SIMPSON, John (d.1803), of 10 Charlotte Street, Bedford Square, Mdx.
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Family and Education
?son of John Simpson of Eyemouth, Berwick. m. 26 May 1785, Eleonora Begbie (d. 28 Jan. 1844, aged 85), sis. of Alexander Begbie, later of Nassau, New Providence, 4s. 2da.
The above identification of this elusive Member seems the most likely. Simpson was returned for Mitchell on the interest of Sir Christopher Hawkins, who vacated his seat for him. To judge by a letter from Hawkins’s agent Middlecoat, 12 May 1799, he had shown an interest in buying Richard Barwell* out of Tregony, with a view to coming in there. It looks as if Hawkins came to terms with him to give himself a free hand at Tregony. Even so, Simpson threatened to intervene at Grampound, in favour of his business partner Cuthbert, on a vacancy in 1800, and Hawkins brought himself in there to forestall the bid.1 Simpson was excluded from Hawkins’s arrangements in 1802. He had made no mark in Parliament. One minority vote, for Grey’s amendment to the address, 2 Feb. 1801, was possibly his, rather than his namesake’s, the Member for Wenlock. ‘Mr Simpson’ was granted six weeks’ leave of absence on 2 Mar. 1801, because of the illness of a near relation.
Simpson appeared at his Charlotte Street address in the directories between 1793 and 1803. There is no evidence that he moved elsewhere and he was probably the John Simpson esq. who died at his house on Stamford Hill, 8 June 1803, and whose will indicates a Scottish background. He was then a merchant in partnership with Crawford Davison (his nephew) at Warnford Court, Throgmorton Street, London (previously at Hatton Court. Threadneedle Street) and referred to his ‘many years’ care and industry’.2 He signed the London merchants’ loyal declaration of 1795 and offered £1,000 to the loyalty loan of 1797, to which his firm subscribed £2,000. His grandson married the heiress of Merklands, Perth.3