GRAHAM (afterwards FOSTER PIGOTT), George Edward (1771-1831), of Chayley, Suss. and Bryanston Square, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 3 Nov. 1771, 3rd. s. of John Graham (d. 1785) of Yatton, Som., member of supreme council, Bengal, and Mary, da. of William Shewen, collector of customs, of Swansea, Glam. educ. Harrow 1779-85. m. 5 July 1794, Mary, da. and h. of Rev. John Foster, DD, headmaster1 of Eton, 3s. 3da. Took names of Foster Pigott 12 Mar. 1827. d. 5 Nov. 1831.
Cornet 3 Drag. 1788, lt. 1791; capt. 22 Drag. 1794, ret. 1795; lt.-col. S. Lewes vols. 1803; commdt. centre regt. Suss. militia 1810.
A former army officer with East Indian connections, Graham had had to wait until the death in 1819 of his uncle Thomas Graham of Kinross to come in for that county, and sat only briefly as an unobtrusive supporter of Lord Liverpool’s administration and their Scottish manager Lord Melville before the representation transferred to Clackmannanshire at the dissolution in 1820.2 Kinross-shire again returned him unopposed as a ‘church and state’ Tory in 1826, but he remained an inconspicuous Member for whom no speeches or major select committee appointments were reported. He was listed in the majority and the minority on Catholic relief, which he almost certainly voted against, 6 Mar. 1827.
The death on 5 Feb. 1827 of his wife’s uncle, the Rev. William Foster Pigott of Eton College, a wealthy pluralist and royal chaplain, invoked a settlement of 23 Aug. 1815 giving Graham and his wife joint possession of the Cambridgeshire estate of Abington Pigotts, held since before 1500 by the family of Foster Pigott’s late wife Mary (d.1815). Graham accordingly assumed the names Foster and Pigott, 12 Mar., executed Foster Piggott’s will (dated 20 Mar. 1820 and sworn under £25,000) and settled with his family in Cambridgeshire, where he authorized timber sales and improvements at Abington Hall and became an active magistrate and promoter of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospels.3 As Colonel Pigott, he voted for the grant to the duke of Clarence, 16 Mar. 1827, against repealing the Test Acts, 26 Feb., and Catholic relief (as a pair), 12 May, and to repeal the usury laws, 19 June 1828. The Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary Planta predicted that he would vote ‘with government’ for Catholic emancipation in 1829, but he divided resolutely against it, 6, 18, 26, 27, 30 Mar. Before standing down at the dissolution in 1830, when Clackmannanshire became the returning county, he presented Kinross-shire’s petition against the additional duty on corn spirits, 6 May, and divided against Jewish emancipation, 17 May. He started early but failed to offer for Kinross-shire in 1831. He died at Abington Hall in November 1831, having bequeathed everything to his wife (d. 1858). His personalty was sworn under £2,000.4