WROTTESLEY, Sir John, 9th bt (1771-1841), of Wrottesley Hall, Staffs and 13 St. George's Street, Mdx.

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



2 Mar. 1799 - 1806
23 July 1823 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 25 Oct. 1771, 1st s. of Sir John Wrottesley, 8th bt.†, of Wrottesley and Hon. Frances Courtenay, da. of William Courtenay†, 1st Visct. Courtenay; bro. of Henry Wrottesley*. educ. Westminster 1782; Angers mil. acad. 1787. m. (1) 23 June 1795, Lady Caroline Bennet (d. 7 Mar. 1818), da. of Charles, 4th earl of Tankerville, 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 5da. (4 d.v.p.); (2) 19 May 1819, Julia, da. of John Conyers of Copt Hall, Essex, wid. of Hon. John Astley Bennet (bro. of Wrottesley’s 1st w.), s.p. suc. fa. as 9th bt. 23 Apr. 1787; cr. Bar. Wrottesley 11 July 1838. d. 16 Mar. 1841.

Offices Held

Ensign 35 Ft. 1787; lt. 19 Ft. 1790, 29 Ft. 1790; capt. 16 Drag. 1793; maj. 32 Ft. 1794, ret. 1795; lt.-col. commdt. W. Staffs. militia 1809, lt.-col. 1835-d.


Wrottesley, an East India proprietor, agricultural improver and Wolverhampton banker, who had abandoned the Lichfield seat of his Tory patron Lord Stafford in 1806 in order to obtain his independence, aspired to sit for Staffordshire like his father. Following an abortive attempt in 1812, when he had secured the backing of the Whig Lord Anson, he offered again for the county at the 1823 by-election, allegedly supported by the united interests of Stafford and Anson, acting together in ‘an odd combination’. He was eulogized by local Whigs as ‘the enemy of extravagance and corruption, and the friend of reform’, but the Tories were less enthusiastic, his county neighbour William Dyott, who described him as ‘a man of good understanding, rather austere in manner’, being unable to ‘recollect an event that appeared to give such general disapprobation’. Attempts to get up an opposition came to nothing, however, and he was returned unopposed.1

Wrottesley, who was regarded by his colleague Edward Littleton as ‘one of the best Members’, voted with the Whig opposition to the Liverpool ministry on most major issues, notably economy, retrenchment and reduced taxation, on which he spoke regularly, and campaigned steadily for ‘throwing open the banking trade’.2 He divided for information on Catholic burials, 6 Feb. 1824. He obtained a return of the value of silver and gold coinage in circulation, 9 Feb.3 He spoke against abolition of the usury laws, which had ‘greatly benefited’ the country, 16 Feb., and moved an amendment (which he later withdrew) for delaying their repeal by one year, 8 Apr. He pledged his support for remission of the wool tax if the ‘remaining sixpence’ of malt duty were also repealed, 20 Feb. Citing his constituents’ concern at the proposed reforms of the coal duties, he enquired whether the Grand Junction Canal would be permitted to transport coals to London and what ‘amount of duty they would be subjected to’, 25 Feb., and recommended giving ‘every facility to the inland coalowners’ against ‘the northern owners’, 1 Apr. On 25 Feb. he moved for inquiry into adapting ‘the coin of the realm’ to ‘a decimal scale’, and proposed that the ‘present denominations’ should be replaced by ‘pounds, double shillings, and farthings’, where ‘100 farthings would make a double shilling, and ten double shillings, or 1,000 farthings, would amount to a pound’. He abandoned the motion, but hoped that younger Members ‘would live to see his measure carried into effect’. He divided for reform of Edinburgh’s representation, 26 Feb. 1824, 13 Apr. 1825, parliamentary reform, 27 Apr., and curbing electoral bribery, 26 May 1826. On 27 Feb. 1824 he spoke in defence of George Chetwynd, Member for Stafford, accused by a petitioner of a ‘gross abuse of magisterial authority’, and stated that he had ‘signed the resolution of the magistrates passed in [his] approbation’. He suggested that abolition of the window tax might be effected ‘by retaining the duties on coals’ and by ‘abandoning’ plans to appropriate ‘£800,000 to the decoration of Windsor Castle, and the building of new churches’, 5 Mar. 1824, when he presented an individual’s petition against the importation of foreign silks and spoke against the proposed lowering of duties.4 He brought up a Buxton petition against slavery, 12 Mar.5 He argued for retention of ‘the permissive rights which landowners at present possessed of appointing game keepers’, 25 Mar., and spoke against the game laws amendment bill, 1 Apr. He presented a Wolverhampton petition against the combination laws, 30 Mar.6 He called for remission of the salt duties, 6 Apr. He denounced the ‘scandalous extortion’ of charging for admission to Westminster Abbey, 9 Apr. 1824, 13 Apr. 1826, when he was a minority teller on the issue. He argued that the ‘greatest mischief connected with the trade in corn was the constant tampering with the laws by which it was regulated’, 4 May 1824. The following day he presented a petition from the licensed victuallers of Wolverhampton against the beer duties.7 He voted for inquiry into the state of Ireland, 11 May, and against Irish church pluralities, 27 May. He was a majority teller for an amendment to the county courts bill, 24 May. He presented constituency petitions against the prosecution in Demerara of the Methodist missionary John Smith, 25, 26, 31 May 1824.8

Wrottesley divided against the Irish unlawful societies bill, 15 Feb. 1825. He was granted a fortnight’s leave on account of the death of a relation, 17 Feb. He voted for Catholic claims, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., when he presented a favourable petition from the Midland counties, and 10 May.9 The previous day he had contended that emancipation was necessary for ‘the solid union of the kingdoms’, and condemned the proposed disfranchisement of 200,000 Irish freeholders by the Irish franchise bill. He presented a Wolverhampton petition in favour of assigning its county court a concurrent jurisdiction with the court of requests, 26 Apr.10 He enquired about proposals to alter the regulations respecting flour, 28 Apr., and doubted that the importation of American corn was as ‘difficult’ as had been represented, 13 May.11 He argued that ‘£6,000 a year was too much for the puisne judges’, condemned ‘the disgraceful practice’ of their ‘making money’ out of their offices, and proposed an amendment ‘to substitute £5,000’, which was negatived, 16 May.12 He recommended delaying the distillery bill, 2 June, and presented a petition against it from Wolverhampton the following day.13 He hoped that Hume ‘had inquired well’ before presenting a petition complaining of country bank notes not being paid in gold, as it would have ‘a tendency to effect the credit of a mercantile establishment in a very important point’, 22 June. He argued for proceeding with the case of William Kenrick† at Canfor in order to preserve ‘the honour of the magistracy’, 24 June 1825.

Wrottesley contended that bankrupt country banks were ‘rather the victims of the speculations of others, than speculators themselves’, 9 Feb. 1826. In a speech described as ‘unbearable’ by George Agar Ellis*, which he prefaced by announcing that ‘he was an interested man, a banker’ 13 Feb., Wrottesley repudiated assertions that country banks had ‘over issued’ small notes and argued at length against inquiry into the Bank Charter and Promissory Note Acts, on which he ‘persisted in dividing’ the House and was a teller for the minority of 39. ‘But for the obstinacy of Sir John’, griped Agar Ellis, ‘we would have been unanimous, which would have had a good effect in the country’.14 Speaking against the promissory notes bill, 17 Feb., he accused ministers of having succumbed to the ‘novel and extraordinary’ theories of ‘friends of the Philosophic Club’, and warned against ‘taking away country bank notes, which were seldom forged, and suffering the reissue of Bank of England notes, which were easily forged’. He spoke in similar terms, 24, 27 Feb. He voted for a select committee on silk trade petitions, 24 Feb. He welcomed government plans to alleviate distress, 1 May, called for the corn duties to be applied ‘to the benefit of the distressed manufacturers’, 5 May, and asserted that ‘if the currency had not been interfered with, the present distress would not have existed’, 12 May 1826.

At the 1826 general election Wrottesley offered again, boasting of his ‘independence’. (Littleton’s belief that he would have ‘considerable difficulty in getting a good proposer’, since there were ‘but few Whig landowners in the county’ who were not his own ‘personal friends and well-wishers’, proved inaccurate.) Pressed on the progress of tax reductions at the nomination, 12 June 1826, Wrottesley observed that ‘in the abolition of tax, greater difficulties had arisen than in the imposition of it’, ‘dwelt at considerable length on the distress of the manufacturing districts and the currency question’, for which ‘ministers were highly culpable’, and called for their ‘ruinous measures’ to be ‘speedily abrogated’. After his unopposed return he ordered ‘six barrels of ale to be distributed among the population of Wolverhampton’.15 He attacked the extent of promotion in the navy, especially the practice of men being ‘made captain without any ship to command’, 13 Feb. 1827. He divided against the duke of Clarence’s grant, 16 Feb. He criticized the scale of duties proposed for barley and oats, 1 Mar., and the ‘inconvenience’ arising from changes to the corn laws, 23 Mar. He paired in favour of Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, and voted for it, 12 May 1828. He recommended that in county elections ‘the poll should be taken first in one hundred, and that the sheriff should then proceed to others’, 15 Mar. 1827. On the 26th he resumed his campaign for economical reforms, arguing at length that ministers should ‘get rid of the delusion of a sinking fund, and employ that surplus in relieving the country from a portion of its burdens’. He endorsed a Wolverhampton petition presented by Littleton against the game laws, and demanded ‘a bill to legalize the sale of game’, 28 Mar. Following his chairmanship of the Coventry election committee, for which he was granted a fortnight’s leave, 30 Mar., he introduced a bill giving the Warwickshire magistrates ‘a concurrent jurisdiction with those of the city of Coventry in regulating the affairs of the elections’, 22 May, which he ‘warmly defended’, 8 June. He was a majority teller for its various stages until it was defeated, 19 June. He divided for the disfranchisement of Penryn, 28 May. He defended the issue of £1 notes by country banks and moved for inquiry into their treatment by the Bank of England (which he later withdrew), 1 June. He divided for a grant to improve the water communications of Canada, 12 June 1827.

Wrottesley was one of the ‘reformers’ whom the Wellington ministry considered but did not appoint to the finance committee, 10 Feb. 1828.16 Next day he predicted that the committee ‘would be used as scapegoats’ for ‘the imposition of fresh taxes on the people’ and demanded further naval reductions. On 12 Feb., however, he appeared to accept the admiralty’s statement that 30,000 seamen and marines were ‘necessary’, although he otherwise concurred in ‘a great deal’ of what Hume had said. He continued to harass the government on exchequer bills, successfully moving for their accounts, 15 Feb. He presented petitions against the Malt Act, 18, 21 Feb., 4 June, when he pressed ministers about their intentions on the matter. He called for ‘a better system’ of dealing with Irish and Scottish vagrants, citing the cost to Staffordshire of £1,256 in a single year, 19 Feb., was appointed to the select committee on it, 12 Mar., and again urged reform, 14 Mar. He presented petitions against the Test Acts, 20, 21 Feb., and paired for their repeal, 26 Feb. That month he was part of a deputation to the duke of Wellington, the premier, and Peel, the home secretary, for transferring East Retford’s seats to Birmingham rather than extending its franchise to the freeholders of Bassetlaw, against which he spoke, 7 Mar., and voted, 21 Mar.17 On 6 Mar. he blamed recent increases in crime on ‘Peel’s Act’, which had ‘strongly tended to encourage prosecutions’ by ‘holding out the temptation of reward’. Asserting that military provisions ‘could always be procured cheaper than through the commissariat’, he pressed for its abolition, 10 Mar. He was appointed to the select committee on the poor laws, 22 Mar. On 24 Mar. he resumed his criticism of the sinking fund, which ‘if persisted in, must be productive of the most disastrous and ruinous effects’. He opposed plans outlined by Wilmot Horton, former colonial under-secretary, to relieve distress through emigration, 27 Mar., observing that before ‘any plan for sending any part of the population out of the country’ was pursued, ‘they ought to try every possible experiment to remedy the evils of the country’. He presented a petition against the friendly societies bill from Maidstone Friendly Society, 17 Apr. He voted for setting the pivot price of corn at 60s. not 64s., 22 Apr. That day he presented a petition against Catholic relief from Black Ladies, Wolverhampton. He brought up one in favour from the Catholics of Tixall, 25 Apr. He divided for more efficient recovery of customs penalties, 1 May. He secured copies of the country bankers’ memorial, 9 May. On 15 May he defended the usury laws, insisting that the ‘present state of the money market does not call for any alteration’. He seconded the motion to adjourn the debates on the small notes bill, 3 June, and recommended a ‘continuation of the one pound notes, for an indefinite period’, 5 June, when he voted for inquiry. He denounced the prohibition of Scottish bank notes ‘outside that country’ as ‘quite absurd’, and divided thus, 16 June. On 26 June, however, he resisted Hume’s motion for returns of the number of notes in circulation, observing that since the banks were ‘preparing for small notes withdrawal’, it would merely produce an ‘erroneous view of the proper circulation of the country’. He opposed the introduction of legislation for the suppression of bull-baiting, which he thought would greatly increase the evil rather than diminish it, 6 June. That day he voted against a grant for propagating the gospels in the colonies. He spoke against the county bridges bill, 9 June, arguing that they should ‘be repaired under the turnpike trusts like any other parts of a road’. He opposed a clause in the licensing bill limiting opening times, 19 June, remarking that ‘where ironworks are carried on, there is as much labour performed by night as by day’ and that it would be unfair to ‘prevent persons so employed from obtaining refreshment during the night’. On the army estimates, 20 June, he declared that pensions should only be ‘bestowed upon those who really deserve them’ and demanded measures to render the militia ‘more effective’. He condemned a grant of £25,000 for the education of the Irish poor as ‘worse than wasted’, 26 June. He promised to ‘make the most desperate attempts to oppose’ the additional churches bill and divided for adjourning the debates, 30 June. He spoke in support of Colonel Bradley’s case against the war office, 3 July 1828.

Wrottesley continued to campaign against exchequer bills, 16 Feb., and the manner of their funding, 8, 11 May 1829. He argued that the game laws amendment bill should be confined solely to the sale of game, 17 Feb. He voted for the Wellington ministry’s concession of Catholic emancipation, 6, 30 Mar., and dismissed a hostile Wolverhampton petition as unrepresentative, 6 Mar., saying that he knew of a counter-petition signed by 2,760 adults ‘of intelligence and information’, which he duly presented, 11 Mar., along with one from Albrighton, Shropshire. He brought up favourable petitions from the Protestant Dissenters of Burton-upon-Trent, Coseley and Cotton, 16 Mar. He expressed dismay at the number of hostile petitions received by the House, and hoped that in the aftermath of emancipation ‘peace and charity will soon knit together, in bonds of indissoluble amity, all sects and classes’, 19 Mar. He was in the minorities for the transfer of East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 5 May 1829, 5, 15 Mar. 1830, and protested that ‘giving this franchise to Bassetlaw’ would be ‘a retrograde step’, 7 May 1829. He welcomed the justices of the peace bill, 11 May, and inquiry into the collection of malt and beer duties the following day. On 28 May 1829 he presented a petition signed by ‘almost every’ Wolverhampton merchant and manufacturer against the monopoly of the East India Company, which he asked the government to take ‘into the earliest and most serious consideration’. Wrottesley blamed the increasing distress of the country on ‘the course adopted by this House in the year 1826, with respect to the currency’, 12 Feb. 1830. Presenting a Bilston petition against the truck system, 18 Feb., he urged ministers to ‘repeal the measure of 1826’, as the withdrawal of small notes had rendered the ‘payment of wages in goods ... the rule, and the payment of wages in money ... the exception’. He presented similar petitions from various places, 3, 10, 16 Mar. He voted for parliamentary reform, 18 Feb., 28 May (as a pair), and the enfranchisement of Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb. On 3 Mar. he was one of 27 opposition Members who met at the Albany and agreed to act under Lord Althorp’s Commons leadership to seek reductions of expenditure and taxation.18 He was in a minority of 15 for information on the Bombay judicature, 8 Mar. He defended the solicitor of the London and Birmingham Canal Company who was charged by Benson, Member for Stafford, with having submitted a fraudulent list of subscribers to the House, 11 Mar., 20, 21 May. He presented constituency petitions against the Walsall road bill, 18 Mar., slavery, 23 Mar., 21 May, and complaining of distress, 25 Mar. He was a minority teller for limiting ordnance salaries, 2 Apr., when he complained that by ‘employing itself in its own manufactures’, the government ‘damps that ardour and inquisitiveness by which the public, when competition is common in the market, derive the benefit of improved skill and cheapened price’. On the same issue, 6 Apr., he agreed with Hume that ‘the system of manufacturing by government is anything but one of economy’, and cited the example of arms ‘made for the East India Company at our manufactory at Enfield’, which ‘might have been obtained much cheaper at Birmingham’. He presented a petition from the magistrates of Stafford against the beer bill, which would be ‘productive of serious injury to a deserving class of the community’, 28 Apr., and another from Uttoxeter, 4 June. He contended that the cadets of Woolwich Military Academy should ‘pay for their education’, 30 Apr. He was appointed to select committees on the labourers’ wages bill, 3 May, manufacturing employment, 13 May, and, following his own motion for inquiry, the Hackney coach service, 13 May. He argued that Jews should only ‘enjoy all the rights of British born subjects so far as relates to their trade and commerce’ and that the ‘power of obtaining a seat in this House’ should not be placed ‘in the hands of any one not of the Christian religion’, but nevertheless voted for their emancipation, 17 May. On 24 May he divided for abolition of the death penalty for forgery. He defended the Scottish and Irish poor removal bill, which was not intended ‘to burden the metropolis, but to relieve distant counties from a heavy burden’, 26 May 1830.

At the 1830 general election Wrottesley stood again, stressing his support for tax reductions and claiming that the ‘removal of beer duties’ would be ‘a source of considerable relief and comfort to the poor man’, who ‘would be able to drink three pints of beer for what two would now cost him’. Although he had ‘never, upon any occasion, pledged himself to adopt any course’, he would ‘upon this occasion give one pledge, namely that if anything should arise likely to benefit the agriculture and commerce of the kingdom, it should have his honest support’. Rumours of an opposition came to nothing and he was returned unopposed.19 He was of course listed by the Wellington ministry as one of their ‘foes’, and he divided against them on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. He presented constituency petitions for the abolition of slavery, 9, 17 Nov. 1830, 10 Mar. 1831. On 9 Nov. 1830 he demanded more ‘effectual measures’ against popular disturbances, but also urged inquiry into the causes of distress. He protested that there was ‘a monopoly so firmly established among the coal-owners of the North, as would prevent the public from deriving the smallest benefit from the remission of the duty’ on seaborne coals, 12 Nov. He endorsed a petition from the Staffordshire potteries against the East India Company’s monopoly, 18 Nov., and presented another from the same place, signed by 10,000 artisans, against the truck system, 14 Dec. 1830. He welcomed the register of deeds bill, which would lessen the ‘insecurity and expense of conveyancing’, 9 Feb. 1831. He commended the Grey ministry’s budget, 11 Feb., asserting that their proposals to repeal taxes on coal, candles and tobacco ‘amply redeemed their pledges to the country’. He was appointed to the public accounts committee, 17 Feb. On 14 Mar. he argued for improved public access to the British Museum, particularly on Saturdays when it was ‘invariably closed’. Next day he defended the Birmingham Grammar School bill, denying that it was biased ‘exclusively to the education of the children of the rich’. Wrottesley presented constituency petitions for reform, 3 Feb., when he observed that it was a cause that he had ‘long advocated’, 10, 19, 29 Mar. Rebutting Tory statements that bribery was common in all constituencies, 17 Feb., he argued that ‘county Members are not generally returned by the influence of bribery, whether in the shape of money or patronage’. He drew attention to the large number of reform petitions awaiting presentation, 7 Mar., and refuted claims made by Miller, Tory Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, that they were being ‘got up’ improperly, asserting that ‘in Staffordshire there is not an individual who is not enthusiastic in the cause’, 19 Mar. He hoped the Grey ministry’s reform bill would ‘be thrown out altogether, rather than not carried to its full extent’, and warned against sacrificing ‘any detail which will risk the principle of the measure’, 21 Mar. He paired for its second reading the following day and divided against Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. At the ensuing general election he offered again, promising to support economy, retrenchment and reform. ‘So far from being revolutionary’, he declared, the reform bill was ‘a moderate’ measure which would ‘tend to unite all classes, and correct and modify public opinion’. Talk of an opposition promoted by Peel came to nothing and he was re-elected unopposed.20

Wrottesley urged ministers to ‘institute a full inquiry’ into military accounts, 27 June 1831. He voted for the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, at least twice against the adjournment, 12 July, and gave generally steady support to its details, although he was in the minority against the inclusion of Downton in schedule A, 21 July, and spoke and divided for giving two Members to Stoke, the omission of which he deemed a ‘striking inconsistency’ given that the two Member boroughs of Sunderland and Devonport had smaller populations, 4 Aug. He was also in the majority for Lord Chandos’s clause to enfranchise £50 tenants-at-will, 18 Aug. He condemned the anti-reform speeches of the Tory opposition as ‘a merciless waste of time’, 5 Aug., protesting that ‘Members should not be detained in town at this season of the year’ and that ‘the sooner the bill is passed the better it will be for all parties’. On 11 Aug. he argued against retaining the annuitant franchise in cities such as Lichfield which were counties of themselves, as ‘a person of large property, by cutting it up into annuities, may acquire such influence as to turn the place into a close borough’. He denied opposition charges of political bias in the appointment of the boundary commissioners, 11 Sept. He divided for the reform bill’s passage, 21 Sept., and Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. He had Wetherell called to order for naming ‘Tavistock Abbey, Althorp and Chatsworth’ as places likely ‘to be the objects of popular fury’ over the £10 householder clause, 12 Oct. He called for more time to enable the sheriff to answer charges arising from the Pembrokeshire election, 8 July. On 11 July he denied that ‘much advantage’ was ‘derived by the public’ from the widening of London streets. He was appointed to the select committee on the House of Commons buildings, 12 Aug., but protested that the ‘alterations’ they were considering ‘would cost considerably more than the building of a new House’, 11 Oct. He cautioned against ‘acting hastily’ over the delayed election return of Great Grimsby, 16 Aug., and voted with ministers on the Dublin election controversy, 23 Aug. He was a majority teller against an amendment to the labourers’ wages bill, 13 Sept. 1831.

Wrottesley voted for the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, and for going into committee on it, 20 Jan., 20 Feb. 1832, and again gave general support to its details. He dismissed concerns about the expense of the proposed registration system, insisting that the shilling to be charged would ‘be more than ample ... and there will be a surplus to go to the poor rates’, 20 Feb. Deputizing for Littleton, he refuted attacks by Croker on the boundary proposals, 9 Mar., when, in Littleton’s opinion, he spoke ‘remarkably well’ in defence of the new constituency arrangements for Staffordshire and ‘the claims of Walsall to one representative’, as he did again, 7 June.21 He divided for the reform bill’s third reading, 22 Mar., and the address calling on the king to appoint only ministers who would carry it unimpaired, 10 May. On 17 May he gave notice of a Wolverhampton petition signed by 12,000 inhabitants and political unionists for withholding the supplies until the bill became law, which he duly presented, 22 May. He voted for the second reading of the Irish reform bill, 25 May, and against a Conservative amendment to the Scottish bill, 1 June. He divided with government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12, 20 July, and relations with Portugal, 9 Feb. He voted for information on military punishments, 16 Feb. He presented a Wolverhampton petition in support of the London and Birmingham railway bill, 14 May, and opposed inquiry into alleged irregularities in its standing orders, 18 June. He warned that if measures against distress were ‘not speedily taken’, many people would ‘be thrown out of employment, and under the stimulus of privation, may have recourse to violence’, 17 May. He was appointed to the committee of secrecy on the Bank of England charter, 23 May. He drew attention to the ‘impropriety’ of using the word ‘extinction’ in the Irish tithes bill when ‘commutation’ was actually intended, 29 June 1832.

At the 1832 general election Wrottesley was returned unopposed for the new division of Staffordshire South, where he sat until his defeat at the general election of 1837. It was his motion for a call of the whole House to consider the fate in the Lords of the Irish church bill which unexpectedly led to a humiliating defeat for the Grey ministry and split the cabinet, 15 July 1833.22 Raised to the peerage in 1838, he retired to farming on his model demesne of 800 acres, which was noted for its agricultural improvements, particularly in turnip growing, but by 1840 Dyott considered that ‘his days are numbered’. Wrottesley died ‘after long suffering’ in March the following year.23 By his will, dated 30 June 1835 and proved under £45,000, he left legacies of £6,000 to each of the four surviving children of his first marriage and three step-children by his second. The residue and entailed estates passed to his eldest son and successor in the barony John Wrottesley (1798-1867), an astronomer.24

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Philip Salmon


  • 1. Staffs. Advertiser, 5, 12, 19, 26 July; Lichfield Mercury, 11 July 1823; Dyott’s Diary, i. 350, ii. 148.
  • 2. Hatherton mss, Littleton to Leigh, 16 May 1829; Dod’s Parl. Companion (1833), 177.
  • 3. The Times, 10 Feb. 1824.
  • 4. Ibid. 6 Mar. 1824.
  • 5. Ibid. 13 Mar. 1824.
  • 6. Ibid. 31 Mar. 1824.
  • 7. Ibid. 5, 6 May 1824.
  • 8. Ibid. 26, 27 May, 1 June 1824.
  • 9. Ibid. 22 Apr. 1825.
  • 10. Ibid. 27 Apr. 1825.
  • 11. Ibid. 29 Apr. 1825.
  • 12. Ibid. 16 May 1825.
  • 13. Ibid. 31 May, 3, 4 June 1825.
  • 14. Keele Univ. Lib. Sneyd mss SC8/79; Broughton, Recollections, iii. 125; Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary, 13 Feb. 1826.
  • 15. Staffs. Advertiser, 10, 17, 24 June; Hatherton mss, Littleton to Leigh, 13, 15 May, 2 June 1826.
  • 16. Add. 38761, f. 269; 40395, f. 221.
  • 17. Lincs. AO, Tennyson d’Eyncourt mss 2 Td’E M85/9, C. to G. Tennyson, 27 Feb. 1828.
  • 18. Castle Howard mss, Graham to Morpeth, 3 Mar. 1830.
  • 19. Staffs. Advertiser, 17, 24, 31 July, 7, 14 Aug. 1830.
  • 20. Ibid. 30 Apr., 7 May 1831.
  • 21. Hatherton diary, 9 Mar. 1832.
  • 22. Three Diaries, 362.
  • 23. Dyott’s Diary, ii. 146, 328, 336; Gent. Mag. (1841), i. 650-1.
  • 24. PROB 11/1948/463; IR26/1594/351; Oxford DNB.