WARD, Hon. John (1725-88).

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



1754 - 1761
1761 - 6 May 1774

Family and Education

b. 22 Feb. 1725, 1st s. of John, 6th Baron Ward (Visct. Dudley and Ward 1763), by his 1st w. Anna Maria, da. of Charles Bourchier, of Clontarf, co. Dublin; half-bro. of Hon. William Ward.  educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1743.  m. 15 July 1788, Mary Baker, wid., da. of Gamaliel Fair of Norf., s.p.  suc. fa. as 2nd Visct. Dudley and Ward 6 May 1774.

Offices Held


Ward was returned for Marlborough on Lord Bruce’s interest, and was classed by Dupplin as a Tory. About his candidature for Worcestershire his cousin, Charles Townshend, wrote to Lady Townshend, 23 Aug. 1760:1

He tells me ... he believes he shall have no opposition ... but surely, even without any opposition, an expensive election for Worcestershire is a little inconsistent with Mr. Ward’s income and his father’s parsimony. Our cousin lives over his father’s gateway, with a mother-in-law, and is in distress during the winter; in the spring he addresses himself to some of the largest fortunes in England and is disappointed, in the summer he shifts the scene and stands a contested county election. His design of marrying well may have been to get down from the gateway, to secure his inheritance, and escape from his stepmother, but I do not see how an expensive canvass of a county is a natural or direct cure for a covetous father or a fickle mistress.

Returned unopposed for the county in 1761, he supported the Bute and Grenville Administrations. On 19 Jan. 1764 he seconded the Address, but his position as M.P. for Worcestershire led him to support Dowdeswell’s attempt to repeal the cider duty. In January and February 1764, he spoke on this subject three times—‘for the repeal, but temperate’.2 In Rockingham’s list of July 1765 he was classed as an opponent. He voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act, 22 Feb. 1766, and, while normally supporting Chatham, spoke and voted against Administration on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767.

Henceforth he regularly supported Administration, but no further speeches are reported before 1771. His most interesting speeches after that were: 2 Feb. 1774, for a bill ‘to prevent vexatious removals of the poor’; 25 Feb. 1774, for making Grenville’s Election Act permanent (the one occasion after 1767 when he is known to have voted against Administration); 23 Mar. 1774, for the Boston port bill; and 22 Apr. 1774, for the bill to take away the charter of Massachusetts Bay.3 As a peer, he continued to support North’s Administration.

He died 10 Oct. 1788.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Raynham mss.
  • 2. Harris’s ‘Debates’.
  • 3. Brickdale’s ‘Debates’.