GASCOYNE, Bamber (1757-1824), of Childwall, Liverpool, Lancs.

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



1780 - 1796

Family and Education

b. 26 Nov. 1757, 1st s. of Bamber Gascoyne of Bifrons, Barking, Essex by Mary, da. and coh. of Isaac Green of Childwall Abbey; bro. of Isaac Gascoyne*. educ. Magdalen, Oxf. 1775; continental tour 1778-9. m. 24 July 1794, Sarah Bridget Frances, da. and h. of Chase Price of Knighton, Rad., 1da. suc. fa. 1791.

Offices Held

Capt. Roehampton vols. 1803.


Gascoyne’s mother’s inheritance gave him a considerable interest at Liverpool. In the contest of 1790 he was, however, assailed for his avowed support of Pitt and subservience to his father’s ambitions. His alliance with Lord Penrhyn, the other sitting Member, who was in opposition, made matters worse. On the pretext of indisposition he absented himself after the first day’s poll and, while retaining his seat, ‘completely lost himself in the opinion of the public’. As if conscious of this, Gascoyne was an unobtrusive Member in the ensuing Parliament.

Having gratified his constituents before 1790 by his opposition to the campaign for the abolition of the slave trade, he went on to oppose the establishment of the Sierra Leone Company, 28 Mar., 3, 23, 27 May 1791, raising the cry of monopoly and dividing the House on it. He was also listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland that session. In October of that year his father died, leaving him estates in Essex and Lancashire worth £4,000 p.a. He was subsequently absent from the House for nearly six months, but attended on 13 Mar. 1792 to explain his part in interceding with George Rose* on behalf of George Smith, who had been fined by the board of excise for illegal brewing. On 8 May he further defended his conduct in this matter, which had a bearing on the Westminster election. On 26 Feb. and 14 May 1793 he opposed Wilberforce on the slave trade. acting as teller against him on the latter occasion. He further voted against abolition on 15 Mar. 1796. He was the sponsor of a bill to enable the Liverpool corporation to raise funds on their ‘negotiable notes’, to counteract the effect of commercial stagnation, 11 Apr., 3 May 1793. On 19 Feb. 1795 he presented a counter-petition from his constituency against that calling for peace negotiations presented by his colleague. It was nevertheless complained that ‘he seldom answered any letter on business, he neglected his private friends as well as his public duty ... [His] conduct had so completely disgusted all ranks of people, that it was generally supposed he would stand no chance of success if he again ventured to offer himself.’

Gascoyne, who suffered from gout, abdicated in his brother Isaac’s favour at Liverpool in 1796. Sir Francis Basset* had mentioned him to Pitt in September 1795 as one of several gentlemen whom he was prepared to seat for Penryn ‘on easy terms’, but he offered himself nowhere. He died 17 Jan. 1824. His heiress had married James Brownlow William Cecil*, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury, after declining a proposal from Lord Garvagh in 1819.

An Address to the Freemen of Liverpool (1790), 9; Ignotus, Letter to Earl of Sefton (1806), 11-13; Gent. Mag. (1791), ii. 1066; C. Oman, The Gascoyne Heiress, 25, 38; PRO 30/8/111, f. 418.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: M. H. Port