TOWNSON, John (?1725-97), of Gray's Inn.

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



1780 - Jan. 1787

Family and Education

b. ?1725, 2nd s. of Rev. John Townson, rector of Much Lees, Essex by Lucretia, da. of Rev. Edward Wiltshire, rector of Kirkandrews, Cumb.

Offices Held

Director, E.I. Co. 1781-3, 1785-8, 1790-3, 1795-6.


Townson was established as a London merchant at least as early as 1755. Connected with Sandwich, in 1780 he was nominated by Administration at Milborne Port, paying £3,500 for the seat,1 and was returned after a contest. In Parliament he naturally supported North’s Administration; voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, and was classed by Robinson in March 1783 as a follower of Sandwich. His only reported speech was on East India affairs, 28 Apr. 1783, when he said that allowing for the Company’s bad debts ‘still there would remain a large balance in favour of their wealth’.2 He voted against Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783, and supported Pitt’s Administration till he vacated his seat in January 1787.

He died 3 Mar. 1797, aged 71.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Laprade, 60.
  • 2. Debrett, ix. 673.