MITCHELL, John (?1781-1859), of Richmond, Surr.

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



Family and Education

b. ?1781, 1st s. of David Mitchell of Jamaica, later of Carshalton House, Surr. by w. Anne Hewitt Smith. educ. Westminster; Christ Church, Oxf. 5 Feb. 1800, aged 18; L. Inn 1803, called 1808. m. 11 Sept. 1824, Eliza, da. of John Elliott, porter brewer, of Pimlico Lodge, Westminster, 2s. 2da.1 suc. fa. 1804; uncle William Mitchell* 1823.

Offices Held

Vol. London and Westminster light horse 1803-16.


Mitchell, the son of a Jamaica planter turned London merchant, was educated with five younger brothers at Westminster. Whereas his surviving brothers went into trade, John read for the bar and is probably the John Mitchell who had chambers at 3, Old Square, Lincoln’s Inn between 1809 and 1816. He disappeared from the Law List after 1817.

In February 1818 he considered but eventually rejected the idea, put to him by his friend Alexander Cray Grant*, that he should stand for Grimsby in harness with Charles Tennyson*.2 The following month he canvassed Hull and at the general election he headed the poll after a long and expensive contest. Although he admitted on the hustings that he had inherited a fortune derived from West Indian trade, he claimed that ‘he never had been concerned in the slave trade, nor ever would be’. He gave little indication of his political principles, but was thought to be ‘friendly attached to ministers’ and was widely believed to have been sent to Hull by Lord Liverpool.3 He voted with government against inquiry into the state of the nation, 18 May, and paired in favour of the foreign enlistment bill, 10 June 1819, but is not known to have spoken in the House before 1820.

Mitchell, already a wealthy man, inherited extensive and lucrative Jamaican estates and sugar plantations on the death of his uncle William Mitchell in 1823. He died at Torquay, 29 Aug. 1859, aged 77.4

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: J. M. Collinge


  • 1. J. J. Abraham, Lettsom, 467.
  • 2. Lincs. AO, Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss, 4 Td’E H12, Grant to Tennyson and reply, 27 Feb. 1818.
  • 3. Kingston Wit, Humour and Satire (Hull, 1818), 3-4, 40-41, 107; Wentworth Woodhouse mun. F36/35; Grimsby Pub. Lib. Tennyson mss, Daubeny to Tennyson, 30 Jan. 1820.
  • 4. PCC 698 Richards; Gent. Mag. (1859), ii. 432.