LINWOOD, Nicholas (d.1773), of Itchel, Hants.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. Jane (?Streatfield), named in his will, no children mentioned.
Director, E.I. Co. 1749-51, 1752-4; director, South Sea Co. 1758-64; director, Sun Fire Office 1760- d.
Commr. for sale of French prizes Aug. 1756-Mar. 1761.1
Linwood was an associate in business of Brice Fisher, and over his affair dropped out of the directorate of the East India Company. He was also a partner of Fisher and of Sir William Baker in the ‘Hobcaw Barony’ in South Carolina;2 and was probably brought by Fisher into the management of the Sun Fire Office. He was a partner in Clarmont and Linwood, wine merchants.
Linwood’s chief connexions among politicians before entering the House were with Henry Fox and John Calcraft. He was also a friend of Richard Rigby.3 On 15 Apr. 1757 Fox asked the Duke of Devonshire, then first lord of the Treasury, for a share in the new loan for Linwood, ‘a very honest man and very eminent merchant’;4 while Calcraft, during the seven years’ war, repeatedly canvassed friends in Germany for contracts for him. Thus on 6 Aug. 1758 he asked Lord Granby to take Linwood ‘by the hand on some future occasion’. On 8 June 1760 he wrote to Sir James Cockburn, commissary general of the forces, that Granby had promised to provide for Linwood ‘whenever he can see an opening’; and on 3 Oct.: ‘we will continue to look out and I wrote strongly to Mr. Storer [Granby’s secretary] to desire him not only to be on the watch but to remind Lord Granby and secure the Ordnance contract if it should become vacant’. The same day he wrote to Peter Taylor, deputy-paymaster in Germany: ‘Pray keep a good look out and remember my friend Linwood; the contract for ... horses would be the thing for him and Sir James Cockburn, and luckily for them Lord Granby can command.’ Linwood in turn acted as Calcraft’s trustee for deposits in connexion with his regimental agencies, and transacted various business for him.5
In 1761 Linwood was returned on Fox’s interest for Stockbridge; was marked in Bute’s list as ‘Fox’ and ‘pro’; and was included in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries, though with a query before his name (probably an indication that he had not then arrived in London). Throughout his parliamentary career he seems to have voted with whatever Administration was in office, and never appears in an Opposition list, not even over the repeal of the Stamp Act.
Linwood was a Government contractor. On 22 Dec. 1761 he offered to remit money for the troops at Belle Isle; in April 1762 he obtained together with Tierney and George Amyand a contract for provisioning troops in Portugal; in June 1763 for remitting money to Minorca, which he still held in 1767.6
On 10 Nov. 1767 Sir William Musgrave, stepfather of the young Lord Carlisle, who was then travelling in France, wrote to him about Morpeth: he had settled with the Duke of Grafton that Linwood should stand; ‘and as you may be curious to know some particulars of him, I can only inform you that I believe he was formerly a very considerable merchant in the city, but having acquired a very large fortune he has quitted business, and lives in Spring Gardens in a very genteel manner’. On 11 Dec.: he is informed that Peter Beckford (the other candidate) and Linwood ‘have been through the town of Morpeth, and have met with as much success as could be expected’. On 22 Dec. Musgrave still hoped ‘that both candidates will be chosen’ on Carlisle’s interest. But in the end, with Grafton’s advice, a compromise was concluded which left Carlisle one seat only;7 and Linwood was returned for Aldeburgh on the Fonnereau interest.
There is no record of his having spoken in the House. He died 2 May 1773.
Ref Volumes: 1754-1790
Author: Sir Lewis Namier
- 1. PRO T52/49/470; T52/52/35.
- 2. H. A. M. Smith, ‘The Baronies of S. Carolina’, S. Carolina Hist. Gen. Mag. 1913.
- 3. Bedford mss 47, ff. 94. 102.
- 4. Devonshire mss.
- 5. Add. 17493, f. 187; 17495, ff. 31-32, 37, 150; 17496, f. 33; T29/33/302.
- 6. T29/34/263; T29/35/107; T29/38/273; Jenkinson Pprs. 336-8; Add. 38202, f. 206.
- 7. HMC Carlisle, 219-22, 231.