BEAUCLERK, Charles George (1774-1845), of South Lodge, St. Leonards, nr. Horsham, Suss.

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



1796 - Nov. 1798

Family and Education

b. 20 Jan. 1774, o.s. of Topham Beauclerk by Lady Diana Spencer, da. of Charles, 3rd Duke of Marlborough, div. w. of Frederick St. John, and Visct. Bolingbroke. educ. Eton 1782; Christ Church, Oxf. 1790; continental tour 1794. m. 29 Apr. 1799, Emily Charlotte, da. of William Ogilvie of Harley Street, Mdx., 3s. 6da. suc. fa. 1780.

Offices Held

Maj. N. Bramber vols. 1803.


The son of a well known wit, Beauclerk was considered ‘clever, well-educated, and perfectly a gentleman’. An ‘invincible shyness’ robbed him of the social and political success to which his talents seemed to entitle him. A friend of Lord Holland, his natural political affiliation was with the Whigs and during his two years in Parliament, sitting for Lord Dundas’s borough of Richmond, he voted steadily with opposition and for Grey’s parliamentary reform motion, 26 May 1797. Like other Foxite seceders he returned to oppose the assessed taxes, 14 Dec. 1797, 4 Jan., and the conduct of Irish affairs, 22 June 1798. He is not known to have spoken. A member of Brooks’s since 1793, he joined the Whig Club on 9 Jan. 1798. In November 1798 he took the Chiltern Hundreds. Thomas Tyrwhitt wrote, 23 Nov. 1798, ‘opposition never were so low, all those who purchased seats are selling as well as they can. Beauclerk gave £5,000 and has sold for £2,000 to [Arthur] Shakespeare*.’

After his marriage Beauclerk lived in almost complete retirement. Lady Holland, apparently unaware of his brief political career, wrote that he

seems happy but it is the bliss of torpor ... It is to be regretted, as he has a most acute perception, and an uncommon degree of subtlety in his arguments. No person is clearer on the obscure subject of abstract metaphysics; his definitions are ingenious and brilliant. Finance is also a branch of political economy he is profound in, and had he entered Parliament he would have distinguished himself. At present he is lost.

He died 25 Dec. 1845.

Ward, Letters to ‘Ivy’, 113; Paget Pprs. 138; Jnl. of Lady Holland, i. 121; ii. 80; Gent. Mag. (1846), i. 317.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: Winifred Stokes