OUGHTON, Adolphus (?1684-1736), of Fillongley and Tachbrook, Warws.

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



1715 - 20 Nov. 1722
11 Dec. 1722 - 4 Sept. 1736

Family and Education

b. ?1684, 1st s. of Adolphus Oughton of Fillongley by Mary, da. of Richard Samwell of Upton, Northants., aunt of Sir Thomas Samwell. educ. Trinity, Oxf. 19 Mar. 1702, aged 17; M. Temple 1703. m. (1) c.1712, his cos. Frances (d. June 1714), da. of Sir Thomas Wagstaffe of Tachbrook by Frances, da. of Richard Samwell, wid. of Sir Edward Bagot, 4th Bt., M.P., of Blithfield, Staffs., s.p., (2) Elizabeth, da. of John Baber by Mary, da. and coh. of Sir Thomas Draper, 1st Bt., of Sunninghill, Berks., s.p. suc. fa. 1684; cr. Bt. 27 Aug. 1718.

Offices Held

Capt. and lt.-col. 1 Ft. Gds. 1706; 1st maj. and col. Coldstream Gds. 1715, lt.-col. 1717; col. 8 Drag. Gds. 1733; brig.-gen. 1735.

Groom of the bedchamber to Prince of Wales Sept. 1714-Dec. 1717.


Oughton’s family settled at Fillongley, near Coventry, soon after the Restoration. He served under Marlborough at Blenheim, Oudenarde and Menin,1 accompanying him into exile as his aide de camp in 1712.2 In 1714 he inherited from his first wife, £5,000 and a lease of as years of Tachbrook,3 where he generally resided. At the accession of George I he was given a place in the Prince’s household. Returned as a Whig for Coventry in 1715 with his cousin Sir Thomas Samwell, he voted for the septennial bill in 1716. The only member of the Prince’s household who did not vote against Lord Cadogan, he resigned his post, receiving a secret service payment of £500 from Sunderland in 1718.4 He voted with the Administration on the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts but was absent from the division on the peerage bill in 1719. On 3 June 1721 he opposed a motion for allowing Jacob Sawbridge £10,000 out of his estates.

Oughton was again returned for Coventry in 1722, after a violent contest, leading to a duel in which he was wounded by Lord Craven, brother of Fulwar Craven, his Tory opponent. He was at this time said to be one of the chief advisers of General Cadogan, who had succeeded Marlborough as head of the army.5 Unseated on petition but reelected, he was unopposed in 1727. He was absent from the divisions on the civil list in 1729, on the Hessians in 1730, and on the army in 1732, possibly because he was serving with his regiment in Ireland. The agitation against the excise bill in Coventry caused him to abstain from the division on the bill on 14 Mar. 1733, but on the committee stage of the bill two days later he was embarrassed by his fellow Member, John Neale, who declared that their constituents supported the bill. On 17 Mar. he wrote to Edward Hopkins:

This unexpected incident is very likely to lose me my Minorcan government, which by the way is near £2,000 p.a. and which I believe by this time I had been in possession of, had not this cursed excise affair intervened and made the usual court artifices be put upon me of keeping it open in terrorem. However, whilst I lay well intrenched behind the instructions of my constituents and kept myself in a state of neutrality I was pretty sure, by the assistance of my friends to have weathered the point; but this behaviour of my worthy coadjutor having beat me out of that fastness, that behaviour which before was in my behalf softened with the terms of prudence and circumspection, is now deemed the result of obstinacy and perverseness.

And on 3 Apr.

on m’a mis le marché en mains, and if I do not vote for the wine bill at least ... I must renounce all hopes and thoughts of any present or future recompense for all my life spent in the service, a hard lesson this.6

He did not get the post, though he voted with the Government on the repeal of the Septennial Act in 1734. Re-elected in 1734 he died 4 Sept. 1736, leaving an illegitimate son, James Adolphus Dickenson Oughton who became a General in the, army.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Verney Letters of 18th Cent. i. 264, 267; HMC 10th Rep. VI, 186.
  • 2. Marlborough, Dispatches, v. 579-80.
  • 3. Verney Letters, i. 275.
  • 4. Bonet’s disp. 7/18 June 1717, Deutsches Zentral-archiv.; Sunderland (Blenheim) mss D.II, 4.
  • 5. HMC Portland, v. 543; vii. 329.
  • 6. Hopkins mss.