KILDERBEE (afterwards DE HORSEY), Spencer Horsey (1790-1860), of Great Glemham, Suff. and 8 Upper Grosvenor Street, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb./bap. 2 Sept. 1790,1 o.s. of Rev. Dr. Samuel Kilderbee (d. 1847) of Great Glemham, rect. of Campsey Ash, and Caroline, da. of Samuel Horsey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suff., wid. of George Waddington, barrister, of Ely, Camb. and Cavenham Hall, Bury St. Edmunds. educ. Eton c.1802-5; Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1807, scholar 1812-16, (BA 1811, MA 1815). m. 23 Feb. 1824, Lady Louisa Maria Judith Rous, da. of John Rous† , 1st earl of Stradbroke, 2s. 1da.; suc. grandfa. 1813, fa. 1847. Took name of De Horsey by royal lic. 20 Apr. 1832. d. 20 May 1860.
A descendant of the seventeenth century Framlingham wool merchant and draper Francis Kilderbee, this Member was the only son of the wealthy Suffolk cleric and patron of the arts Samuel Kilderbee, and heir by birth and designation of his paternal grandfather, the Ipswich attorney and town clerk Samuel Kilderbee (d. 1813), who had prospered as the agent of the Tory Rous family of Henham Hall.2 He was also a maternal half-brother of Harry Spencer Waddington (1781-1864) of Cavenham Hall, Bury St. Edmunds, Conservative Member for West Suffolk, 1838-59, and the barrister John Horsey Waddington (1783-1864).3 Following his grandfather’s death Kilderbee relinquished his intended ecclesiastical career and returned to Great Glemham, where he managed the family estates and became a private secretary to his father’s patron as rector of Easton, the 5th earl of Rochford, who signified his intention of making him his heir. Adhering to his family’s ‘church and state politics’, he signed the 1821 Suffolk anti-reform declaration, became a founder member that year of the Suffolk Pitt Club and was appointed a burgess of Orford and Aldeburgh by his neighbour at Sudbourne, the 3rd marquess of Hertford, on account of his local influence.4 It was enhanced by his marriage in 1824 with the 1st earl of Stradbroke’s daughter and, predicting that ‘our Kil will be a good man and true’, Hertford decided to return him for a vacancy at Aldeburgh in 1829, tied down ‘by a strong promise to hold during pleasure and to follow my politics’.5 He duly voted against Jewish emancipation, 5 Apr., 17 May 1830. He was returned for Orford at the general election that summer, when Hertford reserved Aldeburgh for his former steward John Wilson Croker and the duke of Wellington’s heir Lord Douro.6 Rochford died, 3 Sept. 1830, after directing but failing to authorize changes in his will, 30 Aug., entailing his estates on Kilderbee, whose case in favour of the holograph will was rejected by the prerogative court of Canterbury, 28 Jan. 1831. According to Hertford, he had lost £7,000 a year, £12-14,000 in ready money, land and houses ‘for want of a few visits’.7
Kilderbee was counted among the Wellington ministry’s ‘friends’ and divided with them on the civil list when they were brought down, 15 Nov. 1830. He voted against the Grey ministry’s reform bill, by which Aldeburgh and Orford were to be disfranchised, at its second reading, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831, and retained his seat at the general election that month.8 He voted against the reintroduced reform bill at its second reading, 6 July 1831. When he seconded Croker’s proposal for a combined Aldeburgh and Orford constituency, 22 July, it was variously reported that he testified from local knowledge to the close proximity and ties between the two of the two boroughs,9 and that he argued for additional county rather than borough representation to serve the agricultural interest.10 He voted against taking a seat from Chippenham, 27 July, and the bill’s passage, 21 Sept. He voted against the revised reform bill at its second reading, 17 Dec. 1831, and against enfranchising Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. He voted against the second reading of the Irish reform bill, 25 May. He divided against government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12 July 1832.
A founder and lifelong member of the Carlton Club, Kilderbee, who assumed the name de Horsey in April 1832, as co-heir with his half-brother John to the estate of his maternal grandfather (d. 1771), was not a candidate at the 1832 and 1835 general elections, but came in for Newcastle-under-Lyme as the second Conservative in 1837. Nothing came of his endeavours at Barnstaple and Leicester in 1841 and he did not stand for Parliament again.11 A widower since 1843, he died in May 1860 at Cowes, where he resided intermittently at Melcombe House with his father (d. 1847) and unmarried sister Carolina Kilderbee. The main beneficiaries of his will, which invoked indentures made prior to his marriage, were his sons General William Henry Beaumont de Horsey (1826-1915), his successor at Great Glemham, and Admiral Algernon Frederick Rous de Horsey (1827-1922), his only daughter Adeline Louisa Maria (1824-1915) having been ‘amply provided for’ on becoming the 7th earl of Cardigan’s second wife in 1858.12