BAYNES GARFORTH, John (1727-1808), of Steeton Hall, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1780 - 1784
1784 - 1790
1790 - 1802

Family and Education

bap. 24 Jan. 1727,1 2nd s. of Ralph Baynes of Mewith Head, Bentham by 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Edmund Garforth of Steeton Hall. m. bef. 1755, Miss Shrimpley of London, 1s. 2da. suc. to estates of his uncle Edward Garforth and took additional name of Garforth 28 Nov. 1744.

Offices Held

Clerk of the peace, Cumb. 1768-d.


Garforth, who qualified in 1750 and practised in London, was the attorney, agent and steward of James, 1st Earl of Lonsdale, sat for his boroughs and followed his bidding in Parliament. Like other members of the Lonsdale group he had voted against Pitt on the Regency, 1788-9, but supported him after 1790. There is no record of his having spoken in the House and his only known votes in this period were against the abolition of the slave trade, 15 Mar. 1796, for Pitt’s assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798, and in support of Manners Sutton’s motion of 31 Mar. 1802 for inquiry into the revenues of the duchy of Cornwall. Garforth never developed any political independence of his patron and on Lonsdale’s death was dropped from Cockermouth in favour of James Graham, the attorney of Lonsdale’s successor, Sir William Lowther*.

Garforth’s connexion with Lonsdale had brought him the Cumberland clerkship of the peace, the routine business of the office being conducted by the Carlisle attorney, Joseph Hodgson.2 But he experienced difficulties in employing a deputy in the post of collector of customs of Carlisle. Oldfield wrote in 1794:

Mr Garforth, on account of his situation, was incapable of holding the office; and the place was given in trust for him to Mr Fearon: Mr Pearson acted as deputy to Mr Fearon, and performed the duties of the office for him. A dispute, which was succeeded by a lawsuit, happened between Mr Garforth and Mr Fearon; and it was decided in the common pleas, ‘that the holding places in trust was illegal.’ The defendant had paid over the profits of the place to Mr Garforth: and this action was brought by the plaintiff to recover the amount of the profits from Mr Pearson, the acting officer, and receiver of the dues.3

Garforth died 15 Oct. 1808.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: J. M. Collinge


  • 1. Yorks. Par. Reg. Soc. vol. xci. Cf. ped. in Whitaker’s Craven, 215.
  • 2. R. Robson, The Attorney in 18th Cent. England, 104, 126.
  • 3. Boroughs, i. 124-5.