BOUVERIE, Hon. Bartholomew (1753-1835).
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Family and Education
b. 29 Oct. 1753, 3rd s. of William Bouverie†, 1st Earl of Radnor, by 2nd w. Rebecca, da. of John Alleyne of Four Hills, Barbados; bro. of Hons. Hon. Edward Bouverie II* and Hon. William Henry Bouverie*. educ. Harrow c.1766; Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1772. m. 9 Mar. 1779, Mary, da. of Hon. James Everard Arundell, 3s. 3da.
Commr. for auditing public accts. July 1802-Sept. 1806; metropolitan commr. of lunacy 1829-d.
Bouverie sat for Downton on the family interest. He seems to have done so more for family convenience than from any interest in politics, for he was an inconspicuous Member. He was expected to support Pitt’s administration in the Parliament of 1790. There were doubts about his voting intention regarding repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791. He was a teller for the committal of the vagrancy bill, 12 June 1793, but no speech is known, then or later. Out of Parliament for ten years from 1796, he was a commissioner for auditing public accounts. In May 1806 his friend Lord Sidmouth informed Lord Grenville that Bouverie was prepared, for health reasons, to resign his situation (wanted by Sidmouth for a connexion of his, William Bragge) ‘provided some arrangement could be made for the benefit of his family’.1 This was achieved and on re-entering the House that year he did not oppose the Grenville ministry.
In 1807 Bouverie stood for Malmesbury where his family made an opportunist intervention, but was defeated and fell back on Downton. Lord Grenville’s brother thought he should not be classed ‘doubtful’ but ‘decidedly hostile’ in June 1807. Ill health curtailed his attendance during the next session. In 1809 he veered towards opposition.2 He voted against Perceval on the Duke of York’s conduct, 17 Mar., and in the minority of 25 Apr. on charges of ministerial corruption. He was also apparently in the minority on the peculation of the Dutch commissioners, 1 May. He further opposed ministers on the Scheldt question, 5 and 30 Mar. 1810, making the Whigs hopeful of him. He opposed Burdett’s committal to the Tower, 5 Apr. 1810, but may have been the unspecified Bouverie who objected to the discharge of the radical Gale Jones, 16 Apr. In the session of 1812 he joined opposition in support of abolishing McMahon’s sinecure, 24 Feb., of Catholic relief, 24 Apr., and of a more efficient administration, 21 May.
All this can scarcely have commended him to his half-brother, the 2nd Earl of Radnor, and he was kept out until 1819, when Radnor returned him as a stopgap, ready to resign in favour of any ‘good Protestant and an enemy to reform of Parliament’ recommended by the prime minister.3 He retained his seat, his only notable gesture in that Parliament being to vote with ministers against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May 1819. Bouverie died 31 May 1835.