DARELL, Lionel (1742-1803), of Ancaster House, Richmond Hill, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. 25 Sept. 1742 at Lisbon, 1st s. of Lionel Darell of Holborn, Mdx. by Honoria, da. of Humphrey Hardwicke, merchant and British vice-consul at Lisbon. m. 30 July 1766, Isabella, da. of Timothy Tullie, dir. E.I. Co. 1750-63, 1s. 5da. suc. fa. 1783; cr. Bt. 12 May 1795.
Sub accomptant with rank of sen. merchant E.I. Co. (Bengal) 1768, keeper of acct. deposits 1770; sheriff, Calcutta 1770-1; returned to England 1775; dir. E.I. Co. 1780-d.
Lt.-col. 1st R.E.I. vols. 1796, col. 1803.
Darell, a wealthy nabob, was sponsored by John Robinson I *of the Treasury when he successfully contested Hedon in 1784. He had been prepared to pay up to £3,000 for a seat. He was unopposed in 1790 but faced another contest in 1796. The Treasury listed him among persons in quest of a seat and willing to pay £2,000 for one, but in the event he bought off a challenger at Hedon. Christopher Atkinson* subsequently claimed that Darell was ‘wholly indebted’ to him for this.1
Darell was a silent supporter of Pitt’s ministry. His attitude to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791 was doubtful. In May 1793 he was appointed a commissioner of Exchequer loan bills. On 16 May 1794 he acted as a government teller. He was in the majorities for the loyalty loan bonus, 1 June 1797, and for the assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798. In February 1797 he was rumoured to be associated with the Prince of Wales, an occasional guest of his, in a futile scheme to turn Charles Grant I* out of the directorate of the East India Company. Sylvester Douglas commented:
Sir Lionel Darell (who is a silly fellow) ... has set out to make the Prince an instrument in this, who probably on the other hand thinks he can ... make ... the opposition in the India House the instruments of his present hostility to ministers.
Nothing came of it and in 1800 Darell, who was entitled to four votes in the elections of directors, was content to follow Grant’s lead in Company affairs.2 He voted in the minority against the Irish master of the rolls bill, 19 Mar. 1801, and for investigation of the Prince of Wales’s financial problems, 31 Mar. 1802. Subsequently he was ready to please the Prince by supporting the claims of William Adam* to be counsel to the East India Company.3 He did not seek re-election that year and died 30 Oct. 1803.