HOOPER, Edward (?1701-95), of Worthy Park, Hants.
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Family and Education
b. ?1701, 1st s. of Edward Hooper of Heron Court, Christchurch, Hants by Lady Dorothy Ashley Cooper, da. of Anthony Ashley Cooper, 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury. educ. Trinity, Oxf. 5 May 1720, aged 18; M. Temple 1717, called 1724. unm. suc. fa. 1759.
Paymaster of pensions 13 July 1742-22 Dec. 1744; commr. of customs 1748.
The Hoopers acquired the lease of Heron Court, near Christchurch, in 1661, and bought the fee simple in 1700.1 After standing unsuccessfully for Christchurch in 1727, Edward Hooper was returned for it as a Whig in 1734. In Parliament he attached himself to Pulteney, speaking on 16 Nov. 1739 in support of Pulteney’s bill to encourage seamen by giving up to them the Government’s share in the prize money. Through his cousin, the 4th Earl of Shaftesbury, a common councillor of the Georgia Society, he became associated with the affairs of that colony, seconding a motion for an inquiry into its advantages on 28 Jan. 1740, presenting the Society’s petition for further support on 21 Jan. 1741, and on the 28th moving that £10,000 might be given for this purpose.2 After Walpole’s fall Hooper was elected to the secret committee set up by the House of Commons in April 1742 to inquire into the last ten years of Walpole’s Administration; and in July he was rewarded by Pulteney, now Lord Bath, with a place of £900 a year, according to Horace Walpole, ‘for one day saying his Lordship had spoke with the tongue not of a man but an angel’.3 Losing his place when most of the Bath-Granville squadron were turned out on Granville’s fall in 1744, he was classed among Bath’s followers in 1746, but in the next Parliament he was put down as a government supporter. In 1748 he was appointed a commissioner of customs to vacate his seat for Sir Thomas Robinson. Although no longer in Parliament, he continued active in Christchurch elections, where from 1754 he controlled both seats, returning his cousin James Harris, later 1st Earl of Malmesbury, for one, and generally placing the other at the disposal of the Government.4 He died 6 Sept. 1795, leaving all his property to Lord Malmesbury.