PEACHEY, James (1723-1808), of West Dean, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. 8 Mar. 1723, 2nd s. of Sir John Peachey, 2nd Bt., M.P., of West Dean, by his 2nd w. Henrietta, da. of George London of Long Ditton, Surr.; bro. of Sir John Peachey, 3rd Bt. educ. Westminster 1730-7; Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1739. m. 19 Aug. 1747, Lady Georgiana Caroline Scott, da. of Henry, 1st Earl of Deloraine [S], 1s. 1da. suc. bro. as 4th Bt. 30 June 1765; cr. Baron Selsey 13 Aug. 1794.
Groom of the bedchamber to Prince of Wales 1751-1760, to the King 1760-91; master of the robes 1791- d.
In 1755 Peachey was returned for Seaford on the Treasury interest, at the recommendation of Lord Lincoln, Newcastle’s nephew and heir.1 Newcastle after his resignation continued to regard Peachey as a political ally, and on 4 Nov. 1762 the King wrote to Bute: ‘Ought not Peachey and Co. to be questioned by my dear friend or Mr. Fox on the part they mean to act?’2 And Peachey was listed by Fox in December as a supporter of the peace preliminaries. Henceforth his career was that of a courtier, and he supported in succession the Grenville, Rockingham, and Chatham Administrations.
He was not a candidate at the general election of 1768. Immediately after Newcastle’s death Lord Pelham asked him as an old friend of Newcastle to stand at Seaford with Government support. ‘Although’, he wrote on 20 Nov. 1768, ‘there might have been some little difference in politics, you had a mutual regard and esteem for each other.’ Peachey replied the next day: ‘It is not less pleasing to me to find that he had retained some favourable opinion of me, however the confusion of past times might have misrepresented my regard to his person. I therefore ... gladly accept your obliging offer, and hope your nomination of me will meet with a general approbation at Seaford, for I must own to you that I am not yet restored to that robust state of health which can enable me to undertake a contest.’3 But no vacancy occurred. In 1774 Peachey, with the support of the court, unsuccessfully contested Sussex. His great aim was a peerage, which he eventually achieved in 1794.
He died 1 Feb. 1808.