EGERTON, John William (1753-1823), of Albemarle Street, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 14 Apr. 1753, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Rt. Rev. John Egerton, bp. of Durham, by 1st w. Lady Anne Sophia Grey, da. and coh. of Henry, 1st Duke of Kent. educ. Eton 1764; Christ Church, Oxf. 1770. m. 14 Jan. 1783, Charlotte Catherine Anne, da. and h. of Samuel Haynes* of Sunning Hill, Berks., s.p. suc. fa. 1787; cos. Francis, 3rd Duke of Bridgwater as 7th Earl of Bridgwater 8 Mar. 1803.
Cornet, 7 Drag. 1771, lt. 1773, capt. 1776; maj. 22 Drag. 1779, 20 Drag. 1781; lt.-col. 21 Drag. 1782-3, 7 Drag. 1790, brevet col. 1793; maj.-gen. 1795; col. 14 Drag. 1797-d.; lt.-gen. 1802, gen. 1812; capt. Ashridge yeomanry 1803.
Master, Greatham hosp. 1785.
Egerton sat for Brackley on the interest of his cousin, the 3rd Duke of Bridgwater. A professional soldier, he appears to have taken little active part in politics. He was reckoned hostile to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in April 1791. As spokesman for the Bridgwater canal interests he thwarted the Bolton and Bury canal bill (22 Apr. 1793) and surviving correspondence shows him concerned with canals and agriculture.1
He was a supporter of Pitt and no vote against his administration is known. In return he looked to the minister to promote his military career, writing to him from Ireland, 28 Dec. 1795, for a colonelcy then vacant.2 He vindicated the ‘character and conduct of General Lake’ during the debate on Fox’s motion on the state of Ireland, 23 Mar. 1797. Only one other speech is known: on Col. Wood’s motion for an address concerning the security of the country, 28 Mar. 1797, he ‘said a few words in favour of the motion of adjournment’. He had subscribed £1,000 to the loyalty loan for 1797 and was in the majority in favour of the assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798. In the autumn of 1802 those of Pitt’s friends who were anxious to induce him to resume the helm looked to Egerton to win the Duke of Bridgwater over to their plans.3
Egerton was latterly ‘much with’ the duke and on his death in March 1803 succeeded to the earldom of Bridgwater with about £2 million, making him the fourth richest man in England.4 He acquired estates in 11 counties, principally that of Ashridge in Hertfordshire, but Brackley passed to Lord Gower. He died 21 Oct. 1823.