BOUVERIE, Hon. Edward II (1760-1824), of Squerries Court, Kent.

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



1796 - June 1803

Family and Education

b. 20 Sept. 1760, 4th s. of William Bouverie, 1st Earl of Radnor, and bro. of Hon. Bartholomew Bouverie* and Hon. William Henry Bouverie*. educ. Harrow c.1769; St. Alban Hall, Oxf. 1778, BA (Corpus) 1781. m. (1) 24 May 1782, Lady Catherine Murray (d. 7 July 1783), da. of John, 4th Earl of Dunmore [S], 1s. d.v.p.; (2) 20 Dec. 1785, Arabella, da. of Sir Chaloner Ogle, 1st Bt., of Kirkley Hall, Northumb., 1s. d.v.p.

Offices Held

Groom of bedchamber to Prince of Wales 1787-95; commr. of transports June 1803-Jan. 1806, of navy July 1805-d.; gent. of privy chamber 1820-d.

Lt. Mdx. yeomanry 1803.


Bouverie never appeared to greater advantage than in Gainsborough’s portrait of him as a youth in the Van Dyck style. On coming of age his portion was £20,000, ‘all told’. In 1787 he joined the Prince of Wales’s household. In 1794 he was wounded in a duel with the Earl of Tankerville who resented his attentions to his daughter Lady Anne Bennet.1 In 1784 he had been involved in a double return for the family borough of Downton and rejected by the House. He was returned there in 1796, after another contest, in succession to his brother Bartholomew. Unlike his uncle and namesake, he was not given to speaking or voting against administration, except apparently on 13 Mar. 1797, for the reduction of public expenditure.2 Perhaps it was he, rather than his uncle, who was a spokesman for the militia, 21 Dec. 1798.

On 9 Jan. 1798 he had applied to Pitt, not for the first time, for a place, this time specifying the coalmeter’s office. In November 1800, still unprovided, he asked his brother Lord Radnor to leave him in Parliament ‘two or three months longer’, when his seat was wanted for Radnor’s heir.3 He voted for inquiry into the Prince of Wales’s financial problems, 31 Mar. 1802 and 4 Mar. 1803. By then his place-hunting had intensified, for Radnor had not intended to return him again in 1802 and did so only on the understanding that he would cede it on request. Nor was Radnor prepared to agree to a bargain between Bouverie and the prime minister in December 1802, that he should be awarded a place, vacate his seat for a friend of the minister’s and pay Radnor for it ‘by instalments out of the place’. His wife apparently applied to St. Vincent for a place for him in the victualling office, which was reserved for captains in the navy.4 Soon afterwards he became a commissioner of transports and vacated his seat.

He subsequently became a naval commissioner. On 8 Mar. 1812 he wrote to the Prince Regent reproaching him for denying him a Household appointment because he was not in Parliament.5 When in 1813 he escorted Lady Ellenborough to the Regent’s ball Joseph Jekyll* commented, ‘I could wish she would select a less objectionable protector in public, as he has through life purported to play the part of Lothario, and is a very empty coxcomb’.6 He died 30 Dec. 1824.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Farington, i. 57; Bentham Corresp. (1971), iii. 71.
  • 2. Morning Chron. 14 Mar. 1797.
  • 3. PRO 30/8/114, f. 270; Wilts. RO. Radnor mss 490/1373, Bouverie to Radnor, 29 Nov. 1800.
  • 4. Radnor mss 490/1373, Bouverie to Radnor, 9, 25, 30 June, 6 Dec. 1802, and reply; St. Vincent Letters (Navy Recs. Soc. lxi), 210.
  • 5. Geo. IV. Letters, i. 24.
  • 6. Dorset RO, Bond mss D367, Jekyll to Bond, 2 July [1813].