GUISE, Sir John, 3rd Bt. (c.1677-1732), of Elmore and Rendcombe, Glos., and Harleyford, in Great Marlow, Bucks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1677, o.s. of Sir John Guise, 2nd Bt., M.P., by Elizabeth, da. of John Grubham Howe, M.P., of Compton Abdale, Glos. and Langar, Notts., sis. of Scrope Howe, M.P., 1st Visct. Howe [I], and of John Howe, M.P., of Stowell, Glos., paymaster gen. m. (1) lic. 4 June 1696, Elizabeth (d.1701), da. of Sir Nathaniel Napier, 2nd Bt., M.P., of Critchell More, Dorset, 1s.; (2) lic. 2 Jan. 1711, Anne, da. and coh. of Sir Francis Russell, 3rd Bt., M.P., of Strensham, Worcs., wid. of (i) Richard Lygon of Madresfield, Worcs., and (ii) Sir Henry Every, 3rd Bt., of Egginton, Derbys., s.p. suc. fa. 19 Nov. 1695.
Sir John Guise, whose father and grandfather had both represented Gloucestershire, came of an ancient Bedfordshire family, who had held the manor of Elmore since 1274.1 From his autobiography up to 1720 he appears to have been a cross-grained individual who, though sitting as a Whig under Queen Anne and having ‘a great opinion’ of George I, described that party as ‘bad subjects and worse rulers, unfit either to command or to be commanded.’ According to his own account he attempted vainly to effect a reconciliation between the King and the Prince and Princess after their quarrel in November 1717:
The King, who honoured me with some esteem, supped with me at Kensington and was very merry with me ... Between this good King and the Princess of Wales I often went, and found ’em extremely animated against each other, nay the King seemed more angry with her than his son ... Her Royal Highness ... told me that his Majesty’s dislike to her was so much the stronger because he had not always had an aversion for her and had signified so much to her in a manner she did not well understand.
Guise’s son commented that his father:
was too indolent and unhealthy to pursue a court intrigue and of too honest and open a temper to have kept any power there, had he obtained it, which he certainly would, had he brought about the reconciliation he so far advanced; nay, so far had he wrought himself into the old King’s favour by his honest and free advice, that the King once asked him what he should do for him. He named something; but when the King mentioned that he would consult his ministry about it, my father told him that he would gladly serve him, but would never be obliged to his ministers.2
A somewhat coarse ballad, entitled ‘Duke upon Duke’ and attributed to Swift, refers to a quarrel and attempted duel about this time between Guise and Nicholas Lechmere.
In 1719 Guise bought the manors of Harleyford and Great Marlow from Sir James Etheridge, M.P., thus acquiring a strong political interest there.3 Before the 1722 election he wrote to Walpole about Buckinghamshire elections, asking him to fulfil ‘with speed’ a promise which would contribute to the success of Guise’s election at Great Marlow.4 He was returned with Edmund Waller but,
not liking his brother member, did in all things cross Mr. Waller’s interest, which caused not only trouble but expense. For Sir John was of such a spirit of controversy and delighted in it that right or wrong it was all alike to him.5
On 21 Feb. 1724 he presented a petition, seconded by John Barnard, from the subscribers to the Bahama Company, claiming ‘that they had been bubbled out of their money and could not recover it without help of Parliament’. This was negatived by the House after Walpole had expressed the hope that ‘gentlemen would not begin to unravel the misfortunes of the year '20, for then there would be no end’. On 14 March 1727 he moved an amendment to the Address condemning a memorial published by the Austrian ambassador attacking the Government. The motion, which was seconded by a Tory, was rejected without a division.6 Defeated in 1727 by a government supporter, who, he alleged, had organized a club, or flying squadron, against him, backed by £1,000, he petitioned unsuccessfully.7
He died 16 Nov. 1732.
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: R. S. Lea
- 1. Bristol & Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. iii. 49-77.
- 2. Mems. of Fam. of Guise (R. Hist. Soc. Cam. ser. 3, xxviii), 151, 153, 155-7.
- 3. VCH Bucks. iii. 71; Add. 34741, ff. 7-8.
- 4. 4 Aug. 1722, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.
- 5. See GREAT MARLOW; Probyn mss, Gloucester RO, D.23, E.51.
- 6. Knatchbull Diary.
- 7. CJ, xxi. 480-2.