CALVERT, John (1726-1804), of Albury Hall, Herts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



25 Feb. 1754 - 1761
1761 - 1780
27 Nov. 1780 - 1784
1784 - 1802

Family and Education

b. 6 May 1726, 1st surv. s. of Felix Calvert, London brewer, of Albury Hall by his 2nd cos. Mary, da. of Felix Calvert of Nine Ashes, Herts. m. 8 Sept. 1757, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Edward Hulse, 1st Bt., 2s. suc. fa. 29 Apr. 1755.

Offices Held


Calvert inherited a partnership in the family brewery in Whitecross Street, and seems to have remained in the firm at least till 1784, when he was described by John Sinclair as ‘a great brewer’.1

Calvert was returned for Wendover by Lord Verney. In Dupplin’s list of 1754 he was classed as an Administration supporter. Returned unopposed for Hertford in 1761, he received the whip direct from Newcastle; in Bute’s list of December 1761 he was first marked as a follower of Newcastle, and subsequently as ‘doubtful’. He voted with the Administration in the first division on the peace preliminaries, 1 Dec. 1762, but with the Opposition in the divisions of 9 and 10 Dec. He was classed as ‘contra’ by Jenkinson in the autumn of 1763, and voted with the Opposition on Wilkes, 15 Nov. 1763, and general warrants, 6, 15 and 18 Feb. 1764. In July 1765 Rockingham classed him as ‘pro’, and in November 1766 as ‘Whig’. Both Townshend, in January 1767, and Newcastle, in March, listed him as a supporter of Chatham’s Administration, but he did not vote on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, or the nullum tempus bill, 17 Feb. 1768.

Calvert was again returned unopposed in 1768. During this Parliament his only reported votes were with Administration on the Middlesex election, 8 May 1769, and Grenville’s Election Act, 25 Feb. 1774, though Robinson classed him as ‘pro, present’ in both his surveys of March 1772 on the royal marriage bill. Calvert is reported to have spoken four times during this Parliament: on 5 Mar. 1773 he opposed Dowdeswell’s poor persons’ annuity bill; on 2 and 8 Mar. 1774 he opposed the bill to prevent vexatious removals of the poor; and on 14 Mar. 1774, in the debate on the Boston port bill, he said: ‘I would take away their charter and make the colony a royal government, for I do not think what we are about is punishment enough for their offences ... I would stop the bounty, and lay burthens on their trade to pay the East India Co. Whatever we do we must do effectually.’2

Calvert does not appear in any of the minority lists 1775-8; was classed as ‘pro, absent’ on the contractors bill, 12 Feb. 1779; and henceforth voted regularly with Administration till the fall of North.

At the general election of 1780 Calvert unsuccessfully contested Hertford; in November 1780 he was returned by Lord Weymouth for Tamworth. He voted for Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783; did not vote on Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783; and was classed as a follower of Pitt in Robinson’s list of January 1784, in Stockdale’s of 19 Mar., and by Adam in May. Calvert voted with Pitt on Richmond’s fortification plans, 27 Feb. 1786, and over the Regency 1788-9.

He died 22 Feb. 1804.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Sinclair mss, Thurso East Mains.
  • 2. Cavendish’s ‘Debates’, Egerton 244, f. 252; 253, ff. 53-54; 254, f. 21; Brickdale’s ‘Debates’.