DAVENPORT, Edward Davies (1778-1847), of Calveley, Cheshire

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



1826 - 1830

Family and Education

b. 27 Apr. 1778, 1st s. of Davies Davenport* and Charlotte, da. of Ralph Sneyd of Keele Hall, Staffs. educ. Dr. Gretton’s sch. Hitcham, Bucks. 1789; Rugby 1794; Christ Church, Oxf. 1797. m. 30 Nov. 1830, Caroline Anne, da. of Richard Hurt of Wirksworth, Derbys., 1s. suc. fa. 1837. d. 9 Sept. 1847.

Offices Held

Cornet 16 Drag. 1799; ensign 1 Ft. Gds. 1800, lt. and capt. 1804, res. 1807.

Sheriff, Cheshire 1842-3.


Davenport, who had the sensibility of an aspiring man of literature and the conscience of an ambitious social reformer, for many years endured an unhappy relationship with his father. Once in trouble for his behaviour at school, the exaggerated gratitude which he expressed for being allowed to spend some time at Oxford suggests that he had difficulty getting his own way.1 Obliged to enter the army in 1799, he soon transferred to the Guards, in which he obtained a captaincy on the death of another officer in 1804, and with whom he served in southern Italy in 1806. Lack of intellectual conversation and poor health were the reasons which he gave his father for wanting to leave the army, but he had to promise not to incur any further gambling debts before being allowed to resign his commission.2 In 1806 he encouraged his father to contest Cheshire, which he represented as an independent but increasingly ministerialist Member for the next 24 years. Apart from spells in England, Davenport thereafter travelled widely in southern Europe, and in December 1814 was granted an interview with Buonaparte on Elba.3 He had informed his father, 19 Jan. 1810, that he despaired of clearing his debts, but his financial problems were largely relieved, as he wrote to his mother on 14 July 1816, by his father’s decision to transfer the Calveley part of his Cheshire estates to him for his own use.4 Plagued by gout, he lived in some seclusion and devoted himself to literary pursuits, about which he corresponded, for instance, with his friend John Fazakerley*. Although Sydney Smith praised his good qualities of ‘wit, literature and polished manners’, the darker side of his character was emphasized by Henry Gally Knight’s* complaint about ‘the splenetic nature’ of his ‘gloomy soul’.5

Having joined Brooks’s in 1816, Davenport evidently moved increasingly in Whig circles, and the following year John Allen suggested that he should succeed him as librarian at Holland House.6 Nothing came of this, but his views were becoming well known; for example, his condemnation of Peterloo, about which he prepared a paper for the Edinburgh Review, which was not in fact published.7 On 15 Feb. 1820 Davenport’s sister Harriet related to him that she and their mother had failed to persuade their father to support his entering the Commons, for two reasons:

The first of these, that the occurrences of last year had brought into too strong evidence the very decided and opposite line of politics you were likely to pursue in Parliament. The other, that the money paid for debts would render it much more unlikely that he would come forward with another sum for another purpose. He communicated himself the result of your application and we said all the things you may suppose on the occasion, and he quarrelled and sulked for a day or two.8

Nevertheless, at the general election that year Davenport stood for Lincoln on the popular interest, but he was misled as to his chances and came third behind the Tory Colonel Sibthorp and the Whig ‘Bobus’ Smith, after which Fazakerley advised him to swallow his disappointment.9 On a vacancy at Lincoln in early 1822, Davenport resigned his pretensions to his friend John Williams*, who married Harriet Davenport in 1825.10

Increasingly in conflict with his father’s politics, Davenport began, as he later recalled, to be active in ‘endeavouring to stir up an independent spirit’ in Cheshire.11 In January 1821 he signed the Whigs’ address before the county meeting, which he presumably attended, and their subsequent protest against the sheriff’s refusal to put the question on Lord Grosvenor’s amendment in favour of Queen Caroline.12 One of the leading supporters of the Cheshire Whig Club, he was present at its inaugural meeting, 9 Oct. 1821, when he advocated the formation of such associations as a means of forwarding parliamentary reform and economic changes, as desired by the public at large, on the basis of the Revolution Settlement. In a letter to Lord John Russell*, 30 Mar. 1822, in which he explained how the club had come to be set up, he urged him to keep the Whig aristocracy in the vanguard of the reform movement, especially as he expressed fears that the ‘good sense of the people’ might be hijacked by the radicals.13 That year he published his Observations on the Causes and Cure of the Present Distressed State of Agriculture, in which he condemned government for causing the distress and urged reduced expenditure and taxation, revision of the currency laws and parliamentary reform. The pamphlet, which met with the approval of the Birmingham banker Thomas Attwood†, apparently received an ‘honourable’ mention in Russell’s speech introducing his reform proposals, 25 Apr. 1822.14

Davenport’s despondency also found satirical expression in his savage jeremiad The Golden Age (1823). Supposedly written by one ‘J. Jobson, LLD’ of ‘Slutchby in the Fens’, this poem was subtitled Or, England in 1822-3: In a Poetical Epistle to a Friend Abroad. This was possibly Fazakerley, who continued to correspond with Davenport from France.15 Articulating the hopelessness of attempting any improvement which might save the country, he condemned the unthinking ministerialist majority:

          Hark! the loud flappings of the lobby door
          Announces the lab’rers of the eleventh hour:
          Like gulls or cormorants at evening tide,
          Some scream out, ‘Question!’ some, ‘Divide, divide!’
          Some cry, ‘Hear, hear!’ when all around are mute,
          And thus create the nuisance they impute:
          While, as the bird in ivy-bush demure,
          The Speaker suffers what he cannot cure.
          If, as at times will happen, England’s fate,
          Or Empire’s freedom, hang on the debate,
          Though rhetoric not unworthy ancient Rome
          Bring to the unwilling breast conviction home,
          Still to his object true, the clamorous brute
          Dumbfounds the logic which he can’t refute;
          Till once victorious, and well counted out,
          The blockheads ask you, ‘what it’s all about?’

He also berated the opposition for weakness and disunion, in a theme which would later come to have a personal resonance for him:

          Observe our friends, in-doors on gala days,
          Like bulls in harness bearing different ways;
          One eye on Britain’s weal intently fixed,
          The other leers at objects somewhat mixed;
          Hope-pleasure-wife-small babes-desire of peace-
          (In other words, of funded stock’s increase,)
          Reform-the Tithe-the Debt-(would you refuse
          A truly Christian sympathy for Jews?).
          When mortals are so puzzled to look straight,
          No wonder many shuffle in their gait? ...
          Our Monster chuckles; he may well prevail
          O’er foes (who scarce molest him) in detail;
          While Hume like Sisyphus pursues his toil,
          Scoffed by the recreant owners of the soil,
          Or Burdett speaks, we listen in despair
          To Truth’s loud thunders howled in empty air;
          The House divides, and lo! her sacred ends
          Fail half-defeated by - inconstant friends.16

An Italian scholar of considerable ability, Davenport translated The Episode of Olimpia (1824) from Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, with a dedication to Lady Anne Wilbraham. Having had his declaration of Whig Revolution principles accepted more or less unchanged by the Cheshire Whig Club meeting in October 1824 (which he missed through sickness), Smith recommended him not to ‘meddle’ with political economy, as he would do ‘much better’ to ‘write the lives of the principal Italian poets ... mingling criticism and translation with biography’.17 However, Davenport, an incorrigible politician, soon returned to the fray and in The Corn Question: In a Letter addressed to the Right Hon. W. Huskisson (1825), argued for relaxation, but not abandonment, of agricultural protection.18

At the general election of 1826 he was brought in unopposed for Shaftesbury by Grosvenor, one of his Cheshire Whig neighbours, although he initially insisted on only sitting for one year if any of Grosvenor’s sons were left without a seat.19 He made his maiden speech, 1 Dec. 1826, arguing that the banking crisis had been the result of currency fluctuations not excessive speculation. Two days later James Macdonald* wrote to him that

I hear from very good authority that your style of speaking is a very good parliamentary style, and regard being had to the pains you have taken with certain topics of the very first importance I may congratulate [you] on the promise of a useful and satisfactory career. Even a little lord of the treasury who is with me (Granville Somerset) admits to me that the matter and manner were both good of their kind.20

Having complained that ministers had put off discussion of the corn laws, 22 Feb., he moved for inquiry into the causes of the recent distress, 26 Feb. 1827. He seconded and voted for Heron’s wrecking amendment against the duke of Clarence’s annuity bill, 2 Mar. On 6 Mar. he divided for Catholic relief, which his father uniformly opposed. He commented that the country had the right to have a properly constituted ministry, 29 Mar., and the following day voted to postpone the committee of supply until one was appointed.21 He voted for inquiry into the Irish miscellaneous estimates and information on chancery administration, 5 Apr. Although he thought that the pivot price of 64s. was too high, he gave general support to Canning’s corn bill, 6 Apr., remarking that ‘no candid man can fail to recognize in the principle of the bill, a salutary, though somewhat tardy, wish to conciliate between the conflicting interests’. He voted for the disfranchisement of Penryn, 28 May. Finally allowed to introduce his postponed motion for inquiry into the distress of the industrious classes, 14 June, he criticized the actions of previous ministers in interfering with the currency and condemned the decision to abolish small notes, before concluding:

Do what you will, reduce your standard or raise it - make but your currency invariable, not overflowing one day and exhausted the next -put it on a stable footing, so that we may know how to deal with one another - how to pay you, and what taxes to levy on the people, and I shall be satisfied.

His speech, which was later printed, was seconded by his Shaftesbury colleague Leycester and supported by Burdett, but Huskisson opposed him, and he eventually withdrew the motion. Denis Le Marchant† later commented that Davenport was ‘a hot Whig, with strange crochets, however, about the currency’. Like his father and his friend Lord Althorp*, with whose attitude of ‘favourable neutrality’ towards the Goderich ministry he probably agreed, he was named on George Tierney’s* list for the proposed finance committee in late 1827.22

Davenport, who was active in the opposition to the duke of Wellington’s administration, voted for repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb., and Catholic relief, 12 May 1828. He applauded the principle, but criticized the details of the tithes commutation bill, 17 Mar. He divided against extending East Retford into the hundred of Bassetlaw, 21 Mar., the disqualification of certain voters there, 24 June, and the disfranchisement bill, 27 June. He voted against provision being made for Canning’s family, 13 May, when, in order to prevent young felons being detained in prisons (‘universities for the propagation of criminal knowledge’) he obtained leave for a bill, which he did not pursue that session, to allow them to be summarily convicted before two or three magistrates. The following day his motion for a select committee on prison discipline was negatived without a division. Having acted as a teller for the minority for appointing a select committee on small notes, 3 June, he gave another résumé of his theories about the level of the currency, 5 June, and voted against the bill to restrict the circulation of Scottish and Irish notes, 5, 16, 27 June. His intervention on the 9th forced Peel, the home secretary, to respond to questions about the withdrawal of British forces from Portugal at the time of Dom Miguel’s usurpation. As he complained on the 11th to Lord Holland, who admired his performance,23 this was done without the support of his colleagues, and

I own I am no great admirer of our honourable House. Nothing but pounds, shillings and pence sometimes with national but generally individual objects bring men there; the sense of justice is small, that of generosity nil, and I shall very willingly give my vote tomorrow [on Hume’s motion, which was in fact postponed] for any measure (though I like ballot the least among the list) calculated to reform it. They are as short sighted as they are base, for though there was not a single cheer from our side to encourage me, there were plenty for Peel.

He informed Holland, 1 July, that he would have supported Mackintosh’s motion on Portugal the day before, if opposition had shown any spirit, but

the conduct of our friends is so completely unintelligible to me that I am sometimes tempted to believe that I am the person mistaken, that my ideas of honesty, common sense and consistency are totally erroneous, and that Peel is really the man of the people.24

He divided to deduct the salary of the governor of Dartmouth from the garrisons grant, 20 June, and to condemn the misapplication of public money on Buckingham House, 23 June. He voted for inquiry into the Irish church, 24 June, and to refer the additional churches bill to a select committee, 30 June 1828.

Alluding to this last question, Davenport wrote to Holland, with whom he continued to correspond that year on foreign affairs and the nature of party, that ‘I should suppose this debate is unique in the annals of Parliament as illustrative of the entire monopoly of talent on one (and the losing) side of the House’.25 He believed, as he wrote in a ‘memorandum’ dated ‘Calveley [18]32’, that

during the Parliament 1826-30 there was no possibility of getting opposition to act together in earnest. Hume would only act by himself, perhaps because he was virtually leading. Althorp said he would not go the length of refusing supplies and everybody almost had some excuse or were not in right earnest. John Wood, Warburton and O’Connell appeared most willing. In the autumn of [18]28 or [18]29 [Charles] Poulett Thomson spent a fortnight here and the enclosed [not extant] list of 52 was all we could by an accurate and laboured examination of the 658 make out to be good for anything.

With Poulett Thomson, he attempted to form these into a club of principled and independent Members who would endeavour to ‘reform the abuses and economize the revenues of the state’ by acting together in the House.26 Chairing the Whig Club dinner in Chester, 9 Oct., when he took the opportunity to justify his conduct in opposition to ministers, he spoke in favour of Catholic emancipation.27 In reply to a letter from Holland, dated 11 Oct., he wrote on the 18th that he shared Holland’s fears that Wellington was preparing for a new Parliament dominated by the Ultras, lengthily denounced the opposition for being hopelessly supine and declared that he would lead a parliamentary campaign for emancipation. In letters of 20 Oct. and 9 Nov. Holland endorsed Davenport’s poor opinion of the Whig leadership, supported his plans for a new type of organization and vindicated his personal commitment to politics:

Not only your arguments are convincing about measures but what nowadays is more rare, your feelings about general causes, national and individual honour and party integrity are those which in my conscience I believe are necessary to the good government and happiness of mankind.

Davenport responded on 18 Nov. (and again, in an undated letter of about this time) by explaining in detail his ideas for a determined parliamentary strategy of opposition in order to bring the government to submission, regular Sunday meetings of his club to concert activities in the Commons and the use of a ‘council’ to make up for the lack of an obvious leader. When Holland wrote on 21 Dec. 1828, recommending the ‘old’ party scheme of placing confidence in a prominent leader because ‘combinations for measures and not men are illusory’, it was primarily to urge Davenport (as he did again, 5, 6 Jan. 1829) to confront the Brunswickers in Cheshire. Davenport initially wondered whether to rally the pro-Catholics, but on Holland’s advising caution and for fear of embarrassing his own father, he apparently kept a low profile. However, all his efforts for the club were in vain, because, as he recorded in his ‘memorandum’, when Parliament met, Poulett Thomson ‘was always engaged when I proposed to bring our resolves into operation, and thus I failed in my second year’s attempt to rouse men whose firmness of purpose I had good reasons to doubt’.28

Acting on his own initiative, Davenport raised the issue of the affair at Terceira, 9 Feb., and commented on the suppression of political associations, 13 Feb. 1829. The impetus for concerted opposition action was, in any case, diminished by government’s decision to introduce Catholic emancipation. He was absent from the call of the House, 5 Mar., but voted for relief the following day, and ridiculed anti-Catholic petitions, 10 Mar., and again, 30 Mar., when he paired for the third reading of the emancipation bill. He obtained leave to reintroduce his summary convictions for juvenile offenders bill, 12 Mar., and secured its first and second readings, 25 Mar., 6 May, but withdrew it after it had been amended on 12 May.29 He voted against the silk trade bill, 1 May, and spoke against it, 7, 8 May. He divided for transferring East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 5 May, allowing Daniel O’Connell to take his seat without having sworn the oath of supremacy, 18 May, and against the grant for the marble arch, 25 May. He presented and endorsed a petition complaining of the treatment of certain Stockport cotton spinners, 28 May, when he complained of how, not for the first time, his motion on distress, of which he had given notice for the 26th, had been avoided by ministers contriving to prevent a quorum being present in the House. On bringing up a Shaftesbury petition against the Small Notes Act, 3 June, he reiterated his views on the currency and agricultural distress. Prompted by Attwood, the following day he supported the Birmingham petition on the same subject.30 Ill health caused him to be absent from the last meeting of the Cheshire Whig Club in October 1829. He signed the requisition for a county meeting on 25 Jan. 1830, when he condemned the progressive state of distress, but had his proposals for government relief slightly modified.31

He spoke and voted for Knatchbull’s amendment to the address, 4 Feb. 1830, yet stated his disapproval of Lord Blandford’s amendment on distress the following day. He sided regularly with opposition for retrenchment and reduced taxation that session. He voted for transferring East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 11 Feb. (and paired for this, 5 Mar.), parliamentary reform, 18 Feb., 28 May, and the enfranchisement of Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb. In a letter dated 25 Feb., Attwood requested that he present the Birmingham petition complaining of distress and mentioned Davenport’s decision to join the Political Union there.32 It is not known that he fulfilled either of these expectations, although he did bring up distress petitions from Manchester, 3 Mar., and Shaftesbury, 18 Mar., and a reform petition from Birmingham, 17 May, when he quarrelled with Peel. Because of giving way to Lord Palmerston’s motion on Portugal (for which he spoke and voted on 10 Mar.), his own ill health and obstruction by ministerialists, he was obliged to put off his long-planned motion on the state of the nation to 16 Mar. Calling that day for the appointment of a select committee on the distress petitions, he acknowledged that Goulburn’s manoeuvre in making economies in his budget a few days earlier had given the House ‘an excuse for blinking the inquiry into the actual condition of the country’, but persisted in arguing that ministers’ misguided currency policies were driving Britain to economic ruin and social unrest. According to Lord Howick*, he ‘was tiresome and stupid beyond all endurance; nothing could have induced me to listen to him but my [unfulfilled] intention to answer him’.33 He at least secured a further three evenings of wrangling debate, which Holland remarked

is the only satisfaction he will have for his division will be very bad and the best men in the House even among his own friends vote against him, inasmuch as his object is obviously paper money and restricted trade (both unprincipled and really ruinous measures) and his language and conduct upon his motion uncandid and unconciliatory.34

Clearly embittered by what he saw as the desertion of his friends, he wound up the debate on the 23rd, when John Cam Hobhouse* noted that his reply ‘was if possible more absurd than his opening speech’.35 He lamented that

it is vain to attempt to convince men who will listen to nothing they consider against their interest. I am aware that I have to contend against a majority who derive their incomes from the taxes; and as the indecency of the conduct we have witnessed this night speaks sufficiently for itself, I shall say no more than that I withdraw my motion in favour of the amendment.

This amendment, Sir Charles Burrell’s attempt to dilute the inquiry to an investigation of the causes of the distress alone, was then defeated by 255-87, with Davenport being in the minority.36 As Mrs. Arbuthnot sarcastically observed, if the debate ‘had lasted much longer, it would have outlived the memory almost of the distress it was to inquire into’, but the Ultra duke of Newcastle noted in his diary that ‘ministers and the ministerial crew make a sorry figure on the occasion but they carry majority with them and that is enough for their purpose’.37 Stung by criticisms that he should have restricted his motion to the currency question, Davenport vowed to introduce this topic, 25 Mar., but in the end gave way to Matthias Attwood’s motion, 8 June, when he again called for the restoration of the former standard. He voted for alteration of the laws relating to Irish vestries, 27 Apr., paired with opposition on the affair at Terceira, 28 Apr., and the civil government of Canada, 25 May, and divided for inquiry into Ceylon, 27 May. He presented Shaftesbury petitions for abolition of the death penalty for forgery, 6, 20 May, paired for this, 24 May, 7 June, and voted against a Lords’ amendment to the forgery punishment bill, 20 July. Active in the Cheshire agitation against the administration of justice bill,38 he brought up petitions against it, 26 May, defended Cheshire’s separate legal jurisdiction, 27 May, 18 June, 22 July, and urged reductions in judges’ salaries, 5, 7, 9 July. He supported the labourers’ wages bill, 23 June, 1 July, presented petitions against the long hours of employment in factories, 2, 6 July, and spoke and divided against extension of the libel laws relating to newspapers, 6 July. His only other known vote was against colonial slavery, 13 July 1830.

The retirement of his father from the representation of Cheshire at the general election of 1830, when he relinquished his seat at Shaftesbury, left the way clear for Davenport to be requisitioned by the small freeholders and ‘operative classes’ of the industrial districts. He declared that he had ‘never directly or indirectly courted the honour of succeeding’, but aroused sufficient support for the sitting Member Wilbraham Egerton and Grosvenor’s eldest son Lord Belgrave to make preparations for a contest. At the nomination meeting on 4 Aug. 1830 he attacked both his opponents, stressed his former conduct on behalf of ‘his aggrieved and oppressed fellow subjects’ and the county’s interests and advocated parliamentary reform.39 Lady Belgrave noted that, certain of defeat, he ‘modestly declined coming to a poll’, but was ‘supposed to be out of his mind, which is the most charitable construction for his behaviour’.40 An attempt to put Davenport up against Grosvenor’s son Robert Grosvenor at a by-election for Chester in December 1830 came to nothing because he had gone abroad.41 This was against the advice of Burdett, who informed him of the introduction of the Grey ministry’s reform bill in early 1831. Davenport addressed the electors of Cheshire in its favour from Rome, 28 Apr. 1831, and offered to stand for the county or any of the boroughs in the reformed Parliament. He expressed to Holland, whom he kept informed of Italian events, his ‘delight at the final defeat of corruption at home ... that the reign of folly and dishonesty has come to an end and that the people’s affairs are in safe hands’.42 Back in England, he signed the requisition for a Cheshire county meeting to address the king after the defeat of the reform bill in the Lords and attended it, 25 Oct., when he failed to gain sufficient support to carry his resolution requesting the Commons to withhold supplies.43 He came forward on a vacancy for Chester during the reform crisis in May 1832, but was defeated by the Tory town clerk Finchett Maddock by 125 votes, after having been abandoned by the interest of the marquess of Westminster (as Grosvenor had become).44 A convinced reformer, he stood as a Liberal for the newly enfranchised borough of Stockport at the general election of 1832, when he was described as ‘a man of honest but impracticable views’. He came fourth after a violent contest, during which he quarrelled publicly with Lord Grosvenor (formerly Belgrave) over an article he had written entitled ‘County Abuses’.45 He remained an ardent Whig in national politics and continued to be active in local affairs.46 Despite illness, he renewed his attempt at Stockport at the general election two years later, when he lamented the lack of Whig success in his native county. Touted as a popular and independent candidate, who opposed the dominant manufacturing interests, he again came bottom of the poll.47 Although the show of hands was in his favour, he was narrowly defeated by a Conservative at Warrington in 1837, the year in which he inherited the bulk of his father’s estates.48 He proposed the losing Liberal candidate Edward John Stanley* for Cheshire North at the general election of 1841, when he also seconded the nomination of another defeated Liberal, George Wilbraham*, for the Southern division of the county.49

In 1845 Davenport produced two works, which reflected each of his main interests: The Borgias, an historical drama, and How to Improve the Condition of the Labouring Classes, which advocated agricultural improvements.50 Yet his declining years were overshadowed by an increasing melancholy. As he confided (in 1843) to Sir Charles Napier†, with whom he corresponded on Indian and national affairs:

It is now 27 years since I have been slaving for the public and doing what nobody else will undertake, for which I get libelled by one party without being upheld by the other. For when I have allowed myself to be put in nomination for any borough I am sure to be beaten because I do not employ the same engine of corruption.51

In another letter (of January 1846), referring to his abortive efforts to regulate prison discipline (which the 2nd marquess of Westminster, his former antagonist, had recently taken up)52 and his failed attempt to reform the local administration of Cheshire, he complained that ‘it has been my fate to see my own measures defeated and then adopted both in Parliament and out’. Yet, in the same letter he revealed an element of resignation to his fate:

I too am a happy man and why? Because I have made my talents useful to the world as I expected and hoped? Not a bit of it. I have been thwarted through life by a jealous father who hated and crossed me in all ways, by folly and corruption which was always triumphant. No man ever felt more anxious to do good or ever had less public success than I. But I have learned what I call the philosophy of religion which I consider the only great and sure source of happiness.

Additionally, he took comfort from his only son, ‘a fine, lusty and beautiful youth’, who would inherit ‘a recently dilapidated estate in good repair and well managed’. He concluded by noting that

I understand that the free traders of North Cheshire outnumber the monopolists and intend to invite me to represent them. If they do I shall probably be fool enough to change my privacy once more for public life and the chance of effecting some good ere my course terminates.53

He was approached and agreed to stand, but had to withdraw because of poor health, opposing ‘monopoly and corruption’ to the last.54 He died in September 1847 and was buried at Capesthorne, where he had remodelled the family residence and collected an excellent library, especially of Italian works.55 With his wife, who married Lord Hatherton in 1852, he had one child, Arthur Henry (1832-67), an army officer, who inherited the Cheshire estates. He was succeeded by his first cousin William Bromley Davenport (1821-84), Conservative Member for Warwickshire North, 1864-84, through whom the parliamentary dynasty continued.56

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Stephen Farrell


  • 1. JRL, Bromley Davenport mss, Davenport to fa. 2 Apr. 1794, 5 Aug. 1796, 25 Feb. 1797.
  • 2. Ibid. Davenport to fa. 22 Oct. 1799, 6 Feb., 22 July 1800, 20 Feb. 1806, 24 Mar., 10 Dec. 1807.
  • 3. Ibid. Davenport to fa. 1 Aug. 1806, 14 June, 2 Sept. 1808, to sister, 8 Dec. 1814.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Ibid. Fazakerley to Davenport, 11 Sept. 1817, 25 Nov. 1818, 2, 9 July 1819, Gally Knight to same, 1 Feb. 1818; Smith Letters, i. 279.
  • 6. Bromley Davenport mss, Allen to Davenport [6 Dec. 1817].
  • 7. Ibid. Macdonald to Davenport, 24 Apr. 1820.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid. Lady Warwick to Davenport, Mon. [n.d.], Fazakerley to same, 4 Apr.; Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury, 3, 10, 17 Mar. 1820; Sir J. Hill, Georgian Lincoln, 227-8.
  • 10. Bessborough mss, Brougham to Duncannon, Thurs. [?14 Mar. 1822].
  • 11. Add. 51834, Davenport to Holland, 18 Nov. [1828].
  • 12. The Times, 10, 18 Jan. 1821.
  • 13. Ibid. 13 Oct. 1821; Bromley Davenport mss. See CHESHIRE.
  • 14. Bromley Davenport mss, Attwood to Davenport, 20 Mar., 27 Apr., Fazakerley to same, 27 May 1822.
  • 15. Bromley Davenport mss.
  • 16. Golden Age, 9-10, 32-33.
  • 17. The Times, 1, 13 Oct. 1824; Smith Letters, ii. 409-10.
  • 18. This pamphlet is attributed to Davenport by B. Gordon, Economic Doctrine and Tory Liberalism, 152.
  • 19. Dorset Co. Chron. 8, 15 June; Bromley Davenport mss, Grosvenor to Davenport, 18 June 1826; Grosvenor mss 9/10/4.
  • 20. Bromley Davenport mss.
  • 21. The Times, 27 Feb., 30 Mar. 1827.
  • 22. Le Marchant, Althorp, 224; Bromley Davenport mss, Althorp to Davenport, 11 Nov. 1827; Add. 38761, f. 269.
  • 23. Bromley Davenport mss, Holland to Davenport, [n.d.] 12 July 1828.
  • 24. Add. 51834.
  • 25. Ibid. Davenport to Holland, 1, 22 July; Bromley Davenport mss, reply, 24 July 1828.
  • 26. Bromley Davenport mss.
  • 27. The Times, 11 Oct. 1828.
  • 28. Bromley Davenport mss; Add. 51834.
  • 29. P. Jupp, British Politics on Eve of Reform, 171.
  • 30. Bromley Davenport mss, Attwood to Davenport, 23 May 1829.
  • 31. Chester Chron. 23 Oct. 1829, 22, 29 Jan. 1830.
  • 32. Bromley Davenport mss.
  • 33. Grey mss, Howick jnl.
  • 34. Add. 51786, Holland to C. R. Fox, 21 Mar. 1830.
  • 35. Add. 56554, f. 79.
  • 36. The Times, 26 Mar. 1830; Jupp, 300-1.
  • 37. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 347; Unrepentant Tory ed. R.A. Gaunt, 108.
  • 38. Cheshire RO QCX/1/2.
  • 39. Dorset Co. Chron. 22 July; Chester Chron. 9 July, 6, 13 Aug.; Chester Courant, 27 July, 3, 10 Aug.; Grosvenor mss 12/4, Egerton to Belgrave, 24 July, Humphreys to same, 30 July 1830; 12/9, 19, addresses.
  • 40. G. Huxley, Lady Elizabeth and the Grosvenors, 93.
  • 41. Chester Chron. 3, 10 Dec. 1830; Derby mss 902 Der (13) 1/161/27.
  • 42. Bromley Davenport mss, Burdett to Davenport, 24 Oct. 1830, 14 Mar.; Add. 51836, Davenport to Holland, 20 June 1831; Grosvenor mss 12/11, address.
  • 43. Chester Courant, 18 Oct.; The Times, 27 Oct. 1831.
  • 44. Chester Courant, 1, 22 May 1832.
  • 45. Stockport Advertiser, 20 July, 17 Aug., 7, 14, 21 Dec.; The Times, 3, 18 Oct., 17 Dec. 1832.
  • 46. For example, Add. 36467, f. 120; The Times, 8 July 1833.
  • 47. Stockport Advertiser, 19, 26 Dec. 1834, 2, 9, 16 Jan. 1835; Add. 47227, f. 144.
  • 48. Wheelers’ Manchester Chron. 29 July 1837; PROB 11/1874/163; IR26/1444/113.
  • 49. The Times, 7, 13 July 1841.
  • 50. He supported the Anti-Corn Law League (Bromley Davenport mss, Cobden to Davenport, 26 Dec. 1845).
  • 51. Add. 54552, f. 67.
  • 52. See Bromley Davenport mss, Westminster to Davenport, 17 Aug. 1846, [n.d.].
  • 53. Add. 54554, f. 208.
  • 54. Chester Chron. 9, 23 July 1847; Bromley Davenport mss, ‘corresp. concerning election of 1847’.
  • 55. Chester Courant, 15 Sept. 1847; J.P. Earwaker, E. Cheshire, ii. 414; P. de Figueiredo and J. Treuherz, Cheshire Country Houses, 48.
  • 56. J. Croston, County Fams. of Lancs. and Cheshire, 422-3.