BATHURST, Hon. William Lennox (1791-1878).
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Family and Education
b. 14 Feb. 1791, 2nd s. of Henry Bathurst*, 3rd Earl Bathurst, and bro. of Henry George Bathurst, Lord Apsley*, and Hon. Seymour Thomas Bathurst*. educ. by Dr Moore, Sunbury;1 Eton 1802; Glasgow Univ. 1806; Christ Church, Oxf. 1808, BA (All Souls) 1812; L. Inn 1812, called 1821. unm. suc. bro. as 5th Earl Bathurst 25 May 1866.
Dep. teller of Exchequer 1816-30; commr. of victualling 1825-9; jt. clerk of Privy Council 1830-60.
Ensign, R. Mon. militia 1821.
Bathurst entered Lincoln’s Inn in July 1812, two months before he was returned to Parliament by the 2nd Marquess of Bath for the seat previously held by his elder brother. His father being a member of Liverpool’s cabinet and his brother a placeman, he naturally supported government. He voted against Catholic relief, 2 Mar., 11 and 24 May, and for Christian proselytization in India, 22 June and 1 July 1813. He was credited with a short speech in favour of the colonial offices bill, 18 Apr. 1814, but his speech against Whitbread’s motion on Spanish Liberal refugees, 1 Mar. 1815, was described in the same source as a ‘maiden’ one. His name appeared in all six of the lists of ministerial voters which have been found for the 1815 session; and after speaking against Mackintosh’s motion on Genoa, 27 Apr., he was a teller for the government majority in the division. He defended the extension of the order of the Bath, 22 Mar., seconded Best’s motion for a bill to amend the debtors’ laws, 11 Apr., and supported the Duke of Cumberland’s establishment bill, 3 July 1815, when he claimed that ‘he was actuated by no party feeling in the vote he should give, though it might be thought otherwise’. At the end of the month he went incognito to Plymouth to try to catch a glimpse of Buonaparte on his way to exile.2
Bathurst’s appointment as deputy to his father as teller of the Exchequer early in 1816 vacated his seat. Henry Goulburn told his wife, 31 Jan.:
He is unwise enough to regret the change which is in every way a desirable one for him as it gives him immediately an income of £1,200 a year and leaves him at liberty to attend to the study of the law to which he otherwise would not have attended at all, for Parliament and the society in which it places a young man is quite incompatible with legal pursuits.3
He was called to the bar in 1821, but only practiced as a barrister in London for a few years. Lord Bathurst secured him appointments in 1825 and, as the last act of his long political career, in 1830.
He eventually succeeded to the earldom and died 24 Feb. 1878.