PITT, John (c.1706-87), of Encombe, Dorset

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

Constituency

Dates

1734 - 1747
26 Jan. 1748 - Nov. 1750
29 Jan. 1751 - 1761
1761 - 1768

Family and Education

b. c.1706, 2nd surv. s. of George Pitt (d. 1735), M.P., of Strathfieldsaye by his 2nd w. Lora, da. and h. of Auldey Grey of Kingston, nr. Dorchester; uncle of George Pitt (d. 1803) of Strathfieldsaye.  educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1722.  m. 26 Jan. 1753, Marcia, da. of Mark Anthony Morgan of Cottelstown, co. Sligo, 4s. 1da.

Offices Held

Ld. of Trade Dec. 1744-55, of Admiralty Nov.-Dec. 1756; surveyor gen. of woods and forests 1756-63, 1768-86.

Biography

In 1754 Pitt stood both at Wareham and Dorchester, and Newcastle promised ‘to support him at Dorchester and be neutral at Wareham’.1 He was returned unopposed at Dorchester, but there was a double return at Wareham.2

In 1755 he followed his cousin William Pitt into Opposition; voted against the Address, 13 Nov. 1755; and in December was dismissed from the Board of Trade. On 9 Nov. 1756 he was made a lord of the Admiralty in the Pitt-Devonshire Administration, but on 29 Nov. Horace Walpole wrote to Mann: ‘John Pitt is to resign again, and be made paymaster of the marines to make way for Admiral Forbes.’ Forbes was given Pitt’s place, but Pitt was made surveyor of woods and forests, vacant after the death on 27 Nov. of John Phillipson.

In 1761 Pitt was returned unopposed at Wareham. In Bute’s list of December 1761 he was classed ‘Government’, and in December 1762 was listed by Henry Fox among those in favour of the peace preliminaries. But in the autumn of 1763 he was marked by Jenkinson as an opponent; voted against the Grenville Administration over Wilkes and general warrants; and on 10 May 1764 was classed by Newcastle as a ‘sure friend’. Yet on 12 July 1765 Newcastle wrote to Rockingham:3 ‘Whether it is necessary to do anything for Mr. John Pitt I know not’; Rockingham in his l