BRANDLING, Charles John (1769-1826), of Gosforth House, Northumb.

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

Constituency

Dates

3 Jan. 1798 - 1812
1820 - 1 Feb. 1826

Family and Education

b. 4 Feb. 1769, 1st s. of Charles Brandling*. educ. Newcome’s, Hackney; St. John’s, Camb. 1786; continental tour 1791. m. c.1794, Frances Elizabeth Hawksworth, da. of Walter Ramsden Beaumont Fawkes (formerly Hawksworth) of Hawksworth, Yorks., s.p. suc. fa. 1802.

Offices Held

Lt. Northumb. militia 1790, capt. 1793; lt.-col. commdt. Northumb. and Newcastle vol. cav. 1819.

Biography

Brandling’s father declined an opening for him at Berwick in 1790, when he was just of age. He eventually succeeded his father, unopposed, as Member for Newcastle. Like him, he supported Pitt’s administration from the start, and, writing to Pitt on 24 May 1798, hoped for the same attention to requests for patronage as his father had met with.1 He was inconspicuous at Westminster—no speech of his is known. Still attached to Pitt, he voted with him for the orders of the day, 3 June 1803. On 6 Apr. 1804 Fox wrote to Charles Grey*, whom Brandling regarded as a personal friend despite their political differences, ‘I think you said Brandling would vote against ministers: Can you do anything towards getting him up? or can you point out any other channel?’ It seems that Thomas Creevey*, his brother-in-law, was the channel.2 He came up and voted with the combined opposition on the defence motions that brought down Addington, 23, 25 Apr. 1804. He was listed a follower of Pitt in March and September 1804 and again in July 1805; but there is no evidence of activity; nor was his attitude towards the Grenville ministry apparent, though he was listed ‘friendly’ to the abolition of the slave trade.

Brandling was ‘quite stunned’ at the schism in the government in October 1809. According to Creevey he was

all for Canning against Castlereagh, but evidently shook in his attachment to Canning from Castlereagh’s letter and statement in the papers, and Canning’s reply. Damns Perceval, Eldon and above all the Grenvilles—in favour of Lord Grey.3

He mustered for ministers on the address, 23 Jan. 1810, and against the Scheldt inquiry, 30 Mar. He opposed the release of the radical Gale Jones, 16 Apr., and voted against parliamentary reform, 21 May. His defection to the opposition majority on the Regency bill, 1 Jan. 1811, was noted among a number of country gentlemen normally supporting ministers.4 Opposition tried to rally him on the same question for 21 Jan., but he did not attend. He paired in favour of ministers on the orders in council, 3 Mar. 1812. retired in 1812, rather than face a contest directed against him by the and Duke of Northumberland. He was open to criticism, as he ‘never attended but when they [ministers] were to be drawn ... out of a difficulty’.5 In private life Earl Grey described him and his wife as ‘cordial in their manner, unaffected and extremely good-natured’.6

Brandling found the development of his estates, particularly the exploitation of his mineral resources, more congenial than public duties. In 1814, however, he founded the Pitt Club at Newcastle and in 1820 he agreed to become the ministerial candidate for the county, a step that cost him Grey’s friendships.7 He died 1 Feb. 1826.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne

Notes

  • 1. PRO 30/8/116, f. 53; 118, f. 21.
  • 2. Add. 47565, f. 118; Creevey Pprs. ed. Maxwell, i. 23.
  • 3. Creevey Pprs. i. 108.
  • 4. Rose Diaries, ii. 464.
  • 5. Grey mss, Monck to Grey, 3 Oct. 1812.
  • 6. Ibid. Grey to Lady Grey, 24 Oct. 1810.