FANE, Henry (1703-77), of Wormsley, nr. Watlington, Bucks.

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



13 June 1757 - 31 May 1777

Family and Education

bap. 16 Oct. 1703, 3rd s. of Henry Fane of Bristol, and bro. of Francis and Thomas Fane. m. (1) 17 July 1735, Charlotte (d. 29 Sept. 1739), da. of Nicholas Rowe, poet laureate, 1da.; (2) 10 May 1742, Ann (d. 1744), da. of Rt. Rev. John Wynn, bp. of Bath and Wells, 1da.; (3) Sept 1748, Charlotte, da. of Richard Luther of Ongar, Essex, sis. and coh. of John Luther, 4s. 1da.

Offices Held

Chief clerk of the Treasury 1742-57; clerk to the Privy Council 1756-64.


Fane consistently supported successive Administrations throughout his parliamentary career. On 29 May 1762, three days after Newcastle’s resignation, he wrote to the Duke thanking him for the payment for Lyme:1 ‘As he is not well versed in the political system of this country, he cannot tell what to say on the late changes he hears of amongst the great; but wishes his Lyme friends may meet with so good a paymaster as his Grace has been to them.’ But he supported Bute’s and Grenville’s Administrations.

On 16 May 1764 he informed Bedford, president of the Council, that he wished to resign his place as clerk of the Council and to nominate his successor:2

As to the thing itself I cannot in honour keep it, as every one will look on me as a person of a mean spirit, to hold such an employment without any other emoluments, when every one of those who have been in it, have always enjoyed many other lucrative places; and if in 40 years service to the Crown, no better office has fallen to my lot, it will be imagined that I have behaved myself very ill, to be deserving of no greater favour.
I was bred in the Treasury under Sir Robert Walpole and Mr. Scrope, gentlemen of understanding, and the many years I served under them, made the business of that office very easy to me, and I can never forget it. But I was thrust out from thence, by having people put over my head, without knowledge, and without capacity for what they undertook.

Bedford replied that he regretted the decision, but disclaimed responsibility for ‘any want of attention’. Fane wrote again 20 May 1764:3

My going out is quite voluntary, free from spleen and malice and purely for the sake of quiet. When I was in the Treasury my uncle set me a pattern of honour which I strictly followed, and could look every suitor in the face, as I was contented with my bare fees, nor was I ever concerned in Exchange Alley; but being contented with a little, and living within my income, with some advantages which accrued to me by marriages, and from my friends at their deaths, I have sufficient to live with independency.

He continued to vote with the court until his death on 31 May 1777.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Add. 32939, f. 93.
  • 2. Bedford mss 49, f. 186.
  • 3. Ibid. f. 190.