SAVILE, Albany (?1783-1831), of Sweetlands and Oaklands, nr. Okehampton, Devon.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. ?1783, o. legit. s. of Christopher Atkinson (afterwards Savile)* by 2nd w. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 11 May 1802, aged 18; L. Inn 1804, called 1817. m. 7 Mar. 1815,1 Eleanora Elizabeth, da. of Sir Bourchier Wrey, 7th Bt., of Tawstock Court, Barnstaple, 8s. 5da. suc. fa. 1819.
Recorder, Okehampton 1807-d.
Capt. E. Devon militia 1820.
At the general election of 1806 Savile was put up for Hedon by his father, the retiring Member, but was withdrawn before the poll. Six months later he was returned after a contest for Okehampton, where his father had recently bought property which eventually gave the Saviles complete electoral control. Albany Savile took up residence there, was appointed recorder in the same year and sat undisturbed for the borough for the duration of his Commons career. If he practised as a barrister after his late call to the bar in 1817 it was for only a brief period, for he had disappeared from the Law List by 1820. At about this time he built a new residence, Oaklands, in neo-Grecian style just outside Okehampton.
The independent line which he took in the 1807 Parliament probably did nothing to improve his father’s prospects of obtaining the baronetcy which he vainly sought. He voted for inquiry into places and pensions, 7 July 1807, against Perceval’s exculpatory resolution on the Duke of York scandal, 17 Mar., for the corruption charges against Castlereagh, 25 Apr., and the resolutions of censure concerning the Dutch commissioners, 1 May 1809. He divided with government on the address, 23 Jan., but against them on the Walcheren inquiry, 26 Jan. and 23 Feb. 1810. In mid March the Whigs were ‘hopeful’ of his support in the forthcoming trial of strength on Walcheren. He was originally listed among their minority in the division of 30 Mar., but was subsequently reported to have been ‘prevented’ from attending ‘by indisposition’ and was included on a list of absentees who would have sided with government.2 He voted against government on the Regency, 1 and 21 Jan. 1811, and the sinecure offices bill, 4 May 1812. On 24 Apr. 1812 he voted in favour of Catholic relief, as he was to do steadily in 1813, though not again, so far as is known, during this period. In the words of his sister’s brother-in-law, Francis James Jackson, he ‘helped to kick down the feeble body, yclept a ministry’ by voting for the formation of a stronger administration, 21 May 1812.3
Savile was nevertheless listed as a friend of government after the 1812 general election, but his only recorded vote on their side before 1818 was against inquiry into the civil list, 6 May 1816. At the same time, he is not known to have voted against the Liverpool ministry until 1817, when he resumed his independent ways. He supported the opposition amendment to the address, 29 Jan., recommending that their proposed inquiry into the state of the nation be conducted by a committee with open doors, as in the Duke of York case. On 1 Feb., having failed to secure a satisfactory answer to his question as to ministerial intentions regarding the problem of tithes, he gave notice that he would raise the question after Easter. He does not seem to have done so, but on 8 May 1817 he spoke on the tithes leasing bill, arguing that church property was as inviolable as any other. On the motion for the appointment of a finance committee, 7 Feb., he ‘expressed the fullest confidence’ in ministers, but wished to see the committee filled up by ballot rather than nomination and went on to vote against Lord Binning’s inclusion on it. He voted against government in favour of Admiralty economies, 17 and 25 Feb., on the salt duties, 25 Apr., and for Tierney’s motion on the third secretaryship, 29 Apr., and divided in favour of Charles Williams Wynn’s candidature for the Speakership, 2 June 1817.
Two weeks later Savile was elected to Brooks’s, sponsored by Lord Fortescue and James Macdonald*, Whigs of a conservative cast. Ironically, he is not known to have voted again with opposition in this period. On the motion for the appointment of a secret committee of inquiry into disaffection, 5 Feb. 1818, he observed that credit for the improved economic state of the country was due not entirely to ministers but to their response to Parliament’s strong pressure for retrenchment. He went on to make a personal statement:
So long as ministers attended to the voice of Parliament, he would always give them his support. He wished to be considered as an independent man, and when he gave his support to ministers, he gave it on general grounds ... He had never desired a place ... [and] had no wish to stand well with ministers ... He had been accused of inconsistency, for having voted against the ministers in the last session; and he had been told that his opposition was imputed to a refusal on the part of ministers of a situation for a diplomatic friend of his. He disclaimed such a motive. He had got a seat ... on independent principles: he had received an independent fortune from his father, and he would never disgrace either by sacrificing his independence.
His last known vote in this period was with government, against the censure of the Scottish law officers, 10 Feb. 1818. On 28 Apr. 1819 he was granted three weeks’ leave of absence on account of his father’s death,4 which may explain his absence from the division on Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May.
Savile died ‘from an inflammatory affection’, 26 Jan. 1831.5