UPTON, Hon. Arthur Percy (1777-1855), of The Albany, Piccadilly, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 13 June 1777, 3rd s. of Clotworthy, 1st Bar. Templetown [I] (d. 1785), and Elizabeth, da. of Shuckburgh Boughton of Poston Court, Herefs.; bro. of John Henry Upton†, 2nd Bar. Templetown [I], and Hon. Fulke Greville Howard*. educ. Palgrave, Suff.; Westminster 1786; Berlin mil. acad. unm. CB 4 June 1815. d. 22 Jan. 1855.
Ensign 2 Ft. Gds. 1793, lt. and capt. 1795; a.d.c. to Sir R. Abercromby 1799; maj. 13 Ft. 1807; lt-col. 7 W.I. regt. 1807, capt. and lt.-col. 1 Ft. Gds. 1814; a.d.c. to duke of York 1815; maj.-gen. 1821; lt.-gen. 1837; gen. 1851.
Equerry to the queen 1810; to the duchess of Kent 1835.1
Upton, the subject in 1817 of Richard Deighton’s six portraits of the man ‘Up-Town’, was a distinguished career soldier, courtier, cricketer and amateur violinist, who enjoyed the patronage of the duke of York, and had received the order of Maximillian Joseph in 1815 in recognition of his service as correspondent with the Bavarian army.2 Following the death of Queen Charlotte, to whom he was an equerry, he moved regularly between Oatlands, London and Paris, where his sister and brother-in-law, the Grenvillite 5th earl of Bristol, resided from 1817 to 1822.3 Like his brother Templtown previously, from 1818 he had occupied Bristol’s seat at Bury St. Edmunds as locum for his nephew Lord Frederick William Hervey*, a minor, who nevertheless deputized for him there at the general election of 1820.4 Inactive in his first Parliament, in his second, Upton, a sporadic attender for whom no speeches are known, lent occasional support to the ministry of Bristol’s brother-in-law Lord Liverpool. He voted consistently for Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825, and against parliamentary reform, 20 Feb., 2 June 1823, and divided with government on the Queen Caroline affair, 6 Feb. 1821, tax relief, 21 Feb. 1822, and the window tax, 10 Mar. 1823. He was in their minority against inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr. 1823. He voted against condemning the Jamaican slave trials, 2 Mar. 1826. In 1825 Thomas Maclean and others caricatured him as a client of the courtesan Harriette Wilson, whose published memoirs described his gallantry and her discovery of him deshabillé after a dalliance with her sister Amy.5
Upton would have made way for Hervey at Bury St. Edmunds directly he came of age in 1821, had he then been offered the command of a crack regiment, and did so at the dissolution of 1826, having also canvassed for him at the 1822 Cambridge University by-election.6 He did not stand for Parliament again. A popular dinner guest, correspondent and sportsman, he travelled widely on the continent and his anecdotes of court and army life enlivened the memoirs of his friends Captain Gronow, Herbert Taylor* and Thomas Raikes.7 He achieved the rank of a full army general in 1851 and died unmarried and without issue at Brighton in January 1855. He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery, London.8
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Margaret Escott
- 1. The Times, 8 May 1835.
- 2. Prince of Wales Corresp. ii. 792; vii. 2961; Gent. Mag. (1855), ii. 306; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 374.
- 3. Gronow Reminiscences, i. 91.
- 4. HP Commons, 1790-1820, v. 427; Oakes Diaries ed. J. Fiske (Suff. Recs. Soc. xxxiii), ii. 250-1.
- 5. M.D. George, Cat. of Personal and Pol. Satires, x. 14817, 14828; Harriette Wilson’s Mems. ed. J. Laver, 141-2.
- 6. Suff. RO (Bury St. Edmunds), Hervey mss 941/56/71, Upton to Bristol, 6, 13 July 1821; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 196; Oakes Diaries ii. 310-11.
- 7. Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 390, 424; Gronow Reminiscences, ii. 293; Raikes Jnl. i. 146, ii. 114; Taylor Pprs. 479, 506.
- 8. The Times, 25 Jan.; Gent. Mag. (1855), ii. 306; PROB 11/2211/8; IR26/2050/300; W.H. Upton, Upton Family Recs. 112.