PAGET, Hon. Berkeley Thomas (1780-1842), of 15 Portman Street, 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

1807 - 1820
1820 - 1826

Family and Education

b. 2 Jan. 1780, 6th but 5th surv. s. of Henry, 1st earl of Uxbridge (d. 1812), and Jane, da. of Very Rev. Arthur Champagne, dean of Clonmacnoise; bro. of Hon. Arthur Paget†, Hon. Sir Charles Paget*, Hon. Edward Paget†, Henry William, Lord Paget†, and Hon. William Paget†. educ. Rugby 1793; Christ Church, Oxf. 1797. m. 22 Nov. 1804, Sophia Askell, da. of hon. William Bucknall, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. d. 28 Oct. 1842.

Offices Held

Cornet 7 Drag. 1798; lt. 11 Drag. 1800; capt.-lt. 7 Drag. 1800; capt. W.I. regt. 1800; capt. 7 Drag. 1803, maj. 1805, ret. 1809; a.d.c. to duke of York 1803-9.

Ld. of treasury June 1810-June 1826; commr. of excise 1826-d.

Biography

Paget was the extravagant and immoral youngest son of a peer, whose financial problems were not solved by his marriage to a woman with a reputed fortune of ‘at least £30,000’, his appointment in 1810 to a junior ministerial post worth £1,600 a year, and an undisclosed ‘portion’ from his father’s estate received before the latter’s death in March 1812.1 He had lamented to his brother Arthur in January 1812 that his greatest wish was to ‘establish myself in the country free from Parliament and place’, but that his salary was ‘of the greatest consequence’.2 Tied by necessity to a political career, he sat in three Parliaments for Anglesey on the family interest and was likewise returned for Milborne Port at the general election of 1820.

As ‘one of the treasury phalanx’, he of course supported Lord Liverpool’s ministry when present, but he is not known to have spoken in debate.3 He was absent from the division on Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, but was reportedly averse to it at this time.4 He divided against relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. His real purpose in politics was to obtain a more secure and remunerative berth, and on several occasions his name was mentioned in connection with possible vacancies. According to the Grenvillite Charles Williams Wynn*, he accepted the offer of a place at the audit board in January 1822 but was obliged to forego it as his brother Lord Anglesey feared the loss of the Milborne Port seat at a by-election.5 In March 1824 Anglesey wrote directly to the king to press Paget’s claim to the governorship of Madras, which would ‘make his fortune’, but the rumoured vacancy did not materialize.6 The following month Canning’s calculations included moving him to the excise board, as he was known to want ‘a more lucrative office and one if possible for life!’7 Nothing came of this, and in the autumn of 1825 Anglesey was considering bringing him forward at the next general election either for Caernarvon boroughs or Anglesey.8 In the event, he retired at the dissolution in 1826 and shortly afterwards procured a place at the excise board, which was reportedly worth only £1,200 per annum in 1832.9 He died at Hampton Court Palace, where he had been residing, in October 1842, and left all his property to his wife.10

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Authors: Sharman Kadish / Terry Jenkins

Notes

  • 1. Williams Wynn Corresp. 75; PROB 11/1533/253.