LUCY, George (1789-1845), of Charlecote Park, Warws.
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Family and Education
b. 8 June 1789, 1st s. of Rev. John Lucy (formerly Hammond) of Charlecote Park by Maria, da. of John Lane of Bentley Hall, Staffs. educ. Harrow 1804-5; Christ Church, Oxf. 1807; continental tour. m. 2 Dec. 1823, Mary Elizabeth,1 da. of Sir John Williams, 1st Bt., of Bodelwyddan, Flints. 5s. 2da. suc. fa. 1823.
Maj. 3 Warws. militia 1808; cornet, Warws. yeoman cav. 1814.
Sheriff, Warws. 1831-2.
Lucy’s father, a pugnacious, hard-drinking clergyman, was the heir male of the old Warwickshire parliamentary family of Lucy2 and succeeded to their estate in 1787. He brought his heir into Parliament by purchasing in February 1818 ‘what was called a decisive interest’ at Fowey, for £12,000 by one contemporary account, though the figure was otherwise put at £20,000. By 1832 George Lucy was alleged to have spent another £70,000 in an attempt to gain complete control, in which he did not altogether succeed.3 From the start he was frustrated: at the election of 1818, after he had bargained on bringing in Colonel James Stanhope with himself, he was opposed by the son of Lord Mount Edgcumbe, a previous patron, and despite success at the poll, unseated on petition in March 1819 before he could make any mark in Parliament. He wished to wash his hands of Fowey then, but under ministerial pressure permitted Matthias Attwood to stand on his interest, only to see him unseated too. In 1820 he was returned after a compromise and was a ‘known friend of administration’ until his retirement in 1830.4 No speech is known. Maintaining his interest at Fowey cost him much of the Charlecote timber and involved doubtful investment in a Cornish copper mine.
He died 30 June 1845, esteemed for his punctuality and fidelity to duty, polished mind and refined taste, which he displayed in the restoration of Charlecote, inherited ‘in a dilapidated condition’. He displayed, it was said, ‘the spirit of a gentleman of the olden time’. Beneath the surface, however, he suffered considerable ‘nervous unease’, being easily overwhelmed by trifling mishaps such as the weather, changes of plan or unpunctuality; as for Fowey, in his wife’s words, ‘a sad purchase it turned out; it cost a mint of money and an infinity of trouble and vexation of spirit (and gave me many a heartache in after years)’. After the disfranchisement of Fowey, Lucy was ‘repeatedly solicited’ to represent Warwickshire, but declined.5
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. She first won the heart of John Wilson Patten* but his father would not consent to their marriage. A. Fairfax-Lucy, Charlecotte and the Lucys, 262.
- 2. The last to sit in Parliament had been Capt. Thomas Lucy (d. 1684).
- 3. HMC Fortescue, x. 437; Key to Both Houses (1832), 328; Fairfax-Lucy, 252.
- 4. Treffry mss, 25 Sept. 1828, cited in Fairfax-Lucy, 276.
- 5. Warws. Standard, 5 July 1845; Gent. Mag. (1845), ii. 534 (where the date of his death is wrongly given as 7 July); Fairfax-Lucy, 277; M. E. Lucy, Lucys of Charlecote (1862), 125, 137.