POCOCK, George (1765-1840), of Twickenham, Mdx. and Hart, co. Dur.

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



1796 - 1806
1807 - 1820

Family and Education

b. 15 Oct. 1765, o.s. of R.-Adm. Sir George Pocock of Twickenham by Sophia Pitt, da. of Adm. George Francis Drake, wid. of Cdr. Digby Dent, RN; his o. sis. Sophia m. John, 4th Earl Poulett. educ. Cormick’s sch., Putney; Eton 1778-83; Christ Church, Oxf. 1783-6. m. 6 June 1791, Charlotte Mary, da. of Edward Long, judge-adv. of ct. of Admiralty, Jamaica, 6s. 4da. suc. fa. 1792; cr. Bt. 18 Aug. 1821.

Offices Held


The son of a distinguished sailor whom he described as ‘the only commander in chief in the present reign whose successful services have not been rewarded by some distinction’,1 Pocock was returned for Bridgwater unopposed in 1796 on the interest of his brother-in-law Earl Poulett. With the exception of the Parliament of 1806 to which he did not seek election, he represented the borough until he retired in 1820. In all these years he is not known to have contributed to debate and seldom voted against the government of the day. He voted for Pitt’s assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798. His first minority vote recorded was against Pitt’s additional force bill, 11 June 1804,2 and he was listed as ‘doubtful’ by administration in September 1804 and ‘doubtful Pitt’ in July 1805. After his return in 1807, he gave a general support to administration and was listed as ‘doubtful’ from their point of view by the Whigs in 1810, when he rallied to ministers in the critical divisions of 23, 26 Jan. and 30 Mar. He was in the opposition majority on the Regency, 1 Jan. 1811. After the election of 1812 he was on the list of Treasury supporters. He voted against Catholic relief on 24 May 1813 (again on 9 May 1817). His only known vote with opposition in that Parliament was on the Duke of Cumberland’s establishment bill, 3 July 1815. He sided with ministers on the Regent’s expenditure, 31 May 1815; on the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816; on the public revenue bill (the Irish vice-treasurership), 17 and 20 June; on the finance committee and Admiralty retrenchment, 7 and 25 Feb. 1817; for the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June, and against its critics, 10, 11 Feb. 1818. His only known vote in the next Parliament was against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May 1819.

Pocock applied to Lord Liverpool through his brother-in-law in August 1814 for a peerage, for his father’s naval and his own political services. Nothing came of this and on 22 June 1819 he asked for ‘a baronetcy with precedence’, which would ‘entirely gratify’ his ambition. Liverpool assured him that such a controversial honour was out of the question and in January 1820 again found the moment inopportune to procure a baronetcy for him.3 He was satisfied at the coronation of George IV. He died at Brussels, 14 July 1840.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Add. 38277, f. 383.
  • 2. Morning Chron. 13 June 1804.
  • 3. Add. 38277, f. 383; 38278, ff. 40, 148; 38282, ff. 270, 272; 38284, ff. 23, 43; 38365, f. 87.