GAUSSEN, Samuel Robert (1759-1812), of 3 Mansfield Street, Mdx. and Brookmans Park, North Mimms, Herts.

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



1796 - 1802

Family and Education

b. 27 Feb. 1759, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Peter Gaussen, London merchant, of Little St. Helens, first foreign-born gov. of Bank of England1 and dir. E.I. Co., by Anna Maria, da. of Samuel Bosanquet, Turkey merchant, of Forest House, Low Hall, Essex. m. 26 July 1783, his cos. Elizabeth, da. of Jacob Bosanquet, Turkey merchant, of Cleddon, Mon., 4s. 3da. surv. suc. fa. 1781.

Offices Held

Dir. S. Sea Co. 1782-d., French hosp. 1782.

Sheriff, Herts. 1790-1; ensign, Herts. militia 1792, lt. 1793, capt.-lt. 1793, capt. 1794; maj. Herts. vol. inf. 1803, lt.-col. 1804.


Gaussen was descended on both sides from eminent Huguenot mercantile families which came to England from Geneva not long after being exiled from France and prospered. He inherited a fortune from his father and, while maintaining a foothold in the business world, bought in 1786 a Hertfordshire estate to which he afterwards added.2 He also held a major investment in East India Company stock. He was the only member of his family to sit in Parliament before 1832, coming in for Warwick in conjunction with the Hon. George Villiers undoubtedly at his own expense, since the patron the Earl of Warwick had just obliged Lord Arden, who could not afford it, to give up his seat.

Gaussen was recommended by Villiers to Pitt as being as ‘zealous’ as himself ‘in the cordial support of your wishes in Parliament’. He had signed the London merchants’ loyal declaration in 1795 and his brother-in-law, Jacob Bosanquet, was the principal spokesman of City interests collaborating with Pitt’s administration. He was apparently a silent Member, but in December 1797 he sent Pitt his ideas on taxation.3 In 1802, ‘having upon a vigorous canvass been unable to make any considerable impression upon the voters’, he relinquished his seat.4 He did not seek to return to Parliament. He died 14 Aug. 1812.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Originally Jean Pierre Gaussen, born in Geneva 1723, who came to London in 1739 as heir to his uncles, the merchants François and Pierre Gaussen, see L. C. Meyer, Gen. of Bosanquet, ped. 3.
  • 2. Clutterbuck, Herts. i. 458; iii. 342, 440.
  • 3. PRO 30/8/108, f. 183; 185, f. 245; 266, ff. f. 133-8.
  • 4. R. Fulford, Glyn’s 1753-1953, p. 78.