MORDAUNT, Sir John (1697-1780), of Freefolk, Hants.
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Family and Education
b. 1697, 1st s. of Hon. Henry Mordaunt (yr. bro. of Charles, 3rd Earl of Peterborough) by Margaret da. of Sir Thomas Spencer of Yarnton, Oxon. unm. cr. K.B. 26 June 1749.
Entered army 1721; capt. 1724; capt. 3 Drag. 1726; capt and lt.-col. 3 Ft. Gds. 1731; col. 58 Ft. 1741-2; col. 18 Ft. 1742-7; col. 12 Drag. 1747-9; maj.-gen. 1747; col. 10 Drag. 1749- d.; gov. Sheerness 1752-78; lt.-gen. 1754; gen. 1770; gov. Berwick 1778- d.
Mordaunt came in for Cockermouth on the interest of his brother-in-law’s family, the Lawsons. He took Lowther’s side in the struggle between him and Lord Egremont for control of the borough, and was permitted by Lowther to retain his seat. He gave general support to each Administration in turn, though he spoke and voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act.
In 1757 he was made commander-in-chief of the expedition against Rochefort. He does not seem to have had much faith in the plans, and the operation ended in an ignominious withdrawal. Mordaunt was court-martialled, but unanimously acquitted. Walpole commented that he ‘had been remarkable for alertness and bravery, but was much broken both in spirit and constitution, and fallen into a nervous disorder’.1
Mordaunt declined to stand again in 1768. He died 23 Oct. 1780.
Ref Volumes: 1754-1790
Author: Sir Lewis Namier
- 1. Mems. Geo. II, iii. 46.