ANSON, Sir George (1769-1849), of Rushal Hall, Staffs. and 5 Bulstrode Street, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Constituency

Dates

24 Feb. 1806 - 8 Sept. 1841

Family and Education

b. 1769, 2nd s. of George Adams† (afterwards Anson) (d. 27 Oct. 1789) of Shugborough Manor, Colwich, Staffs. and Mary, da. of George Venables Vernon†, 1st Bar. Vernon. educ. Eton 1779-85. m. 27 May 1800, Frances, da. of John William Hamilton, 6s. (1 d.v.p.) 5da. (2 d.v.p.). KCB 2 Jan. 1815; GCB 29 July 1833. d. 4 Nov. 1849.

Offices Held

Cornet 16 Drag. 1786, lt. 1791; capt. 20 Drag. 1792, maj. 1794, brevet lt.-col. 1797; lt.-col. 15 Drag. 1798; brevet col. 1805; brig.-gen. 1809; maj.-gen. 1810; col. 23 Drag. 1814-18; lt.-gen. 1819; col. 4 Drag. 1827-d.; gen. 1837.

Groom of bedchamber to duke of Kent 1800, equerry 1810-20, subsequently to the duchess; a.d.c. to the king 1805; groom of bedchamber to Prince Albert 1840-1.

Lt.-gov. Chelsea Hosp. 1846-9, gov. May 1849-d.

Biography

Anson, who had distinguished himself as a cavalry commander in the Peninsula, continued to sit for Lichfield on the family interest, headed since 1818 by his nephew Thomas William, 2nd Viscount Anson, by whom he was again returned unopposed at the 1820 general election.1 A very lax attender, who was ‘no orator’ and seldom spoke, when present he voted with the Whig opposition to the Liverpool ministry on most major issues, including economy, retrenchment and reduced taxation, but unlike his nephew he never joined Brooks’s.2 He presented a Lichfield petition for the cessation of all ‘hostile proceedings’ against Queen Caroline and the restoration of her name to the liturgy, 31 Jan. 1821.3 He voted for Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. He divided in favour of making Leeds a scot and lot borough if it received Grampound’s seats, 2 Mar. 1821, and for parliamentary reform, 25 Apr. 1822, 24 Apr. 1823, 27 Apr. 1826. On 6 Mar. 1821 he was granted ten days’ leave on urgent private business. At the 1826 general election he topped the poll at Lichfield after a contest forced by the local independents.4 He voted for Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, 12 May 1828, and the Wellington ministry’s concession of emancipation, 6, 30 Mar. 1829. He divided for Daniel O’Connell to be allowed to take his seat unhindered, 18 May 1829. On 15 Mar. 1830 he presented a petition from Lichfield landowners against the Walsall road bill. He voted for Jewish emancipation, 17 May, and abolition of the death penalty for forgery, 7 June 1830.

At the 1830 general election he offered again for Lichfield where, in response to accusations of ‘non-attendance’ levelled against him by the independent candidate, he insisted that ‘the lists of divisions’ were ‘not correct’ and that ‘in many of them, his name had been left out’. A violent contest ensued, but after a controversial compromise between the other two candidates, in which he later disclaimed any involvement by his family, the poll closed with Anson 20 votes ahead.5 He was of course listed by the Wellington ministry as one of their ‘foes’, and he divided against them on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. His nephew was appointed master of the buckhounds by the incoming Grey ministry. In March 1831 he supported calls in Staffordshire for a meeting to address the throne in support of their reform bill.6 He divided for its second reading, 22 Mar., and against Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. At the ensuing general election he stood as a reformer and ‘an enemy to corruption of every kind’, citing the votes he had ‘given upon every question of retrenchment and reform’. He was returned unopposed.7 He voted for the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, against the adjournment, 12 July 1831, and gave general suppo