BULLER YARDE, Francis (1767-1833), of Lupton House and Churston Ferrers, nr. Brixham, Devon.
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Family and Education
b. 28 Sept. 1767, 2nd but o. surv. s. of Sir Francis Buller, 1st Bt., of Lupton by Susanna, da. and h. of Francis Yarde of Churston Ferrers. educ. Winchester 1777-82; Corpus, Oxf. 1785. m. 2 June 1791, Eliza Lydia, da. and h. of John Holliday of Dilhorne, Staffs., 3s. 2da. suc. to Churston Ferrers and took additional name of Yarde c.1783; fa. as 2nd Bt. 5 June 1800 and took additional name of Buller by royal lic. 15 July 1800.
Buller Yarde’s father rose rapidly at the bar and was appointed a puisne judge of King’s bench at the age of 32. Through his marriage to the heiress to the Yarde estates at Churston Ferrers he acquired the basis of an electoral interest at Totnes, which he consolidated with the purchase of Lupton and other property. He returned one Member in 1780 and 1784, when he placed the seat at the disposal of Pitt’s ministry. Although Buller was the chief justice of King’s bench in all but name during Lord Mansfield’s frequent absences, he was passed over on Mansfield’s retirement in 1788 in favour of Lord Kenyon, an inferior lawyer, but less susceptible than Buller to doubts about his impartiality. His consolation prize was the baronetcy conferred on him in January 1790.
At the ensuing general election Buller Yarde, who had stood heir to his father since the death of his elder brother Edward in 1782, was returned unopposed for Totnes, aged 22. If he shared any of Judge Buller’s qualities they were not made obvious during his career in the House. An apparently silent supporter of government, who was listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791, and ‘pro’ in the ministerial survey compiled for the general election of 1796, he announced his intention of not seeking re-election as early as November 17931 and duly retired at the dissolution, when the Buller interest at Totnes lapsed.
Buller Yarde did not reside in Devon after succeeding to the baronetcy in 18002 and died abroad, 17 Apr. 1833. It was left to his son, Sir John Buller Yarde Buller, who sat for Devon South from 1835 until his elevation to the peerage as Baron Churston in 1858, to restore the family’s standing in the county.