NUGENT, Edmund (1731-71), of Gosfield, Essex
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Family and Education
b. 1731, o.s. of Robert Nugent by his 1st w. educ. Fagan’s acad. Dublin. unm., 2s. 1da.
Capt. 85 Ft. 1759; lt.-col. army 1762; capt. 1 Ft. Gds. 1763.
Groom of the bedchamber 1760- d.
Nugent was returned to Parliament in 1754 on Edward Eliot’s interest at Liskeard. Throughout his time in the House his politics conformed to those of his father, and he made no figure in Parliament: no speech by him is known, and while contemporary correspondence is full of references to Robert Nugent, little is said about his son.
He vacated his seat in 1759 on accepting a commission in the army—obviously he cared very little for Parliament. On 17 June 1760 Robert Nugent informed Newcastle that his son, seeing no likelihood of his regiment going abroad, had asked the King’s permission to go as a volunteer to Germany: ‘May I beg leave earnestly to entreat your Grace with a recommendation to Prince Ferdinand, that he may be admitted one of his aide-de-camps. He speaks the German language fluently.’1 The result of this application is not known.
Two things seem clear about Edmund Nugent: he was a rake, and he suffered from ill-health. Lord Buckinghamshire wrote to Robert Nugent in November 1765:2
I love you and yours too well not to enter into all the anxiety you must have felt during your son’s late absence in Ireland. He should for the future confine his gallantries to England, where he may be happier with twenty five women upon easier terms than one in that perverse country.
Robert Nugent mentioned his son’s ill-health in a letter to Grenville of 28 June 1764;3 and George Selwyn wrote to Lord Carlisle on 26 Feb. 1768:4 ‘Young Nugent is set out for the south of France for his health.’ He was back in England on 8 May 1769, when he voted with Administration on the Middlesex petition.
In January 1770 he vacated his seat in Parliament, and died 26 Apr. 1771.