HANMER, Henry (1789-1868), of 7 Devonshire Place, Mdx. and Stockgrove Park, Soulbury, Bucks.
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Family and Educationb. 30 Apr. 1789,1 5th s. of Sir Thomas Hanmer, 2nd bt. (d. 1828), of Bettisfield Park, Flints. and Margaret, da. of George Kenyon of Peel Hall, Lancs. educ. Rugby 1799; Peterhouse, Camb. 1807. m. 27 Jan. 1815, Sarah Serra, da. of Sir Morris Ximenes of Bear Place, nr. Maidenhead, Berks., s.p. suc. aunt Arabella Hanmer to Stockgrove 1828; KH 1833. d. 2 Feb. 1868.
Cornet R. Horse Gds. 1808, lt. 1810, capt. 1813, maj. and lt.-col. 1826, ret. 1832.
Sheriff, Bucks. 1854-5.
The Hanmer family, among whose members was the early eighteenth-century Speaker, Sir Thomas Hanmer, had long established interests in Flintshire and some, of more recent date, in Buckinghamshire. Hanmer’s father, who succeeded his father, Walden Hanmer, former Member for Sudbury, in 1783, was an active improver of his estate at Bettisfield, where he otherwise lived a very retired life until his death in October 1828. Hanmer served in the Peninsula under the duke of Wellington, notably at Vitoria and Pamplona, where he was aide-de-camp to Sir Robert Hill, and he received a silver war medal with two clasps.2 In late 1818 he asked his brother-in-law, the 2nd Lord Kenyon, to solicit Lord Liverpool, the prime minister, for a place following the death of Colonel Edward Disbrowe†, vice-chamberlain to the late Queen Charlotte, but no appointment was forthcoming.3 He was refused promotion in 1824, but in 1826 he was allowed to purchase his majority and a lieutenant-colonelcy in the army. Four years later he filed a criminal information against John Jebb for circulating allegations that he had profited by purchasing horses on his own account in order to resell them to his regiment at a higher price.4 Under the will of his uncle, Edward Hanmer, who had died in 1821, he inherited an estate near Leighton Buzzard and the residue of personal wealth sworn under £12,000 on the death of his widow in 1828, and thereby gained an electoral interest in the neighbourhood.5 In 1830 he applied for the knighthood that he had declined in 1814, after he had commanded the bodyguard which escorted Louis XVIII on his visit to London. This was refused, but he was created a knight of Hanover in 1833.6
At the general election of 1831 he was returned for Westbury with its patron, Sir Ralph Lopes, on the understanding that he would support parliamentary reform;7 but on only the fourth sitting day of the session, 24 June, he vacated his seat and was replaced by Henry Frederick Stephenson, an ardent reformer. In the Commons, 20 Jan. 1832, John Wilson Croker, who was perhaps misled by the fact that Hanmer had been erroneously listed among the absentees on the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July 1831, said that Lopes had removed him for voting against reform, a statement which Lopes did not deny. There were in fact no divisions during Hanmer’s short spell in the House, but whatever the truth of this particular allegation he was evidently turned out because of his Tory, anti-reform views. In July 1832 Lord Chandos* chose him as his candidate for a vacancy at Aylesbury, which was expected on the appointment of Lord Nugent as commissioner of the Ionian Islands. He issued an address in defence of the agricultural interest and hostile to free trade in corn. He supposedly had a successful canvass, but was reported to have said, on leaving the town, that ‘he had already paid quite as much as it was worth for the interest the marquis of Chandos possesses in the borough’.8 In the event no vacancy occurred before the general election in December, when, after a renewed canvass, he spoke against extravagant expenditure and attacks on the property of the established church. Challenged on the hustings about his conduct in Parliament, he made clear that he had not voted on the reform bill, which he had opposed, and that he had ‘resigned his seat rather than abandon his principles’. He was elected as a Conservative with William Rickford*, against the Liberal Thomas Benjamin Hobhouse†, at a cost of £5,000.9 A member of the Carlton Club and a magistrate in Bedfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, he retired from the House in 1837. He died in February 1868, leaving his residual estate to his nephew, Wyndham Edward Hanmer (1810-87), the second son of his eldest brother Thomas, who succeeded as 4th baronet in 1881.
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Stephen Farrell
- 1. IGI (Flints.).
- 2. Lord Hanmer, Mem. of Parish and Fam. of Hanmer, 206-7; R. Gibbs, Hist. Aylesbury, 290-1.
- 3. Add. 38274, f. 236.
- 4. Wellington mss WP1/799/5; 800/3; 865/27; Gent. Mag. (1826), i. 558; The Times, 5 May 1830.
- 5. PROB 11/1648/506; 1754/224; IR26/1197/166.
- 6. Wellington mss WP1/1108/26.
- 7. Devizes Gazette, 5 May 1831.
- 8. NLS mss 3870, f. 75; Bucks. Gazette, 28 July; Bucks. Herald, 28 July, 4 Aug. 1832; R.W. Davis, Political Change and Continuity, 111-12.
- 9. Bucks. Gazette, 10 Nov., 15 Dec.; Bucks. Herald, 15 Dec. 1832; Add. 40486, f. 194.