MADRYLL CHEERE, Charles (?1772-1825), of Papworth Hall, Caxton, Cambs. and 18 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, Mdx.

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

Constituency

Dates

1820 - 10 Jan. 1825

Family and Education

b. ?1772. m. (1) 10 Nov. 1795, Charlotte Price (bur. 12 Feb. 1797) of St. Anne, Soho, Mdx., 1s.1; (2) 20 Aug. 1799, Frances, da. of Charles Cheere of Westbourne Green, Paddington, Mdx., 10s. (2 d.v.p.) 4da. (2 d.v.p.)2. Took additional name of Cheere by royal lic. 12 Feb. 1808. d. 10 Jan. 1825.

Offices Held

Biography

This Member’s origins remain obscure, though his early connections seem to have been with London. In 1794, as Charles Madryll, he bought from Matthew Holworthy the estate of Papworth Everard on the western edge of Cambridgeshire, about 12 miles from Cambridge and adjoining the Ermine Street Roman road between Royston and Huntingdon.3 His first wife died in February 1797, a few days after the birth of their only child, Charles Price Madryll, who was not baptized until 20 July 1799.4 In August that year Madryll married the 17-year-old niece and co-heiress (with her sister Emma, who remained a spinster) of the Rev. Sir William Cheere, 2nd baronet, of White Roding, Essex. Cheere was the eldest son and successor of Sir Henry Cheere (1703-81), the leading statuary of his day. At his marriage Madryll settled the whole of the Papworth estate on his wife and her issue. It is not known why Charles Price Madryll, who was still alive in 1828, was excluded.5 When Sir William Cheere died unmarried in February 1808 all his property, which included real estate in Westminster (at Charing Cross) and was reckoned to be worth £150,000, was divided equally between his nieces.6 In anticipation of this inheritance Madryll took for himself and his wife the additional name of Cheere; their children were to bear the name of Cheere only.

Madryll Cheere’s wish to extend the grounds of the old manor house at Papworth led him into conflict with the trustees of the Ermine Street turnpike. In 1798 he was fined for refusing to allow stones to be gathered from his land for road repairs; and the following year he defied an order to remove a hedge and ditch which he had placed too close to the highway. In 1800, however, he lent the trustees £200 towards road repairs, and soon afterwards joined the board. He was no longer a trustee in 1818, when his proposal for the road to be diverted around the eastern edge of his estate was dismissed out of hand.7 In 1808 he commissioned George Byfield to design a new mansion house in the classical style, which was completed in 1810. Madryll Cheere spent a considerable portion of his wife’s fortune on building and furnishing it in sumptuous fashion.8 His attempt of 1819, which was supported by the 5th duke of Rutland, to have the Cheere baronetcy revived in the person of his son and heir, William Henry Cheere (b. 1800), was unsuccessful.9 Madryll Cheere was a deputy lieutenant and magistrate of Cambridgeshire, but he was not popular in the county, where he had a reputation for moroseness and stinginess. In January 1822 William Cobbett†, travelling from London to Huntingdon, wrote at Royston:

Between this place and Huntingdon is the village of Caxton, which very much resembles almost a village of the same size in Picardy, where I saw the women dragging harrows to harrow in the corn. Certainly this village resembles nothing English, except some of the rascally rotten boroughs in Cornwall and Devonshire, on which a just Providence seems to have entailed its curse. The land just about here does seem to be really bad ... All is bleak and comfortless ... Not far from this is a new house, which, the coachman says, belongs to a Mr. Cheer, who, if report speaks truly, is not, however, notwithstanding his name, guilty of making people either drunkards or gluttons. Certainly the spot, on which he has built his house, is one of the most ugly that I ever saw. Few spots have everything that you could wish to find; but this, according to my judgement, has everything that every man of ordinary taste would wish to avoid.10

At the general election of 1820 Madryll Cheere stood for Cambridge on Rutland’s controlling interest, pledging ‘loyalty to our king, and attachment to our excellent constitution’. According to the editor of a hostile newspaper

the appearance of Mr. Madryll Cheere among us excites no small degree of contemptuous merriment in the good folks of Westminster: did the minister think that he possessed gumption enough, Mr. M. C. would have stood in the court interest for that city; as it is, he is put in for Cambridge in consideration of his influence over eleven hundred Westminster tenants.

At the nomination he was reported to have announced his ‘determination to support the present government, to whom we are indebted for the peaceable possession of our property, and the security of our lives, from desperate and misguided men’. He professed to be ‘an advocate for economy’, prompting a wag in the audience to shout, ‘So you lock up your small beer’. Madryll Cheere and the other Rutland nominee won the poll forced by the local independents, whose petition was not pursued.11 He was one of the prominent supporters of Rutland’s brother at the county election nine days later.12

Although he is not known to have spoken in debate, he was an assiduous attender who gave, as promised, general support to the Liverpool ministry. He divided with them against economies in revenue collection, 4 July 1820, and in defence of their conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb. 1821. He voted against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 30 Apr. 1822. He was in the minority for repeal of the duty on agricultural horses, 5 Mar. 1821, but voted with government on the state of the revenue the following day, as he did on repeal of the additional malt duty, 3 Apr., the disfranchisement of ordnance officials, 12 Apr., parliamentary reform, 9 May, the duke of Clarence’s grant, 18 June, and Hume’s call for economy, 27 June. He opposed abolition of the death penalty for forgery, 23 May 1821. He divided with ministers against more extensive tax reductions, 11, 22 Feb., and abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar. 1822. He was in the protectionist minority of 36 against the revised duties on imported corn, 9 May, but sided with government against inquiry into Irish tithes, 19 June, and for the aliens bill, 19 July 1822. He voted against inquiry into the parliamentary franchise, 20 Feb., reductions of £2,000,000 in taxes, 3 Mar., and repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr. 1823. He divided against government for inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr., but with them on chancery delays, 5 June, and the currency, 12 June. He was in the minorities of 26 against the beer duties bill and 15 against the usury laws repeal bill, 17 June. He voted with ministers against the Scottish juries bill, 20 June 1823. His only known votes in 1824 were against the abolition of flogging in the army, 5 Mar., and with ministers on the trial of the Methodist missionary John Smith in Demerara, 11 June.

In May 1824 he transmitted to Peel, the home secretary, a bill for the establishment of an office for the registration of births, marriages and deaths in England, which had been drawn up by George White, the town clerk of Cambridge.13 That year he was given permission to take preliminary steps for the implementation of his scheme to divert the turnpike road, but nothing had been accomplished before he died at Papworth Hall, aged 52, in January 1825.14 By his will, dated 24 Jan. 1823, he left all his real estate in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, London, Middlesex and Westminster to his wife. He devised a nominal 20s. to each of his ten surviving children, ‘being sure’ of his wife’s ‘attention to each and every [one] of them’. His personalty was sworn under £8,000.15 His widow settled the Papworth estate on William Henry Cheere in 1831. On her death in June 1849 her personal estate was sworn under £7,000; it was resworn under £9,000 later in the year. The residue, which she had directed to be equally divided among her children, was assessed at £2,364.16 William Henry Cheere died unmarried in March 1867 and his brother and successor at Papworth, the Rev. George Cheere, died without surviving issue less than a month later. Papworth was successively in the hands of their brothers the Rev. Frederick Cheere (d. 1872), Robert Cheere (d. 1876), and the Rev. Edward Cheere, whose death in April 1891 ended the male line. After the death of his only surviving sister, Frances Cheere, in December that year, the estate was sold. In 1917 the Hall became part of the Tuberculosis Colony.17

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher

Notes

  • 1. IGI (London); Papworth Everard parish reg.
  • 2. Gent. Mag. (1799), ii. 716; Papworth reg.
  • 3. VCH Cambs. ix. 360; R. Parker, On the Road: The Papworth Story, 90-91.
  • 4. Parker, 91.
  • 5. Oxford DNB (Sir Henry Cheere) N and Q (ser. 4), vi. 525-6; Parker, 94.
  • 6. Gent. Mag. (1808), i. 274, 362; PROB 11/1475/184; Parker, 96.
  • 7. Parker, 91-93; VCH Cambs. ix. 361.
  • 8. Parker, 97, 104; VCH Cambs. ix. 361.
  • 9. Add. 38277, ff. 21, 27, 122, 337.
  • 10. Cobbett’s Rural Rides ed. G.D.H. and M. Cole, i. 76; Parker, 98-100.
  • 11. Cambridge and Hertford Independent Press, 4, 11 Mar. 1820.