SALT, Samuel (c.1723-92), of the Inner Temple.

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



1768 - 1784
1784 - 1790

Family and Education

b. c.1723, s. and h. of Rev. John Salt, vicar of Audley, Staffs.1  educ. M. Temple 1741; I. Temple 1745.  unm.

Offices Held

Called associate to the bar 1745; under-treasurer I. Temple 1745-68, called 1753, bencher 1782 treasurer 1787.

Director, South Sea Co. 1769-75. dep. gov. 1775- d.


Salt was legal agent to the family of Eliot of Port Eliot, and sat at Liskeard on their interest. ‘I approve mightily of Mr. Salt as a lawyer’, wrote Harriet Eliot to her son Edward on 28 Mar. 1748; and again a little later: ‘I love and honour honest Salt.’2 Eliot allowed Salt to take his own line in Parliament: from 1768-82 he voted regularly with Opposition, although Eliot held office until 1776. There is no evidence that Salt ever spoke in the House.

At the general election of 1780 Eliot placed his seats at the disposal of Opposition, and Salt seems to have taken this as an exclusion of himself. The Duke of Portland wrote to Rockingham on 3 Sept.:3

To my great surprise I found yesterday that Mr. Salt had doubts of his being any longer a part of Mr. Eliot’s corps, and conceived that it was owing either to his not having applied to Mr. E. through you, or not having the necessary requisite of £3,000. That this last objection was now removed, but the difficulty was how to break it to Mr. E. I have undertaken that task, and I do assure you that I feel the weight of it, not because I conceive Mr. Salt’s fears to be well founded but because I feel they ought to have no foundation at all but in one possible case.

Then Salt changed his mind, ‘resolved to retire’, and asked Portland to inform Eliot. But the Duchess wrote to Portland on 8 Sept.:

Mr. Plumer hopes you will not write to Mr. E. to counteract what you had said before for Mr. S.—he says it is his nice feelings which have occasioned his doing what may appear strange to you.

Eliot ‘instantly determined to bring him in’. He wrote to Portland on 14 Sept.:

In the afternoon that Salt was actually elected in the morning, I received an express from him repenting of every thing he had said to your Grace, desiring to be out of Parliament, and a