomas Rolt of Sacombe Park, sis. and h. of Thomas Rolt, killed at St. Cas, 1758.
Ensign 2 Ft. Gds. 1750, lt. and capt. 1756; res. 1762.
Dep. paymaster of the forces 1768-82; commr. of Excise 1789- d.
In 1758 at the battle of St. Cas, Caswall was ‘wounded, and taken prisoner, being carried to St. Malo, he remained there four months in the most languishing condition, with both bones of his leg shattered by the ball. After great pain, and expense, he was brought to England, where his wound was healed.’1 He now applied for promotion or an office. On 5 Oct. 1760 his uncle Nathaniel Brassey reminded Newcastle of his promise to do something for Caswall, and suggested a captaincy in the first Foot Guards.2 On 8 Nov. Caswall himself asked Newcastle to be ‘remembered in the establishment of his Majesty’s family, or in some other way’.3 The following year he was still pressing his case: finding himself ‘a cripple, and suffering constantly great pain and inconvenience’, he begged for the King’s permission to ‘retire from the service, with such a provision as his Majesty may think adequate’,4 or failing that for promotion to the first vacant company in the Guards. But he was again unsuccessful.
In 1761 Caswall was returned unopposed for Hertford on the interest of Nathaniel Brassey. On 29 July 1762 he wrote to Bute of his ‘hearty desire’ of being attached to him in Parliament, and begged him ‘to obtain of his Majesty a salary of five hundred a year, with the title of gentleman of the Horse to the Queen’5—again without success. In November 1762 Bute recommended him as quarter master general in Ireland, but he had by that time sold his commission, and the King would not appoint an officer who had ‘lately quitted for money’.6 In Bute’s list Caswall was classed as ‘Government’, and though not in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries, he does not appear in any of the minority lists 1762-4. Rockingham in July 1765 put him as ‘contra’; and henceforth he was always classed as a member of the Bedford group. Whether his connexion was with Rigby or the Duke of Bridgwater is uncertain. In 1768 he was made by Rigby deputy paymaster of the forces. He did not stand at the general election of 1768, but in 1771 was returned by Bridgwater at Brackley. He supported Administration till the fall of North; voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, and was classed by Robinson, March 1783, as ‘North, doubtful, Bridgwater’. He voted for Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783, but under orders from the Duke of Bridgwater voted against the resolutions condemning the King’s interference,7 and was classed in all three lists of 1784 as ‘Administration’. Still, his first recorded vote in this Parliament was with Opposition, over Pitt’s Irish propositions, 13 May 1785, but he voted with Pitt on the Regency 1788-9.
Only a handful of speeches by Caswall are recorded during his 25 years in Parliament. On 14 Mar. and 7 June 1774 he spoke on motions to clear the House. On 11 Dec. 1787, he explained that he had voted against Philip Francis as manager for the impeachment of Hastings, because Francis ‘had fought a duel with Mr. Hastings, and had consequently had a personal quarrel with him ... Mr. Caswall said he was a plain man and told a plain story’.8 His last speech, 7 May 1788, was in answer to Burke’s attack on Impey.9
In September 1789 Caswall’s seat was vacated by his appointment to a commissionership of Excise. He died 24 Aug. 1802.
Ref Volumes: 1754-1790
Author: Mary M. Drummond
- 1. Undated memorandum from Caswall, Bodl. North b5, f. 68. From internal evidence it can be dated 1761.
- 2. Add. 32912, f. 387.
- 3. Add. 32914, f. 56.
- 4. Bodl. North b5, f. 68.
- 5. Bute mss.
- 6. Sedgwick, Letters Geo. III to Bute, 154.
- 7. Bamber Gascoyne to John Strutt, 19 Dec. 1783. Strutt mss.
- 8. Stockdale, xii. 88-89.
- 9. Ibid. xiv. 264.