GOLDING, Edward (1746-1818), of Maiden Erlegh, Berks.

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



19 June 1799 - 1802
1802 - 1806
27 Apr. 1813 - 1818

Family and Education

bap. 16 6 June 1746, s. of Edward Golding of Hampton-on-Thames, Mdx. by w. Elizabeth. educ. Winchester 1757-63; Hoxton acad. 1763. m. bef. 1779, Anne English, 2s. 3da.

Offices Held

Writer, E.I. Co. (Bengal) 1763; asst. at Midnapur 1766; factor, Bihar 1770; supervisor, Bettiah 1771; jun. merchant and collector of Bettiah and Bihar 1772; sen. merchant 1776; 2nd at Patna 1777; res. 1779.

Commr. Board of Control Apr. 1801-Nov. 1803; ld. of Treasury Nov. 1803-May 1804.

Sheriff, Berks. 1789-90.

Maj. Berks. vol. cav. 1797-8; capt.-lt. Woodley vol. cav. 1798.


Having served the East India Company with ‘unsullied honour and integrity’ and made himself a ‘considerable’ fortune, Golding returned to England in January 1780. He bought a Berkshire estate adjoining Woodley, which belonged to Henry Addington*, whose friend and adherent he became. He obtained leave to return to Bengal in 1783, but it does not appear that he went. Addington secured patronage for Golding’s elder son Edward in India under Lord Mornington. Golding was described by Lord Glenbervie in 1804 as ‘a most vulgar, mean looking man, son it is said to an apothecary at Reading’.1 He subscribed £2,000 to the loyalty loan in 1797, and as an East India Company stockholder was entitled to three votes for the directorate.

In 1799 Golding came into Parliament on the Mount Edgcumbe interest for Fowey at the instigation of the vacating Member, Reginald Pole Carew, his expenses being £500. He supported Pitt and then Addington, who in April 1801 appointed him to the Board of Control. His only known speech in that Parliament was an explanation of East India Company salaries, 11 Mar. 1802. He was one of three Addingtonians who attended Pitt’s birthday dinner, 28 May 1802, when he insisted that ‘by the pilot who weathered the storm Mr Addington was meant’.2 At the ensuing election he was returned both for Fowey and Plympton on the same interest, choosing to sit for the latter, 8 Dec. 1802. He spoke in favour of inquiry into the Prince of Wales’s finances, though not in the minority on the division, 4 Mar. 1803. He was appointed to the civil list committee on 16 Mar. On 15 Apr., writing to Addington to excuse himself for absence owing to volunteer duties, he wished he could be of more use when present. In August Addington announced to him his transfer to the Treasury board: apparently this was on a previous undertaking of the premier’s and Golding had to apologize for his unenthusiastic reception of the offer: ‘to neither or anything else can I have any pretensions but such as your friendship and regard have stamped upon me,’ he assured Addington, 23 Aug. 1803.3

Golding went into the wilderness with Addington in 1804 and voted against Pitt’s additional force bill in June. On 8 Apr. 1805 he was in the majority in favour of censuring Melville, but subsequently assured his leader that he would regret his vote if it meant a feeble government or, even worse, encouraged the opposition to hope for power. He wished that Sidmouth would accept the Admiralty in place of Melville.4 Under Sidmouth’s leadership he supported the Grenville ministry and said a few words in support of his vote for the repeal of Pitt’s Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806.

Golding did not obtain a seat at the election of 1806. Lord Grenville described him to Lord Mount Edgcumbe, 21 Nov. 1806, as ‘certainly a person whom I could not but be happy to see in Parliament’, but found that Sidmouth authorized shelving the matter.5 His son was made private secretary to Thomas Grenville at the Admiralty. It seems that Sidmouth recommended Golding to Lord Caledon for one of his borough seats, but nothing came of it.6 His unctuous correspondence with Sidmouth continued7 and, following the latter’s political rehabilitation, he came in at length on Lord Radnor’s interest in 1813. He appeared on the Treasury list and so behaved. He voted against Catholic relief, 11 and 24 May 1813, 21 May 1816 and 9 May 1817. He was in the minority against Christian missions to India, 1 July 1813; but all his other known votes suggested prescribed support for administration. His only known speech in that Parliament was to deflate a petition from a detainee in Reading gaol under the suspension of habeas corpus, 17 Feb. 1818.

Golding retired from Parliament shortly before his death at Sidmouth’s town house, 23 July 1818. He left his wife an annuity of £800 and other bequests totalling £60,000.8

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: P. A. Symonds


  • 1. Gent. Mag. (1818), ii. 187; Add. 37416, ff. 31, 50; Glenbervie mss diary, 6 Feb. 1804.
  • 2. Pole Carew mss CC/L/30, Pole Carew to Rashleigh, 9 June, replies 19, 23 June 1799; Sidmouth mss, Golding to Addington, 1 May 1801; E. Suff. RO, Tomline mss, Rose to bp. of Lincoln, 29 May 1802.
  • 3. Sidmouth mss.
  • 4. Ibid. Golding to Sidmouth, 18 Apr., Sidmouth, to J. H. Addington, 20 Apr. 1805.
  • 5. Fortescue mss.
  • 6. PRO NI, Caledon mss C/8/11.
  • 7. Sidmouth mss, Golding to Sidmouth, 9 July 1807.
  • 8. PCC 367 Cresswell.