BEWICKE, Calverley (1755-1815), of Close House, Northumb. and Urpeth Lodge, co. Dur.
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Family and Education
b. 26 June 1755,1 2nd s. of Sir Robert Bewicke of Close House and Urpeth by Mary, da. of Robert Huish, merchant, of Nottingham. educ. Royal g.s. Newcastle; Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1773. m. (1) 23 Oct. 1777, Deborah (d. July 1779), da. of Thomas Wilkinson of Brancepeth, co. Dur., s.p.; (2) 7 June 1781, Margaret, da. and coh. of Robert Spearman of Old Acres, Sedgefield, co. Dur., s.p. suc. bro. Robert 1800.
Sheriff, Northumb. 1782-3; lt.-col. co. Dur. militia 1794-1805.
Bewicke was descended from a family of Newcastle merchants who by the mid 17th century had established themselves as landed proprietors in both Northumberland and Durham. He was presumably related to the Calverley Bewicke who traded as a merchant in London, was chairman of Lloyd’s in the 1790s and died in 1803. He was one of the signatories of the requisition for a Northumberland county meeting to press for further inquiry into abuses in the management of public money in 1805.2
A neighbour and militia colleague of the 3rd Earl of Darlington, Bewicke sat for his borough and followed his line in politics. He voted for Brand’s motion condemning the ministerial pledge, 9 Apr. 1807, attended the dinner given for supporters of the ‘Talents’ after the general election and voted with them against the address, 26 June, and for inquiry into the state of the nation, 6 July 1807. He was one of the minority of 58 who voted for Whitbread’s third peace resolution, 29 Feb., voted against government on the mutiny bill, 14 Mar., and took the pro-Catholic side in the divisions on Maynooth, 29 Apr. and 5 May, and Duigenan’s appointment, 11 May 1808. His only known votes in 1809 were against government on the Duke of York scandal, 15 and 17 Mar., and charges of corruption against Castlereagh, 25 Apr. He voted with opposition on the Scheldt inquiry, 23 Feb., 5 and 30 Mar. 1810, when the Whigs numbered him among their ‘thick and thin’ adherents, opposed the confinement of Burdett, 5 Apr., and voted for the release of John Gale Jones, 16 Apr., but did not vote in the division of 21 May 1810 on parliamentary reform, to which Darlington was opposed. He voted with the Whigs on the droits of Admiralty, 30 May, the adjournment pending the progress of the King’s illness, 29 Nov. 1810, and the Regency proposals, 1 and 21 Jan. 1811; but then, like other members of Darlington’s squad, he suspended his vote while Darlington, one of the Carlton House group, remained undecided as to his allegiance to the Regent. He was named among critics of government absent from the division on Ireland, 4 Feb. 1812, but voted for inquiry into Catholic relief, 24 Apr., and went on to vote against government on the sinecure bill, 4 May, and Stuart Wortley’s call for a remodelling of administration, 21 May.
Bewicke remained with the Whigs thereafter, but did not join Brooks’s. (Darlington’s own membership of the club, resigned in 1802, was not renewed until after Bewicke’s death.) He was granted a month’s leave of absence because of ill health, 24 Feb. 1813,3 and so missed the division on Catholic relief, 2 Mar., but he voted for the relief bill, 13 and 24 May. His only recorded vote in 1814 was against the blockade of Norway, 12 May. Like Darlington’s other Members, he opposed the renewal of war in 1815, voting against government on the issue in the divisions of 7 and 28 Apr. and 25 May. He voted with opposition on the Bank restriction bill, 9 Mar., the civil list, 14 Apr. and 8 May, the property tax, 19 and 20 Apr., the transfer of Genoa, 27 Apr., supported Catholic relief, 30 May, and paired on the Whig side for the division on the Regent’s expenditure, 31 May 1815. Bewicke is not known to have spoken in the House. He died 24 Oct. 1815.