PICKERING, Sir Gilbert, 3rd Bt. (c.1669-1736), of West Langton, Leics.; Titchmarsh, Northants.; and Cavendish Square, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1708 - 1710

Family and Education

b. c.1669, 1st and o. surv. s. of Sir John Pickering, 2nd Bt., by Frances, da. of Sir Thomas Alston, 1st Bt., of Odell, Beds.  m. in or bef. Apr. 1691, Elizabeth (d. 1741), da. and h. of Staveley Staunton of Birchmore, Woburn, Beds., 4s. (3 d.v.p.) 3da.  suc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 3 Apr. 1703.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Leics. 1705–6.

Gent. of privy chamber c.1714–d.2


Pickering’s grandfather, also Sir Gilbert†, had been a staunch and prominent Parliamentarian and had received a Cromwellian peerage in December 1657. For a marriage partner the grandson chose prudently, taking his 14-year-old cousin, a Bedfordshire heiress, ‘who brought him a very great fortune’. Until his father’s death in 1703, Pickering resided at West Langton, after which he moved to the family seat at Titchmarsh in the neighbouring county. Although Pickering had expressed an interest in standing at the 1708 election, his candidature was for some weeks rendered doubtful when the Duke of Rutland (John Manners†, Lord Roos) announced that the second Whig candidate would be his son the Marquess of Granby (John Manners*, Lord Roos); thus only when Granby later withdrew was Pickering’s candidacy in the election assured. At the conclusion of a closely fought party contest he himself gained a seat while his senior partner, George Ashby*, was defeated in fourth place.3

During his brief sojourn in the House, Pickering was mostly inactive. He voted in favour of the naturalization of the Palatines in 1709, and was teller on 10 Mar. for the committal of a bill regulating the construction of new building works in London and Westminster. He voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710, but on 20 Mar. was given three weeks’ leave of absence. Pickering agreed to retire in 1710 in order to facilitate Rutland’s request for his son Lord Granby to stand. Granby’s return was soon followed, however, by his succession to the Rutland dukedom in February 1711, necessitating a by-election in which Pickering was briefly considered a possible contender against the Tory Sir Thomas Cave, 3rd Bt.* In late January 1713 there was a ‘flying report’ that Pickering and Lord Sherard (Bennet*) intended to challenge the Tory candidates later that year, but as in 1711 no Whig challenge was actually mounted. Owing to the Whig sheriff’s biased refusal to make a return at the February 1715 general election, a new poll was held in April in which Pickering appears to have played a statesmanlike role: Cave reported that in spite of the heavy Whig defeat ‘Sir Gilbert was satisfied of their having fair pla[y]ing in this election’. He was appointed one of George I’s gentlemen of the privy chamber soon after the King’s accession, retaining the post until his death on 29 Feb. 1736 at Cavendish Square.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Andrew A. Hanham


  • 1. Nichols, Leics. ii. 614, 661.
  • 2. N. Carlisle, Gent. Privy Chamber, 223.
  • 3. Add. 24121, f. 166; Rutland mss at Belvoir Castle, Thomas Sawbridge to Rutland, 3 Mar. [1708].
  • 4. Rutland mss, Sawbridge to Rutland, 12 July 1710; BL, Verney mss mic. 636/55, Cave to Visct. Fermanagh (John Verney*), 26 Jan. 1713; Verney Letters 18th Cent. i. 333.