LOVEDEN, Edward Loveden (?1750-1822), of Buscot Park, Berks.
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Family and Education
b. ?1750, o. surv. s. of Thomas Townshend of Cirencester by Jane, da. of Thomas Baker of Buscot (by Martha, da. of Edward Loveden of Buscot). educ. Winchester 1762-5; Trinity, Oxf. 1767. m. (1) 15 July 1773, Margaret (d. 30 Jan. 1784), da. and h. of Lewis Pryse of Gogerddan, Card., 3s. 3da.; (2) 20 Aug. 1785, Elizabeth (d. 25 Jan. 1788), da. and h. of John Darker, wid. of Joseph Nash, s.p.; (3) Anne, da. of Thomas Linthall of Great Marlow, Bucks., s.p. suc. fa. Jan. 1767; maternal uncle 1772, and assumed name of Loveden.
Sheriff, Berks. 1781-2, Brec. 1799-1800.
Loveden’s inheritance of the Buscot Park estate, where between 1780 and 1783 he built one of the finest houses in the county, gave him a preponderant influence at Abingdon, and at the by-election of 1783 and again in 1784 he was returned there unopposed as an opponent of the Coalition.1 He did not vote on Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783, but in Robinson’s list of January 1784 he was classed as an Administration supporter. He himself told the House on 27 Feb. that ‘he had never enlisted under the banners of party’, and consequently he ‘would give his reasons for supporting the present minister in preference to those who had been dismissed’: he was, he declared, opposed to the unconstitutional attempts by the House to interfere with the rightful exercise of the prerogative; and he concluded with ‘a handsome compliment to Mr. Pitt, [and] said an unblemished moral character was a sine qua non in a minister. He was very severe on the Coalition.’2Loveden voted for Richmond’s fortifications plan, 27 Feb. 1786. But on 18 Apr. 1788, while professing great admiration for Pitt, he supported Bastard’s motion condemning Howe’s naval promotions, and on its defeat, declared the Administration ‘had not much to boast or plume themselves upon ... A victory gained at the expense of honour and justice, he considered virtually as a defeat.’ In May 1788 he was a signatory to the third party circular. He voted against Pitt on the Regency 16 Dec. 1788, deprecating the minister’s attempt to force a discussion of the Prince’s ‘right’. On 6 Jan. 1789 he declared:
He was neither biassed by affection for one set of men, nor misled by prejudices against another; and that he acted upon what he considered to be a better principle and a more becoming motive, than either self-interest or ambition, an honest zeal for the good of his country and the promotion of the public welfare.3
He moved for a further examination of the King’s physicians before the House should consider the propriety and extent of the proposed restrictions on the Regent’s authority, on the grounds that conflicting reports and rumours about the King’s health were in circulation. His attitude towards the Regency was not popular at Abingdon. ‘The cry is, “They sent you to vote for Pitt and you are turned to Fox”’, warned one correspondent.4 But Loveden maintained that he had at no time ‘asked either directly or indirectly a personal favour from anyone who is, has been, or may expect to be, minister of this country’—though he claimed to have ‘refused with disdain offers some of the proudest peers of the realm might be glad to have in their power’.5
According to Wraxall, Loveden’s ‘figure, manners and address, all bespoke a person of education and condition, but he did not want plain common sense, nor language in which to clothe his ideas’,6 and he was an accomplished classical scholar, and a member of several ‘useful or scientific’ societies.7 He died 4 Jan. 1822.