BOUCHERETT, Ayscoghe (1755-1815), of Willingham and Stallingborough, Lincs.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. 16 Apr. 1755. o.s. of Ayscoghe Boucherett of Willingham and Stallingborough by w. Mary née White.1 educ. Queens’, Camb. 1773. m. 17 Mar. 1789, Emilia, da. of Charles Crockatt, London merchant, of Luxborough Hall, Essex, 1s. 3da. suc. fa. 1789.
High steward, Grimsby 1794-d.; sheriff, Lincs. 1795-6.
Capt. Market Raisin yeomanry 1798; lt.-col. commdt. N. Lincs. yeomanry 1814-d.
Boucherett came of a London mercantile family of French origin which invested in Lincolnshire estates in the 17th century and acquired the Ayscoghe estate there by marriage. His mother-in-law’s remarriage to the financier John Julius Angerstein gave him contacts with merchant entrepreneurs and in 1795 he was in the forefront of a scheme to reopen the silt-clogged harbour of Grimsby, of which borough he had been elected high steward the year before. He was elected chairman of the company authorized by statute to carry it out (14 May 1796).2 Meanwhile, Lord Yarborough, the borough’s electoral patron, had been induced by Boucherett to sponsor him as a candidate at the next election, describing him to the Duke of Portland as ‘a friend and neighbour of mine’ and ‘really a friend to the present administration’, 29 Dec. 1795.3 He had reconciled Yarborough and George Tennyson*, leader of the rival faction at Grimsby.
Boucherett was an unobtrusive Member. On 15 Dec. 1796, having just subscribed £5,000 to the loyalty loan, he obtained a month’s leave because of a relative’s illness. Portland, on learning from him that his attendance would involve ‘serious inconvenience or risk’, excused him, 10 Mar. 1797, there being no ‘very pressing call upon our friends’ and wished he might ‘at a future period of the session’, if applied to, ‘travel without inconvenience or danger’.4 He joined the minority for Bankes’s amendment critical of the sending of the militia to Ireland to suppress rebellion, 19 June 1798. He was one of those ‘not in the habit of voting with the opposition’ who did so on the failure of the Ferrol expedition, 19 Feb. 1801.5 Two weeks later he obtained leave of absence for the Lincoln assizes. He had served the Grimsby Haven Company, who found the £30,000 they had been authorized to raise for their purposes inadequate, by bringing in a bill to extend their resources in 1799. But by 1801 the affairs of the company were deteriorating and Boucherett’s own finances with them.6 He survived a contest in 1802, only to resign a year later to make way for Yarborough’s heir. He had voted for inquiry into the Prince of Wales’s finances, 4 Mar. 1803. His own subsequent account of his parliamentary line was as follows: ‘he did for a considerable time vote with Mr Fox and his party against Mr Pitt, but he became disgusted on observing how much they did from a pure sport of opposition and to cause a clamour against the minister’.7
The difficulties of the Grimsby Haven Company and the struggle between company and corporation at Grimsby eventually caused a breach between Boucherett and Yarborough; and the enterprise was in some confusion at Boucherett’s death. After selling his town house in 1811, he lamented:
I feel it d—d hard to be precluded seeing my friends in the manner I like. It has been my fate to build castles on too large a scale, and I have been under the continual necessity to retrench one thing after another ... but that a liberal country establishment should become too chargeable for my income never entered my brain.8
After his death in a carriage accident, 15 Sept. 1815, his assets were barely sufficient to meet his debts. He nevertheless took the credit for the foundation of the modern port of Grimsby; he was an improving landlord who corresponded with Arthur Young on agriculture, and, according to his obituary, a ‘just, true and honourable man’, who afforded ‘an eminent example of that sterling worth and unsophisticated feeling which formerly characterized an English country gentleman’.