BUXTON, John Jacob (1788-1842), of Shadwell Lodge, Norf. and Tockenham, Wilts.

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



21 Mar. 1818 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 13 Aug. 1788, o.s. of Sir Robert John Buxton†, 1st bt., of Shadwell Lodge and Tockenham and Juliana Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Beevor, 1st. bt., of Hethel, Norf. educ. Harrow 1801; Christ Church, Oxf. 1807. m. 5 Aug. 1825, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Montague Cholmeley*, 1st bt., of Easton Hall, Lincs., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. as 2nd bt. 7 June 1839. d. 13 Oct. 1842.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Norf. 1841-2.


Buxton’s father, a Norfolk country gentleman and staunch Pittite, was Member for Thetford, 1790-96, and in 1797 came in for Great Bedwyn on the nomination of his Wiltshire neighbour, the 1st earl of Ailesbury. He, who received a baronetcy in 1800 and retired from the House in 1806, reported to Ailesbury, 5 Apr. 1809, that John had been burnt out of his rooms at Christ Church by a fire, but had left the university with his orthodox religious and political principles unweakened. He added that his son, to whom he had refused permission to travel on the continent because of the war, did not wish to study law.1 In early 1818 Buxton was brought in for Great Bedwyn by the 2nd earl of Ailesbury, and he was quietly returned by him at the following five general elections. He seems to have played little part in Wiltshire or Norfolk affairs, though in late 1819 he signed the Norfolk declaration deploring the fact that a county meeting had been called to condemn the Peterloo massacre.2 He was equally inactive in the House, where he gave silent support to Lord Liverpool’s administration.3

Writing to Buxton in January 1820, George Lucy* expressed the hope ‘that you will have health and spirits enough to resume your duties’ in Parliament, ‘like a good and attentive senator’.4 He voted against economies in revenue collection, 4 July 1820, censuring ministers’ conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb., and repeal of the additional malt duty, 3 Apr. 1821. He was granted a month’s sick leave, 30 Apr. It was not he who moved an amendment against the steam engines bill, 7 May 1821, but Thomas Fowell Buxton, Member for Weymouth. Buxton divided against more extensive tax reductions to relieve distress, 11 Feb., but was listed as having voted for lower salt duties, 28 Feb., and Lord Althorp’s amendment for a permanent 18s. bounty on wheat exports, 9 May 1822. He voted against repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr. 1823, but no trace of parliamentary activity has been found for the 1824 session. He had divided against Catholic claims, 28 Feb. 1821, and the Catholic peers bill, 30 Apr. 1822, and again voted against relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. He divided for the Irish unlawful societies bill, 25 Feb., against the Irish franchise bill, 26 Apr., and for the duke of Cumberland’s grant, 6 June 1825. It is unlikely that he was the ‘J. Buxton’ who voted for inquiry into the petition of James Silk Buckingham† concerning the liberty of the press in India, 9 May 1826.

Buxton again voted against Catholic relief, 6 Mar., and divided against the second reading of the corn bill, 2 Apr. 1827. He sided with the largely Whig minority against throwing the borough of East Retford into the hundred of Bassetlaw, 21 Mar. 1828. He registered another anti-Catholic vote, 12 May 1828, and although Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, thought it likely that he would vote ‘with government’, he divided against emancipation, 6, 18, 30 Mar. 1829. He voted for Knatchbull’s amendment to the address on distress, 4 Feb. 1830, and sided with opposition in its campaign for economies in the admiralty and ordnance departments, 12, 22, 29 Mar. He voted against Jewish emancipation, 5 Apr. On the ministerial list compiled after the general election, he was placed among the ‘moderate Ultras’ and, although ‘friend’ was noted against his name, he was absent from the division on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. He voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. He divided against the second reading of the reintroduced bill, 6 July, for using the 1831 census to determine the boroughs in the disfranchisement schedules, 19 July, and against the passage of the bill, 21 Sept. He voted against the second reading of the revised bill, 17 Dec. 1831, the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb. 1832, and the third reading, 22 Mar. His only other known votes were against ministers for inquiry into distress in the glove trade, 31 Jan., and against the Russian-Dutch loan, 12 July 1832.

A founder member of the Carlton Club in March 1832, his seat was abolished by the Reform Act and he left the House at the dissolution that year. He succeeded his father in 1839 and died, after a long illness, in October 1842. According to his obituary, he was ‘endeared to his family and friends by his affectionate and amiable disposition, generally esteemed for his strict integrity, sincerity and suavity of manner, and beloved by his tenantry for his invariable kindness and liberality’.5 By his will, dated 15 Feb. 1840, he devised the bulk of his estate, including personalty sworn under £80,000, to his only son Robert Jacob (1829-88), Conservative Member for Norfolk South, 1871-85, on whose death the baronetcy became extinct.6

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Stephen Farrell


  • 1. Wilts. RO, Ailesbury mss 9/35/30.
  • 2. HP Commons, 1790-1820, iii. 349-50; Norf. Chron. 30 Oct. 1819.
  • 3. Black Bk. (1823), 143.
  • 4. CUL, Buxton mss 117/61.
  • 5. Norf. Chron. 22 Oct. 1842.
  • 6. PROB 11/1976/154; IR26/1632/141.