ANSON, George (1769-1849), of Rushal Hall, Staffs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

24 Feb. 1806 - Sept. 1841

Family and Education

b. 1769, 2nd s. of George Adams (afterwards Anson) of Shugborough by Mary, da. of George Venables Vernon, 1st Baron Vernon; bro. of Thomas Anson*. educ. Eton 1779-85. m. 27 May 1800, Frances, da. of John William Hamilton, s. of Sir Robert Hamilton, 4th Bt., of Silvertonhill, Lanark, 8s. 5da. KCB 2 Jan. 1815; GCB 29 July 1833.

Offices Held

Cornet 16 Drag. 1786, lt. 1791; capt. 20 Drag. 1792, maj. 1794, brevet lt.-col. 1797; lt.-col. 15 Drag. 1798, brevet col. 1805, brig.-gen. 1809, maj.-gen. 1810; col. 23 Drag. 1814-18, lt.-gen. 1819; col. 4 Drag. 1827-d., gen. 1837.

Groom of bedchamber to Duke of Kent 1800, equerry 1810-20, subsequently to the duchess; a.d.c. to the King 1805; groom of bedchamber to Prince Albert 1840-1.

Lt.-gov. Chelsea Hosp. 1846, gov. May 1849-d.

Biography

Anson was defeated in a by-election at Great Yarmouth, where his family had some interest, in 1795. During this period he was serving in Jamaica. When he entered Parliament in 1806, it was as his elder brother’s successor at Lichfield, where the family interest commanded one seat, and he was unopposed in this period. Fox had just made his brother a viscount and he could be relied on to support the Grenville ministry. He divided with them for the repeal of Pitt’s Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806. He was listed a staunch friend to the abolition of the slave trade. On 9 Apr. 1807 he voted for Brand’s motion following the dismissal of the ministry. He had not received a place from them, although his brother had applied to Earl Spencer for him, 24 July 1806:

He has a large and increasing family with but a very small income. I cannot express how much I should feel myself obliged to your lordship if you could appoint him to some situation of emolument within the sphere of your extensive patronage, which may not interfere with his military or parliamentary duties.

Spencer had nothing suitable to offer.1

In the first two sessions of the Parliament of 1807 Anson supported opposition on the address, 26 June 1807, and on the Copenhagen expedition 3 Feb. 1808; was in Whitbread’s minority favouring peace negotiations, 29 Feb., Calcraft’s on the mutiny bill, 14 Mar. and opposed Patrick Duigenan* appointment to the Irish privy council, 11 May. He further voted against the convention of Cintra, 21 Feb. 1809, before proceeding to the Peninsula. Between then and 1812 only one vote is known, for the censure of the Scheldt expedition, 30 Mar. 1810 (he was absent or paired on the same side on 5 Mar., but acknowledged the House’s thanks for his services at Talavera on 8 Mar.). The Whigs then regarded him as one of their ‘thick and thin’ supporters. He was at home in February 1812 when he missed Morpeth’s motion on Ireland, 4 Feb., but supported Turton’s censure motion, 27 Feb., and opposed the orders in council, 3 Mar. On 24 Apr. he supported Catholic relief.

Anson further distinguished himself as a cavalry officer in the battles of Salamanca and Vittoria.2 He acknowledged the thanks of the House for these services, 11 Nov. 1813. He missed the debates on Catholic relief in 1813, but voted for the censure of the Speaker, 22 Apr. 1814, and supported relief regularly thereafter. He opposed the blockade of Norway, 12 May 1814, and the transfer of Genoa, 21 Feb. 1815. On 25 May 1815 he opposed the Regent’s address on the resumption of hostilities. He also joined the minorities on civil list questions that month and in the next session, when he voted frequently for retrenchment (28 Feb., 6, 18 Mar., 25 Apr., 7 May, 17 June 1816), and opposed continental entanglements, 20 Feb. He supported Brougham’s motion for inquiry into industrial distress, 13 Mar. 1817. He opposed the suspension of habeas corpus in February and June 1817 and its consequences, 10 Feb., 9 Mar. 1818. He signed the requisition to Tierney to lead the opposition in the next Parliament. Anson was in the minorities on the Bank question and the composition of the committee on it, 2, 8 Feb. 1819, but his attendance that session was affected by illness. He apparently supported burgh reform, 1 Apr., opposed the window tax, 5 May, and broke into a leave of absence to support Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May 1819. He seems not to have attended the last session of that Parliament. He died 4 Nov. 1849.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne

Notes

  • 1. Spencer mss.
  • 2. Gent. Mag. (1850), i. 87.

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