FENTON CAWTHORNE, John (1753-1831), of Wyreside, Lancs.

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



27 Jan. 1783 - 2 May 1796
1806 - 1807
1812 - 1818
1820 - 1 Mar. 1831

Family and Education

b. 5 Jan. 1753, 1st s. of James Fenton, recorder of Lancaster 1758-91, by Elizabeth, sis. and coh. of John Cawthorne of Wyreside. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1771; G. Inn 1792. m. 22 Aug. 1778, Frances, da. and coh. of J. H. Delaval. suc. to Cawthorne estates 1781 and took add. name of Cawthorne; and fa. 1791.

Offices Held

Recorder, Lancaster 1791-6; col. Westminster militia 1791, cashiered for embezzlement 1796.


After unsuccessfully contesting Preston in 1780, Cawthorne was returned for Lincoln on the interest of his father-in-law, J. H. Delaval, whose political lead he followed. Cawthorne supported North; voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, for Fox’s India bill, and against Pitt’s Government; and after the general election of 1784 was listed by William Adam with Opposition. But when in the new House Delaval declared his adherence to Pitt, Cawthorne again followed him; defended Delaval when attacked by Philip Francis for changing sides, 16 July 1784;1 and on 21 Jan. 1790 in a few sentences seconded the Address.2 Before 1790 only two other interventions of his in debate are noted, on technical points concerning election petitions.

Cawthorne died 1 Mar. 1831.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Debrett, xvi. 72; Stockdale, iii. 95.
  • 2. Stockdale, xix. 5.