DENIS, Peter (1713-78), of Westerham and Blackmanstone, Kent

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



1754 - 1768

Family and Education

b. 1713, 11th child of Rev. Jacob Denis, Huguenot minister expelled from France, by his w. Martha Leach. m. 2 Sept. 1750, Elizabeth (known as ‘Miss Pappet’), illegit. da. of John James Heidegger, manager of the opera in the Haymarket, s.p. cr. Bt. 28 Oct. 1767.

Offices Held

Lt. R.N. 1739; sailed round the world with Anson 1740-4; cdr. 1744; capt. 1745; member of Byng’s court martial 1756; fought at Quiberon Bay 1759; r.-adm. 1770; v.-adm. 1775.


Denis was closely connected with Anson and sat on his interest at Hedon.

In 1762 he seems to have gone into opposition with Sir Charles Saunders, who had succeeded Anson as patron of Hedon: though his name appears in no division list 1762-5 and he was absent from that on general warrants, 18 Feb. 1764, Newcastle on 10 May 17646 classed him as a ‘sure friend’. He supported the Rockingham Administration, and in November 1766 Rockingham still counted him as a friend. In January 1767 Townshend classed him ‘doubtful’; he voted with Administration over the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767; and was created a baronet at Grafton’s recommendation. Saunders, who had remained in opposition with Rockingham, did not return Denis at Hedon in 1768, and D