CHAMPION, George (d.1754), of St. Clement's Lane, London, and Balking, Berks.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
Prob. s. of George Champion of Balking, Berks. m. (1) Susanna (d. 3 Sept. 1738), da. of Sir Jonathan Andrews of Kempton Park, Mdx., 1da.; (2) 27 Feb. 1744, Mrs. Jones, wid., of Moulsford, Berks., 1s. d.v.p. Kntd. 18 Jan. 1737.
Coopers’ Co. 1729; Haberdashers’ 1739; master, Haberdashers’ 1740-1; alderman of London 1730, sheriff 1737-8; col. White Regt. (trained bands) 1745-d.; pres. Hon. Artillery Co. 1750-d.
Champion, a London merchant, served on the committees set up by the common council of the city to prepare petitions against the Charitable Corporation, and the excise bill, acting with such vigour against the latter as to make himself ‘the darling of the city’.1 Returned for Aylesbury in 1734, he was the only alderman of London to vote for the Spanish convention, bribed, it was said, by the Government.2 The ‘bribe’ may have been a Treasury order of 25 Apr. 1738 to the commissioners of customs to stay proceedings against him for unpaid duties until further orders.3 When in September 1739 he stood for the office of lord mayor, as the senior alderman below the chair, ‘the Post Office, the Custom House, the Excise office, together with the three great companies, and all the other allies of the Treasury exerted themselves with incredible activity in his cause’; but, although for the past 30 years lord mayors had been chosen in strict rotation, he was defeated on a show of hands by a great majority. He then demanded a poll, but soon gave up, in his own words,
perceiving, that contrary to the hopes I had entertained of a more calm disposition, I could not withstand the present opposition formed against me without occasioning great hardships and sufferings to individuals, as well as a mischievous convulsion to the whole community.4
A government supporter commented:
They have put by Sir G. Champion from the mayoralty for voting for the convention, which is a most scandalous part in the City, when it has been approved of by both Houses of Parliament. There might be other reasons with respect to his character in private life for setting him aside, but the reason given is his voting for the convention.5
He voted with the Administration on the place bill in 1740, did not stand in 1741, and died 18 July 1754.
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. 18 Feb. 1730, 9 Apr. 1733, Jnl. of Common Council, vol. 57; Pol State, lviii. 302.
- 2. Stuart mss 254/154.
- 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. and Pprs. 1735-8, p. 543.
- 4. A narrative of what passed in the Common Hall assembled for the election of a Lord Mayor, 29 Sept., 1 and 2 Oct., 1739.
- 5. HMC 14th Rep. IX, 252.