STURT, Anthony (c.1656-1741), of Heckfield, Hants.
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Family and Education
b. c.1656, s. of Anthony Sturt, merchant, of St. Botolph, Aldgate, London by his w. Mary Chapman. m. lic. 16 Apr. 1689, Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Parsons*, 1s. suc. fa. 1673; kntd. 27 Apr. 1713.1
Cashier of victualling office 1683–9; gent. privy chamber 1702–27.2
Sheriff, Hants 1693–4; freeman, Southampton 1713.3
Sturt’s father, a London merchant and financier, who bought the estate of Heckfield and obtained a grant of arms in 1691, was a victualling contractor for the navy from 1673 until 1677 and was appointed to the first commission for victualling set up in December 1683. At the same time Sturt himself became cashier to the new board, an office he no doubt owed partly to his father’s influence and partly to his own position as a financier. He had already lent the government £2,000 in November 1683, and showed his gratitude after his appointment by making further loans totalling £43,000 between December 1683 and July 1684, mostly used for victualling the navy. Sturt and his father clearly prospered under Charles II and James II, but both were turned out of office in March 1689. Thereafter, they seemed to be less active as government financiers, although Sturt continued to make a few loans until 1696. On his father’s death he had inherited the estate of Heckfield and several annuities on government funds granted in lieu of repayment of loans. In 1694 he also owned shares in a London brewhouse, with Sir John Friend†. He bought the manor of Horton in Dorset in 1697.4
Although mainly based in London (as sheriff of Hampshire in 1693 he had been given permission to live out of the county), Sturt was returned in a contested election for Stockbridge in 1695. A Country Tory, he was forecast as likely to oppose the government in the division of 31 Jan. 1696 over the proposed council of trade, though he was an early subscriber to the Association. In March he voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. However, he was otherwise an inactive Member, and in the 1696–7 session appears to have been absent on 25 Nov. from the division on the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Sturt was granted leave of absence for ten days on 14 Apr. 1698. Returned unopposed for Stockbridge in the general election that year, he was classed as a Country supporter in a comparative analysis of the old and new Commons in September, while in 1700 in an analysis of the Commons into ‘interests’ he was classed as an adherent of the Old East India Company, though it is not evident what connexion, if any, he had with the company. Returned unopposed once more in the first 1701 election, he was included in February on a list of those likely to support the Court in agreeing with a supply committee resolution to continue the ‘Great Mortgage’, though he was also included on the ‘black list’ of Members who had opposed the preparations for war with France.5
Despite the mainly Tory ministry appointed at the accession of Anne, and his own appointment to the privy chamber, Sturt did not stand for Parliament again until 1713. During these years his accounts as cashier of the victualling were under scrutiny by the victualling and navy boards. In addition, he appeared before the Treasury Board on a number of occasions and obtained a stay of process until his accounts were finally closed in 1709. On 5 May 1703, while the bill for the resumption of William III’s grants was pending in committee, he presented a petition for the addition of a clause excepting a confirmatory grant made to him in May 1700 of his share in the Phoenix brewhouse, which might have been forfeited in 1696 by the attainder of his partner, Friend. The petition was referred to the committee but as the bill did not become law, no further action was taken.6
Sturt was knighted in April 1713 when he presented a congratulatory address to the Queen from Hampshire on the conclusion of peace. Shortly afterwards he returned to Parliament as knight of the shire but, as in the earlier Parliaments, he was an inactive Member. He was classed as a Tory in the Worsley list. He did not stand for Parliament again and died on 10 Dec. 1741, aged 85. His son, Humphrey Sturt, married the heiress to the Dorset estates of the Napier family and his grandson represented that county from 1754 to 1784.7
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Paula Watson
- 1. London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 755; Misc. Gen. et Her. ser. 5, vi. 193; Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 125.
- 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. vii. 968; xxi. 347.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1694–5, p. 45; Southampton RO, Southampton bor. recs. SC3/2, f. 44.
- 4. VCH Hants, iv. 46; Grantees of Arms (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 245; Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 431; v. 46, 49, 75, 84, 874; vi. 236; vii. 375, 550, 953, 976, 977, 987, 994, 1056, 1244; viii. 161, 395, 467; ix. 1999, 2003; x. 912, 1360; xiv. 207; xv. 268, 327; xx. 252, 380; Hutchins, 148.
- 5. CSP Dom. 1694–5, p. 45.
- 6. Cal. Treas. Bks. xv. 327; xvi. 331; xvii. 61, 295, 377, 410; xviii. 23, 131, 185, 293, 469; xix. 125, 136, 307, 328, 540; xx. 73, 132, 305, 307, 574; xxi. 180, 347; xxii. 152; xxiii. 302.
- 7. Top. and Gen. iii. 507; Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 506; Hutchins, 124–6.