SCOTT, Samuel (1772-1849), of Sundridge Park, nr. Bromley, Kent

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



1802 - 1806
1812 - 1818
1818 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 29 Apr. 1772, o.s. of Claude Scott†, corn dealer, of Sundridge Park and Lytchett Minster, Dorset and Martha, da. and h. of John Eyre of Stepney, Mdx. m. 4 Feb. 1796, Anne, da. and h. of Edward Ommanney of Bloomsbury Square, Mdx., 2s. 2da. suc. fa. as 2nd. bt. 27 Mar. 1830. d. 30 Sept. 1849.

Offices Held

Vol. London and Westminster light horse 1798, cornet 1805, lt. 1805, capt. 1818.


Scott’s father had made his fortune as a government grain contractor during the French Wars and took his only son into partnership before 1795, when both signed the London merchants’ loyal declaration. From 1811 the firm traded as Scott, Garnett and Palmer, corn merchants, at 12 Aldermanbury, and from 1840 until the year of this Member’s death as Scott and Garnett, at 2 Moorgate Street. Scott was said by his father to be worth no less than £300,000 in 1813, though this probably owed more to a fortunate marriage than to business success.1 On his death two years previously, his father-in-law Edward Ommanney had left a personal estate of about £250,000, of which Scott’s wife was the principal beneficiary. Scott, who was the will’s executor, made the most of his good fortune and in partnership with his father, who had been given a baronetcy in 1821, established the London bank of Sir Claude Scott and Company in 1824.2 With premises at 26 Holles Street, Marylebone, they were well placed to take on ‘a considerable remnant’ of the business of Marsh, Sibbald and Company of Berners Street, which had failed after a partner’s conviction for forgery. In 1827 the firm moved the short distance to 1 Cavendish Square.3 On the death of his father in 1830, Scott received his share in the bank (on condition that he remained a member of the company) and succeeded to the Sundridge estate where he had resided since about 1810. Sir Claude Scott’s personal estate was sworn under £80,000, and the Lytchett Minster property, where he had latterly settled, was sold to provide an income for his wife, with partial remainder to his son.4

According to Oldfield, Scott’s original return for the pocket borough of Whitchurch in 1818 was on the interest of the 4th Viscount Midleton. Scott sat undisturbed throughout this period and by 1831 had bought the patron out.5 A lax and mostly silent attender, when present he continued to support the Liverpool ministry.6 He voted in defence of their conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb., and in their majorities against repeal of the additional malt duty, 3 Apr., and motions calling for economy and retrenchment, 27 June 1821, and greater tax reductions, 11, 21 Feb. 1822. He divided against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, and removal of the disabilities of Catholic peers, 30 Apr. 1822. It was probably James Scott, Member for Bridport, who voted for a return of military estimates, 27 Feb., and a reduction of the salt duties, 28 Feb., and who then asserted that there were ‘no just grounds’ for continuing the tax, 28 June 1822.7 It also seems unlikely that this Member was the ‘Mr. Scott’ who presented a petition from ‘certain Unitarian Dissenters’ for repeal or modification of the Marriage Act, 10 May 1822.8 He divided against inquiry into chancery delays, 5 June 1823. No trace of parliamentary activity has been found for 1824 and thereafter his attendance appears to have become even more sporadic. In his only positively identified speech of this Parliament, 17 Mar. 1825, he spoke ‘in a low tone’ to deny the complicity of ‘the firm with which he was connected’ in fraudulent corn returns made at Ipswich.9 He made no mark at all in 1826. He was granted a month’s leave on account of ill health, 19 Feb., and secured another fortnight for the same reason, 3 Apr. 1827. His first recorded vote of the Parliament was against Catholic relief, 12 May 1828. In late February 1829 Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, predicted that he would vote ‘with government’ for the concession of Catholic emancipation, but he divided against the measure, 6 Mar., and in favour of an amendment to prevent Catholics from sitting in Parliament, 23 Mar. 1829. He voted against Jewish emancipation, 17 May 1830.

Following the 1830 general election he was listed by ministers among their ‘friends’ and he duly voted with them on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. Thomas Gladstone* deemed him ‘too ministerial’ to present a petition he had prepared against the return for Queenborough, but noted that Scott had promised to attend for the select committee ballot, which took place, 30 Nov. 1830.10 He divided against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and in favour of Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. On the hustings at Whitchurch, which was scheduled for complete disfranchisement, he told the nominal electorate that he ‘always had and always would oppose the ministerial plan of reform ... a measure he was convinced would be the cause of anarchy and confusion throughout the country’.11 He voted against the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, and was in the minority for use of the 1831 census to determine the borough disfranchisement schedules, 19 July. On 26 July he spoke against the disfranchisement of Whitchurch, declaring that ‘no borough in the kingdom possesses a better, a more honest, or respectable constituency’. He divided against ministers on the Dublin election controversy, 23 Aug., and against the passage of the reform bill, 21 Sept. He apparently missed the division on the second reading of the revised bill, 17 Dec. 1831, but he voted against the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the bill’s third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. He voted against government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12 July. The reformer Sir Edward Dolman Scott was probably the ‘Sir W. Scott’ listed in the majority for making coroners’ inquests public, 20 June 1832.

Scott’s Commons career ended with the extinction of Whitchurch as a parliamentary borough by the Reform Act. At the 1835 election for West Kent he gave a plumper to the Conservative candidate Sir William Geary†.12 He died at Amiens in September 1849. By the terms of his will, dated 18 Aug. 1849, Sundridge passed to his younger son Samuel Scott (1807-69), who also received a three-fifths share of his stake in the family banking house, which had been styled Sir Samuel Scott and Company from 1847. The remainder went to Claude Edward Scott (1804-80), the heir to the baronetcy for whom his grandfathers had made ample provision. Scott followed his father’s example by offering his sons a financial incentive for their continued involvement in the bank. To his two daughters he left income from £50,000 worth of bonds in the Republic of Chile and the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Corporation of Cuba. His personal estate was sworn under £700,000.13

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Authors: Philip Salmon / Howard Spencer


  • 1. Farington Diary, xii. 4344.
  • 2. PROB 11/1519/82; IR26/168/161.
  • 3. F.G. Hilton Price, London Bankers, 48.
  • 4. Farington Diary, xii. 4344; J. Hutchins, Dorset (1861), iii. 360; PROB 11/1771/337; IR26/1240/212.
  • 5. Oldfield, Key (1820), 17; The Times, 11 Aug. 1831.
  • 6. Black Bk. (1823), 191; Session of Parl. 1825, p. 484.
  • 7. The Times, 28 Feb., 7 Mar. 1822.
  • 8. Ibid. 11 May 1822.
  • 9. The Times, 18 Mar. 1825.
  • 10. St. Deiniol’s Lib. Glynne-Gladstone mss 196, T. to J. Gladstone, 27 Oct., 1 Nov. 1830; CJ, lxxxvi. 134
  • 11. Portsmouth Herald, 8 May 1831.
  • 12. W. Kent Pollbook (1835), 32.
  • 13. Gent. Mag. (1850), i. 85; PROB 11/2101/796; IR26/1851/810; Hilton Price, 48.