STONE, Andrew (1703-73).
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Family and Education
b. 4 Feb. 1703, 1st s. of Andrew Stone of Lombard St., London, goldsmith, by his w. Anne Holbrooke. educ. Westminster 1715-22; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1722-6. m. 1743, Hannah, da. of Stephen Mauvillion of Tooting, 1s. d.v.p.
Private sec. to Duke of Newcastle 1732-4; undersec. of state 1734-51; registrar of Chancery in Jamaica 1753-d.; jt. transmitter of state papers 1739-41; keeper of state paper office 1742-d.; sec. of Barbados 1742-d.; ld. of Trade 1749-61; sub-governor to Prince of Wales 1751-6; sec. to Prince of Wales 1756-60; treasurer to Queen Charlotte 1761-d.
The Duke of Newcastle had no mind of his own; incessantly occupied with trivialities, he made important political decisions by the advice of a small group of intimate friends, on whom he could cast the blame if anything went wrong. In 1754 Andrew Stone and William Murray were among the Duke’s most trusted and influential advisers, and were mainly responsible for the decision to choose Fox instead of Pitt as leader of the House of Commons. Stone had been Newcastle’s confidant for more than twenty years and sat in Parliament for the Treasury borough of Hastings. Shelburne, quoting a clerk in Newcastle’s office, said that the Duke of Newcastle did Andrew Stone’s business and Stone the Duke of Newcastle’s.1 Contemporaries gave Stone the reputation of an intriguer, but in fact he seems to have had little political ambition. On George II’s death he vainly advised Newcastle to retire, and himself left Parliament at the general election of 1761.
It was Stone’s wish henceforth to live a retired life. But Newcastle, forced out of office in May 1762, was unreconciled to retirement, and wished his friends to rally to his support. In October he tried to resume his old relationship with Stone and to win him from the new court. Stone however refused to move: he pointed out that Newcastle on his resignation had ‘desired none of his friends in employment should quit with him’, and made it quite clear that despite their old friendship he was not prepared to follow Newcastle into opposition. Newcastle never forgave Stone or communicated with him again, though he sorely missed him. ‘The desertion and defection of Mr. Stone’, he wrote to Lord Lincoln on 28 July 1764, ‘affects me extremely. I have nobody to resort to, not even to tell my own tale to; nobody who I can flatter myself will advise me for my own sake; and, what is still worse, none or few of my most private and intimate friends who like to pass much time with me.’2
Stone died 17 Dec. 1773.