FARMER, Samuel (?1748-1839), of Nonsuch Park, Surr. and Somersham Park, Hunts.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b.?1748, yr.s. of George Farmer, merchant, of Hog Lane, Shoreditch, Mdx. by w. Margaret. m. c.1775, Elizabeth, da. of Joseph Easton Meeke of Rotherhithe, Surr., sis. of William Meeke*, 1s.
Farmer inherited a scarlet dyeing business at Worship Street, Finsbury which remained there under his name from about 1790 until 1817. On 16 Dec. 1793 he wrote to Pitt complaining that the indemnity granted to captured French territories in respect of their debts put him out of pocket and many West India planters at a disadvantage. On 2 Dec. 1795 he signed the London merchants’ loyal address. He invested in Surrey property at Woodmansterne, West Wickham, Little Pendrill and at Nonsuch, acquired in 1799, where he got Wyatville to build him a mansion (1802-6). He also had a seat in Huntingdonshire and property in Suffolk, Cambridge and the Isle of Ely. He was residuary legatee of his elder brother William Gamul Farmer, chief at Surat in the East India Company service, in 1798, and an East India Company stockholder by 1806.1
As a badge of his prosperity, Farmer purchased a seat in Parliament from Lord Sandwich, who needed the money for his son’s county election campaign, in 1807. The sum of £4,000 was quoted.2 He first returned his son, replacing him in 1809. Listed by the Whigs in 1810 as ‘against the Opposition’, he was not a regular attender and never uttered in debate. He voted with ministers on the address 23 Jan., against the Scheldt inquiry, 26 Jan., 30 Mar. 1810, and on the Regency propositions, 1 Jan. 1811. On 4 May 1812 he voted against sinecure reform. He renewed his lease on his seat in 1812 and was listed a Treasury supporter. He voted against Catholic relief, 11, 24 May 1813. He appeared on the government side in divisions on the civil list, 14 Apr., 8 May 1815, 6, 24 May 1816; on the army estimates, 6, 8 Mar. 1816; for the property tax, 18 Mar.; on the Irish vice-treasurership, 14 June 1816; on the composition of the finance committee, 7 Feb.; on the Admiralty establishment, 25 Feb., and for the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June 1817. He had paired against Catholic relief, 9 May 1817. His last known vote was in the government minority for the Duke of Clarence’s marriage grant, 15 Apr. 1818.
Farmer, who retired in 1818, outlived his son, dying 14 May 1839 in his 92nd year.3