PITT, John (c.1698-1754).

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



6 May 1720 - 1722
20 Jan. 1724 - 1727
1727 - 1734

Family and Education

b. c.1698, 3rd s. of Thomas Pitt of Boconnoc and yr. bro. of Robert and Thomas Pitt (d.1729), 1st Earl of Londonderry. educ. Eton 1708. m. Mary, da. of Thomas Belasyse, 3rd Visct. Fauconberg, s.p.

Offices Held

Capt. and lt.-col. 1 Ft. Gds. 1717; a.-d.-c. to the King 1722-?7.


John Pitt, ‘the good-for-nothing colonel’ as his father called him, was sent to ‘the best school in England’, given a company in the Guards, made a.-d.-c. to the King, with whom he became a personal favourite, and brought into Parliament. But, his great-nephew, the 1st Lord Camelford, writes, ‘he contrived to sacrifice his health, his honour, and his fortune, to a flow of libertinism, which dashed the fairest prospects’. Camelford gives two examples of ‘the profligacy of his character. He retained by force a qualification in Parliament with which his father had trusted him’, i.e. refused to surrender an estate conveyed to him on the usual understanding that he would convey it back on taking his seat. Having been forbidden his father’s house, he waited outside till an estate agent arrived with some rents, on which he rushed in with his sword drawn, making off with the money. Cut out of his father’s will, he filed a bill in Chancery against the executors, which his elder brother, Robert, described as ‘vexatious and malicious ... brought contrary to my father’s will, tending to ... throw odious and wicked imputations on his memory, and to blast him in his grave’. Returned by his nephew, Thomas, after Robert’s death in 1727, he voted with the Government, but was not put up again. He survived for 20 years, sunk ‘in contempt and obscurity’, dying ‘at the thatched house by the turnpike at Hammersmith’, 9 Feb. 1754.1

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. HMC Fortescue, i. 31, 73, 86; ‘Family Characters and Anecdotes,’ by the 1st Ld. Camelford, Fortescue mss at Boconnoc.