STANLEY, John (1740-99), of Plumstead, Kent

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



1784 - 1796

Family and Education

b. 1740, 1st s. of Michael Stanley of St. John’s, Nevis by his 1st w. Anne.  educ. I. Temple 1758, called 1761; bencher 1797.  m. 1773, Susanna, da. of Lewis Feuilleteau, wid. of Henry Brouncker of St. Kitts, 1s. d.v.p.

Offices Held

Solicitor-gen. Leeward Is. 1771-81, attorney-gen. 1781-99, president of the council 1793-5.


In 1750 Stanley’s father, then apparently bankrupt, mortgaged his West Indies estates to a relation, Ralph Willett, whom Stanley himself many years later referred to as ‘the parent of my necessitous youth’.1 Stanley, who by 1768 was practising as a lawyer in Nevis, seems to have restored the family fortunes and again acquired considerable property in the West Indies.

In 1784 he was introduced by George Rose as an Administration candidate at the general election, and Robinson included him among ‘Persons that will pay £2,000, or £2,500 or perhaps £3,000’.2 He successfully contested Hastings. In Parliament Stanley voted with Opposition on Richmond’s fortifications plan, 27 Feb. 1786 and signed the third party circular, 1 May 1788; but voted with Pitt’s Administration over the Regency. Before 1790 he is not known to have spoken in the House.

He died 1 Apr. 1799.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Caribbeana, iii. 362.
  • 2. Laprade 128.