DUNCOMBE, Charles (1764-1841), of Duncombe Park, Helmsley, Yorks.

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



1790 - 1796
1796 - 1806
1812 - 1818
1818 - 1826

Family and Education

b. 5 Dec. 1764, 1st s. of Charles Slingsby Duncombe of Duncombe Park by Isabel, da. of Robert Soleby of Helmsley. educ. Harrow 1779. m. 24 Sept. 1795, Lady Charlotte Legge, da. of William, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, 8s. 4da. suc. fa. 1803; cr. Baron Feversham 14 July 1826.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Yorks. 1790-1; capt. N. Riding yeomanry 1794, W. Riding yeomanry 1803; vice-pres. board of agriculture 1816.


Duncombe, nephew of the Yorkshire county Member, bought his way into Parliament and found no other way to stay there. He was a ministerial candidate abetted by Sir John Call* at Shaftesbury in 1790 and succeeded after a contest. In 1796, on his uncle’s retirement, he offered for Yorkshire, but found at the nomination that others stood a better chance, and withdrew, giving his interest to Lascelles.1 Through George Rose at the Treasury he negotiated a seat on the 4th Duke of Newcastle’s interest for £4,000 in 17962 and retained it in 1802. In 1806 he went out. He made little mark in the House in those 16 years. No speech is known. He was listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791. Like his uncle, he voted in the minority on the Prince of Wales’s debts, 1 June 1795. He voted for Pitt’s assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798. His only known vote against Addington’s ministry was for Pitt’s naval motion, 15 Mar. 1804. He was listed an adherent of Pitt’s second ministry in September 1804 and July 1805, but no vote survives between then and the dissolution. On 25 Feb. 1805 he was absent from the Middlesex election committee owing to bereavement. He would not offer for Yorkshire in 1806.

Duncombe unsuccessfully contested Hedon in 1807. He appeared on the Duke of Portland’s list of applicants for peerages soon afterwards.3 Disappointed in this, he was a paying guest on the A’Court interest in the Parliament of 1812. Listed a supporter by the Treasury, he remained a silent one. He opposed Catholic relief on 11 and 24 May 1813 and again in 1816 and 1817. His other known votes were in the majority for the sinecure bill, 29 Mar. 1813; with the ministry on the Regent’s expenditure, 31 May 1815, and for the army estimates, 6 Mar. 1816; in the majority against the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816, though there was some difficulty in ascertaining his vote;4 for the civil list, 24 May 1816; and, by pair, in favour of the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June 1817. He was also in the ministerial minority on the ducal marriage grants, 15 Apr. 1818.

At the election of 1818 Duncombe, whose pretensions were favoured by some Yorkshire ministerialists, was a guest on the Holmes interest in the Isle of Wight. An opening offered him by Charles Tennyson at Grimsby, evidently intended for his eldest son, was declined by him and he applied to Lord Liverpool for another for him. He was disappointed, ‘after I had supported for eight and twenty years that system of politics which had uniformly actuated your lordship’, that the prime minister could not satisfy this wish.5 He was inactive in the ensuing Parliament, taking leaves of absence from 1 Feb. until Easter. His only known vote was with ministers for the foreign enlistment bill, 10 June 1819. The assurance of a peerage, which he had again requested in May 1820, enabled him to retire in 1826.6 He died 16 July 1841.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: Winifred Stokes / R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. F34/198, 202, 204, 206.
  • 2. E. Suff. RO, Tomline mss, Rose to Pitt, 11 Apr. 1796.
  • 3. Portland mss PwV114.
  • 4. Morning Chron. 21 Mar. 1816.
  • 5. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. F48/51; Lincs. AO, Tennyson d’Eyncourt mss H76/54, 78/26; Add. 38458, f. 250.
  • 6. Geo. IV Letters, iii. 1235.