METHUEN, Paul (1723-95), of Corsham, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. 16 May 1723, 1st s. of Thomas Methuen of Bradford-on-Avon by Anne, da. of Isaac Selfe of Beanacre, Wilts. educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1741. m. 25 June 1749, Christian, da. and coh. of Sir George Cobb, 3rd Bt., of Adderbury, Oxon. 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1738, and to estates of cos. Sir Paul Methuen, M.P., 1757.
Methuen was returned for Warwick on the interest of his friend Lord Warwick. He was classed by Jenkinson in the autumn of 1763 as ‘pro’, and does not appear in any of the minority lists 1763-4. Before the debate of 18 Feb. 1764 on general warrants, Warwick wrote to Grenville’s secretary, Charles Lloyd, that ‘had there been any occasion to urge Mr. Methuen for to-morrow he should have done so. Disposed as he is, it would have been offending him, but he may depend that he takes all in the right way, will attend and support’; and on 2 Mar. to Grenville: ‘I flatter myself my friend Mr. Methuen’s conduct has been acceptable to you and approved of.’1 Methuen was classed by Rockingham in July 1765 as ‘contra’, and voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act, 22 Feb. 1766. He did not vote on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, but was listed by Newcastle on 2 Mar. as a Tory. At the general election of 1768 Methuen was replaced at Warwick by Warwick’s son Lord Greville, now of age, but shortly after, on the death of the other Member, was again returned for the borough. During this Parliament he appears to have supported Administration regularly, and when he voted with Opposition on Grenville’s Election Act, 25 Feb. 1774, was still marked in the King’s list as a friend. In 1774 he was returned for Great Bedwyn on Lord Bruce’s interest. Before the election Bruce wrote to his brother: ‘Lord North may be very certain that I shall choose nobody at Great Bedwyn but wishes well to Government.’2 Methuen does not appear in any of the minority lists 1775-8, and was classed by Robinson as ‘pro, absent’ on the contractors bill, 12 Feb. 1779. But he voted against Administration for an account of pensions, 21 Feb. 1780, for the abolition of the Board of Trade, 13 Mar. 1780, and Dunning’s motion, 6 Apr., and Robinson wrote in his survey of July: ‘Mr. Methuen has of late always been against.’ Methuen was again returned for Bedwyn at the general election, but in 1781 resigned his seat in favour of his son. He appears never to have spoken in the House. His ambition was a British peerage, and on 31 Mar. 1784, in a long and elaborate letter, he reminded the King that ‘upwards of twenty years’ had elapsed since he was ‘encouraged to hope ... that high honour would be extended’ to him, and asked to be included in the present creation.3 According to Jeremy Bentham4 his estates were worth £16,000 p.a.
He died a commoner 22 Jan. 1795.