BATHURST, Hon. Seymour Thomas (1793-1834), of 1 Great Stanhope 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

1818 - 1826

Family and Education

b. 27 Oct. 1793,1 4th but 3rd surv. s. of Henry Bathurst†, 3rd Earl Bathurst (d. 1834), and Georgiana, da. of Lord George Henry Lennox† of West Stoke, Suss.; bro. of Henry George Bathurst, Lord Apsley*. educ. Eton 1808-11. m. 6 Oct. 1829, Julia, da. of John Peter Hankey of Grosvenor Square, Mdx., 1s. 1da. d.v.p. 10 Apr. 1834.

Offices Held

Ensign and lt. 1 Ft. Gds 1814; capt. 80 Ft. 1821; lt. and capt. 1 Ft. Gds. 1821; maj. 56 Ft. 1823, half-pay 1823-5; lt.-col. 1825; inspecting field officer of militia, Ionian Isles 1825-8; half-pay 1828-d.

Agent for Malta 1821-7, treas. 1828-33.

Biography

Bathurst, who was again returned on the interest of Lord St. Germans in 1820, continued to give silent support to Lord Liverpool’s ministry, in which his father was colonial secretary. He divided against economies in revenue collection, 4 July. He was present on 18 Sept. 1820 when the ‘Mountain’, whom he described as ‘chuckling with the hopes of a revolution’, gave a foretaste of the trouble to be expected over the proceedings against Queen Caroline; later in the year he predicted that ministers would be forced to drop the bill of pains and penalties.2 He voted in defence of their conduct towards the queen, 6 Feb. 1821. He divided against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. He voted against repeal of the additional malt duty, 21 Mar., 3 Apr., and parliamentary reform, 9 May, and paired against criminal law reform, 23 May 1821. Two months later his father, notoriously adept at providing for his family from public funds, secured him the agency for Malta.3 At the end of 1821 Bathurst, whose politics did not debar him from personal friendship with a number of Whigs and entrée to Holland House, went to Ireland with his regiment.4 He returned to divide against abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar., and the removal of Catholic peers’ disabilities, 30 Apr., and in defence of the lord advocate’s dealings with the Scottish press, 25 June 1822. He voted against parliamentary reform, 20 Feb., and reform in Scotland, 2 June 1823. He divided with ministers on the sinking fund, 3, 13 Mar., and against repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr., and inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr. 1823. He voted against reform of Edinburgh’s representation, 26 Feb., the abolition of flogging in the army, 5 Mar., and the motion condemning the trial of the Methodist missionary John Smith in Demerara, 11 June 1824. He paired in favour of the Irish unlawful societies bill, 25 Feb., was named as a defaulter, 28 Feb. 1825, but was present the next day to cast his last recorded vote, against Catholic relief.

In June 1825 Bathurst was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and appointed to the staff in the Ionian Islands, where Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby*, who had recently married his sister Emily, was serving as a major-general. That December, en route to Corfu, he spent a week in Naples with the Hollands’ eldest son, who found him ‘lively, good-natured, and though he has some family defects ... very amiable’.5 He retired from the Commons at the dissolution in 1826. He lost the Maltese agency when his father left office the following year, and remained on the Ionian Islands staff until 1828 when, with Lord Bathurst restored to the cabinet under the duke of Wellington, he was appointed treasurer to Malta, of which his brother-in-law was now governor. In May 1829 Lady Holland heard that he was ‘so altered!’ and had ‘become what the French call a bel homme, which means portly, clumsy, pink and white and heavy’.6 Soon afterwards he married the niece of Sir Frederick Hankey, chief secretary for Malta. He seems to have relinquished his post there, which was worth £1,560 a year, some time before his sudden death v.p. in London in April 1834. Administration of his estate, which was sworn under £9,000, was granted to his widow.7 Neither of his elder brothers married, and his only son Allen Alexander (1832-92), Conservative Member for Cirencester, 1857-78, succeeded as 6th Earl Bathurst in 1878.

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher

Notes

  • 1. IGI (Suss.)
  • 2. Sheffield Archives, Wharncliffe mss, Bathurst to Caroline Stuart Wortley, 20 Sept. 1820; Creevey Pprs. i. 335-6.
  • 3. HMC Bathurst, 503, 505.
  • 4. Lady Holland to Son, 6; Add. 51654, Lady Holland to Mackintosh [Dec. 1821].
  • 5. Fox Jnl. 217.
  • 6. Lady Holland to Son, 103-4.
  • 7. Gent. Mag. (1834), ii. 108; PROB 6/210/233.

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