DASHWOOD, Sir James, 2nd Bt. (1715-79), of Kirtlington Park, Oxon.

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



30 Jan. 1740 - 1754
1761 - 1768

Family and Education

b. 7 Aug. 1715, 1st. surv. s. of Robert Dashwood (1st surv. s. of Sir Robert Dashwood, 1st Bt., M.P.), by Dorothy, da. of Sir John Reade, 2nd Bt., of Brocket Hall, Herts., sis. and coh. of Sir John Reade, 3rd Bt. educ. Abingdon g.s.; Grand Tour (France, Italy, Netherlands) 1732-6. m. 17 Feb. 1739, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Edward Spencer of Rendlesham, Suff., 3s. 3da. His e. da. m. George Montagu, Visct. Mandeville; the 2nd John Stewart, Lord Garlies; the 3rd Lucy Knightley. suc. fa. 29 Sept. 1728; gd.-fa. as 2nd Bt. 14 July 1734.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Oxon. 1738-9; high steward, Oxford 1759- d.


The family were Tory, and Sir James Dashwood’s grandfather had represented Oxfordshire 1699-1700. Dashwood was a wealthy man, and built the house at Kirtlington at a cost of over £32,000. He was one of the two Tory candidates for Oxfordshire at the great contest of 1754. The Tories secured a majority on the poll, but a double return was made and the House of Commons seated the Whig candidates. The Tory expenses came to over £20,000, of which Dashwood and his colleague each paid £5,700.

In 1761 Dashwood was returned unopposed, on a compromise concluded with the Duke of Marlborough, the leading Oxfordshire Whig. He appears in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries, December 1762, and in the autumn of 1763 was classed by Jenkinson as ‘pro’. He did not vote against the Grenville Administration over Wilkes and general warrants; in July 1765 was classed by Rockingham as ‘contra’; and voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act, 22 Feb. 1766. Like most country gentlemen he voted to reduce the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767.

Dashwood rarely spoke in the House: 1754-61 no speeches by him are recorded, and 1761-8 only two—on the Lichfield election petition, 26 Jan. 1762, and on an enclosure bill, 8 Feb. 1762. He did not stand in 1768.

He died 10 Nov. 1779.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke