FITZROY, Lord John Edward (1785-1856), of Half Moon Street, Piccadilly, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 24 Sept. 1785, 6th s. of Augustus Henry Fitzroy†, 3rd duke of Grafton (d. 1811), and 2nd. w. Elizabeth, da. of Very Rev. Sir Richard Wrottesley, 7th bt., of Wrottesley, Staffs., dean of Worcester; bro. of Lord William Fitzroy†; half-bro. of Lord Charles Fitzroy† and George Henry Fitzroy, earl of Euston†. educ. Harrow 1797-1803; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1803-5. unm. d. 28 Dec. 1856.
Fitzroy, a pro-Catholic Whig, had represented Thetford on the interest of his half-brother the 4th duke of Grafton in the 1812 Parliament, making way there in 1818 for his nephew Lord Charles Fitzroy*.1 He returned to the Commons in 1820 as the family Member for Bury St. Edmunds, where a second nephew, Grafton’s son and heir Henry Fitzroy, earl of Euston*, stood down and a contest seemed likely until the eve of the poll.2
Lord John was foreman of the special jury that declared the 3rd earl of Portsmouth insane (since 1809), 28 Feb. 1823. The law commissioners had rejected his plea for exemption from serving on account of the ‘great inconvenience which might result to him in the discharge of his public duties and as a Member’.3 He divided fairly steadily with the main Whig opposition for economy, retrenchment and lower taxes between 5 May 1820 and 6 June 1825. He apparently did not vote on parliamentary reform in this period, nor did he attend the 1821 and 1822 Suffolk meetings with his relations, but he signed the reform petition proposed by Euston at Stowmarket, 10 Mar., and presented to the Lords by Grafton, 16 Apr. 1821.4 He voted for Catholic relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr. 1825. On 9 Mar. 1825, in his only reported speech, he successfully moved the second reading of the Metropolitan Fish Company bill, in which he claimed to have ‘no private interest’. He made way for Euston at Bury St. Edmunds in 1826, but continued to subscribe to local causes and canvassed the borough strenuously on behalf of a third nephew, Lord Charles August Fitzroy*, at the contested election of 1831.5 He died in London in December 1856, having bequeathed the bulk of his estate to his nephew, the 5th duke of Grafton (formerly Lord Euston), and provided annuities for his sisters Frances, Lady Churchill, and Lady Isabella Blachford.6
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Margaret Escott
- 1. HP Commons, 1790-1820, iii. 768.
- 2. Suff. RO (Bury St. Edmunds), Grafton mss HA513/6/216; Oakes Diaries ed. J. Fiske (Suff. Recs. Soc. xxxiii), ii. 250-1; Bury and Norwich Post, 8, 15 Mar. 1820.
- 3. Grafton mss HA513/4/132-3; Ann. Reg. (1823), 24-25; The Times, 11 Feb., 1 Mar. 1823.
- 4. Ipswich Jnl. 17 Mar.; Suff. Chron. 7, 21 Apr. 1821.
- 5. S. Tymms, Handbk. of Bury St. Edmunds (1854); Suff. Chron. 10 June 1826; Bury and Norwich Post, 27 Apr. 1831.
- 6. IR26/2094/20.