VANE, Hon. Frederick (1732-1801), of Sellaby, co. Dur.

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



1761 - 1774

Family and Education

b. 26 June 1732, 2nd s. of Henry, 1st Earl of Darlington, by Lady Grace Fitzroy, da. of Charles, 2nd Duke of Cleveland and Southampton; bro. of Henry, Visct. Barnard and Hon. Raby Vane.  educ. Westminster 1740-6; Peterhouse, Camb. 1750.  m. (1) 15 June 1758, Henrietta, da. of Amos Meredith, sis. of Sir William Meredith, 3rd Bt., 1da.; (2) 1797, Grace, da. of Arthur Lysaght, niece of John, 1st Baron Lisle [I].

Offices Held


In 1761 Vane was returned for Durham after a contest. He appears in Henry Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries, December 1762, and was classed by Jenkinson in the autumn of 1763 as a Government supporter. Still, on 13 Feb. 1764 he seconded the motion of his brother-in-law Sir William Meredith against general warrants, and voted with the Opposition in the divisions of 15 and 18 Feb., but appears in Jenkinson’s list of dissenting friends; and on 9 Jan. 1765 he was present at the eve of session meeting at George Grenville’s.1 Vane, classed by Rockingham in July 1765 as ‘pro’ and in November 1766 as ‘Whig’, next supported the Chatham Administration. In 1768 he was returned unopposed for Durham. He appears generally to have supported the Grafton and North Administrations, but on 15 Apr. 1769 and again on 26 Apr. 1773 voted with Opposition over the Middlesex election. Vane seems to have spoken infrequently during his first few years in Parliament, and on 27 Feb. 1771 told the House that he was little accustomed to speaking in public, and would have preferred to have preserved his ‘usual silence’,2 but felt obliged to oppose ‘the rage and tyranny’ of Meredith’s proposal to repeal a clause in the Nullum Tempus Act. During the debates on East India affairs, April-May 1773, several speeches by him are reported. He declared on 3 May 1773 that ‘the public would think it criminal in us not to proceed on the charges contained in the reports. The annals of British history are stained.’3 And on 10 May he said:4

As it was accidentally my lot to be the first person to mention the conduct of the East India Company and in consequence to be of that committee that was appointed, I consider it as my special duty to attend that committee to be better informed and to know whether that general idea ... which was spread to the disadvantage of the servants was founded in truth or not. I think these facts are in a manner proved ... If this House stops short, if these reports are to be neglected upon the table, the House are wilfully blind, and shut their eyes against fact.

Vane did not stand again in 1774, nor does he appear to have attempted to re-enter Parliament at any subsequent election.

He died 28 Apr. 1801.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Harris’s ‘Debates’.
  • 2. Cavendish’s ‘Debates’, Egerton 225, p. 230; Brickdale’s ‘Debates’.
  • 3. Brickdale’s ‘Debates’.
  • 4. Cavendish’s ‘Debates’, Egerton 246, p. 100.