FORTESCUE ALAND, John (1670-1746), of Stapleford Abbots, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1715 - 24 Jan. 1717

Family and Education

b. 7 Mar. 1670, 2nd s. of Edmund Fortescue of Bierton, Bucks. by Sarah, da. of Henry Aland, sis. and coh. of Henry Aland of Waterford. educ. M. Temple 1688, called 1695; called I. Temple 1712, bencher 1714. m (1) lic. 19 Dec. 1707, Grace, da. of Sir John Pratt, l.c.j. of King’s bench, sis. of Charles Pratt, M.P., 1st Earl Camden, 2s.; (2) 29 Dec. 1721, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Sir Robert Dormer, M.P., justice of common pleas, 1s. suc. e. bro. 1704, taking add. name of Aland. Kntd. 24 Jan. 1717. cr. Baron Fortescue of Credan [I] 15 Aug. 1746.

Offices Held

K.C. 1714; solicitor-gen. to Prince of Wales 1714-15; solicitor-gen. 1715-17; baron of the Exchequer 1717-18; justice of King’s bench 1718-27; justice of common pleas 1729-46.


Fortescue Aland was descended from Henry VI’s chief justice, Sir John Fortescue, whose treatise on the difference between an absolute and a limited monarchy he prepared for publication. Appointed solicitor-general to the Prince of Wales at George I’s accession, he was brought into Parliament by the Duke of Somerset in 1715, succeeding Nicholas Lechmere as solicitor-general, a post which he held till he was appointed a baron of the Exchequer, thereby vacating his seat, in 1717. In this capacity he was one of the judges who, during the quarrel between the King and the Prince of Wales, were asked whether the care and education of the Prince’s children belonged to the King, expressing the opinion that it did. On George II’s accession he wrote to Walpole, begging his protection ‘if there should be any difficulty in renewing my patent’, as a result of the new King’s resentment of the opinion which Fortescue Aland had given ‘upon an unhappy occasion’. He continued:

His Majesty has all along approved of my services, when I was his solicitor-general, whilst Prince of Wales; and when I was solicitor-general to his father; and himself made me a baron of the Exchequer by your recommendation; for he was regent and present in council when that was done.1

His patent was not renewed but after a few months he was restored to the bench of judges. He retired with an Irish peerage in 1746, dying 19 Dec. that year.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: J. B. Lawson


  • 1. 1 Aug. 1727, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.