DUCKWORTH, Sir John Thomas (1748-1817).
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Family and Education
bap. 28 Feb. 1748, s. of Rev. Henry Duckworth, curate of Leatherhead, Surr., afterwards vicar of Stoke Poges and rector of Fulmer, Bucks., by w. Sarah Johnson of Ickenham, Mdx.1 educ. Eton 1757-8. m. (1) July 1776, Anne (d. 21 Aug. 1797), da. and h. of John Wallis of Trenton, Cornw., 1s. 1da.; (2) 14 May 1807, Susannah Catherine, da. of Rt. Rev. William Buller, bp. of Exeter, 1s. surv. KB 6 June 1801; cr. Bt. 2 Nov. 1813; GCB 2 Jan. 1815.
Entered RN 1759, lt. 1771, cdr. 1779, capt. 1780; col. marines 1797-9; r.-adm. 1799; c.-in-c. Leeward Islands 1800-2, Jamaica 1803-5; v.-adm. 1804, adm. 1810; gov. and c.-in-c. Newfoundland 1810-13; c.-in-c. Plymouth 1815-d.
Duckworth entered the House late in life after a career of almost unbroken active service begun under the aegis of Admiral Boscawen during the Seven Years War. One of the most controversial figures in British naval history, he was charged with contravention of the articles of war in 1805, but was acquitted, received an annuity of £1,000 by Act of Parliament for his victory off San Domingo the following year and commanded the abortive Constantinople expedition in 1807.
When plans to purchase a seat for him at Aldeburgh and Rye had fallen through, he was returned after a contest for New Romney on the Dering interest in 1812, his friend the and Duke of Northumberland having been allowed to nominate to both seats there by the Treasury. A technical irregularity in his return forced him to take the Chiltern Hundreds and stand, successfully, for re-election in February 1813, whereupon Northumberland commented that he would ‘now commence the political campaign with eight firmly attached votes in the House of Commons’.2 Later in the year Duckworth received the baronetcy which he had long coveted. His name was included in the list of Members of the 1812 Parliament who were expected to support government, but was subsequently deleted without explanation: possibly because he briefly vacated his seat. His only recorded votes were with government on the army estimates, 6 and 8 Mar. 1816, and against Catholic relief, 2 Mar. and 24 May 1813, 9 May 1817. He is not known to have spoken in the House. He died 31 Aug. 1817.