STARKIE, Le Gendre Nicholas (1799-1865), of Huntroyde, nr. Padiham, Lancs.
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Family and Educationb. 1 Dec. 1799, 3rd s. of Le Gendre Pierce Nicholas Starkie (d. 1807) of Huntroyde and Charlotte, da. of Rev. Benjamin Preedy, DD, rect. of Great Brington, Northants. educ. by Dr. Charles Burney at Greenwich; Brasenose, Oxf. 1817. m. 23 Feb. 1827, Anne, da. of Abraham Chamberlain of Rylstone in Craven, Yorks., 3s. 1da. suc. bro. Le Gendre Starkie to Huntroyde 1822. d. 15 May 1865.
Lt. Craven yeomanry 1823, capt. 1827
Starkie came from the Lancashire branch of an ancient family, originating in Cheshire, who had acquired the Huntroyde estate through marriage in the fifteenth century. He had contemplated a career in the church, but the early deaths of his two elder brothers meant that in 1822 he inherited Huntroyde, other settled estates in Lancashire and the residue of personalty which was sworn under £40,000.1 At the general election of 1826 he offered as the ‘third man’ for the open borough of Pontefract, making a populist declaration of his ‘attachment to the constitution in church and state’, and was returned at the head of the poll after an expensive contest.2 A petition was presented against his return, alleging that he lacked the requisite property qualification, but this was dismissed, 14 Mar. 1827.
He made no mark in the House: his only recorded vote was against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, and he is not known to have spoken in debate. In February 1829 Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, noted that he would be ‘absent’ from the divisions on Catholic emancipation. He was granted three weeks’ leave to attend to private business, 10 Mar. 1830, and quietly retired at the dissolution that summer.3 He devoted the remainder of his life to ‘the duties of a country gentleman’ and took steps to develop his neglected estate, obtaining a private Act of Parliament in 1835 to enable him to exploit its coal deposits.4 He was Provincial Grand Master of the West Lancashire freemasons for more than 25 years. He died in May 1865 and left Huntroyde to his eldest son, Le Gendre Nicholas Starkie (1828-99), Liberal Member for Clitheroe, 1853-57, and Ashton Hall, near Lancaster, which he had purchased late in life, to his second son John Pierce Chamberlain Starkie (1830-1925), Conservative Member for Lancashire North East, 1868-80. His funeral, held in Padiham, was conducted with ‘full masonic honours’.5