POLE, Sir Peter, 2nd bt. (1770-1850), of Wolverton, Hants.
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Family and Educationb. 20 Oct. 1770, 1st s. of Sir Charles Pole (formerly Van Notten), 1st bt., and Millicent, da. and coh. of Charles Pole† of Holcroft, Lancs. m. 24 Dec. 1798, Anna Guerherlmina, da. of Richard Buller of Cumberland Street, London, 4s. 5da.(1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. as 2nd bt. 18 June 1813. d. 30 Aug. 1850.
Pole, a London banker, continued to sit unopposed for the pocket borough of Yarmouth on the Worsley Holmes interest. A lax attender, who is not known to have spoken in debate, when present he continued to support the Liverpool ministry.1 He voted against economies in revenue collection, 4 July 1820, and sided with ministers over their conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb. 1821. He divided against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 30 Apr. 1822, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. He voted against repeal of the additional malt duty, 3 Apr. 1821, tax reductions, 11 Feb., abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar. 1822, and Brougham’s motion condemning the trial of the Methodist missionary John Smith for inciting slave riots in Demerara, 11 June 1824. He divided for the duke of Cumberland’s annuity bill, 10 June 1825. Pole’s firm, Pole and Company, which was ‘among the most considerable in London’, was the first casualty of the banking panic of December 1825, despite its reported yield of £40,000 per annum for the previous seven years. When a loss of confidence followed the boom of autumn 1825, the bank allegedly paid out £1,250,000 in a week, which dangerously weakened its reserves.2 On 5 Dec. 1825 this was reported to the Bank of England’s deputy governor John Richards, who was consulted, as he later explained, ‘because the governor [Cornelius Buller] was particularly connected with the house of Pole and Co. by marriage and other circumstances of relationship’. Richards called a meeting of the Bank’s governors the following day to approve a £300,000 loan to the firm, secured on Pole’s property. Despite this, the bank was forced to suspend payment on the 12th and subsequently dissolved.3 ‘The shock given to public credit’, observed the Annual Register, ‘was tremendous as it was known that they kept accounts with forty-four country banks, several of whom, in all probability, would also stop payment’. According to one historian, ‘the agitation of the City exceeded everything that had been witnessed for a century’.4 The same month Pole divested himself of his interests in two London mercantile firms, including the family concern of Peter and Charles Van Notten.5
At the 1826 dissolution Pole, who evidently managed to save much of his personal fortune, retired. He sold Wolverton Park to the duke of Wellington in 1837 and inherited the Gloucestershire property of Todenham from his brother Abraham in 1844.6 At his death in August 1850 he left estates in Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Kent. By his will, dated 10 Aug. 1846, these were divided respectively between his sons Peter (1801-87), who succeeded him as third baronet, the Rev. Richard (1802-93), who also inherited all his personal estate, Samuel (1802-63) and Edward (1805-79).7