POLE, Sir Peter, 2nd Bt. (1770-1850), of Wolverton, Hants.

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



16 Mar. 1819 - 1826

Family and Education

b. 20 Oct. 1770, 1st s. of Charles Van Notten (who took name of Pole 7 Mar. 1787 and was cr. Bt. 28 July 1791) by Millicent, da. and coh. of Charles Pole of Holcroft, Lancs. m. 24 Dec. 1798, Anna Guerherlmina, da. of Richard Buller of London, 4s. 5da. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 18 June 1813.

Offices Held


Pole’s father, of Dutch descent, was senior partner in the prosperous London mercantile and banking firm of Van Notten of Devonshire Square, Bishopsgate and invested in a Hampshire estate. Pole and his brother Charles entered the family business and signed the London merchants’ loyal declaration in 1795. They subscribed £20,000 each to the loyalty loan for 1797. After coming into his inheritance he extended his banking interest in 1815, when he became a sleeping partner in the house of Down, Thornton and Free of Birchin Lane, London.1 On 12 Jan. 1816 his partner Peter Free wrote to James Brogden* to ask

if you by chance know of any proper means by which a worthy and independent man, Church and King to the back bone, zealously attached to our glorious constitution as by law established and well inclined to the present administration as by royal pleasure established, can procure himself a quiet and peaceable seat in the House of Commons. He would prefer as few electors as possible as he is by no means anxious to be the Man of the People. My enquiry is for Sir Peter Pole and he has spoken to no one on the subject but to me.

In reply to some hint from Brogden, Free replied, 22 Jan.:

What Sir Peter would wish, would be to come in now if it is to be done. The fact is that as matters now are, a banking house, which has always had a Member in it, very often feels itself awkwardly situated without one. It is putting Parliament very low to talk of a seat in Parliament and eight pence for a letter.

He added that being ‘a very shy man and perfectly unfit for anything like a popular election’, but anxious to come in at the next general election at latest, Pole would like to know more ‘of the place which you allude to—for though he does not prefer buying borough property yet at a time of press like the present it may be possible to get something so well worth having, as not to be passed by—and he has plenty of money at immediate command’.2

Pole was one of the thwarted candidates at Tregony in 1818,3 but found an opening for Yarmouth, Isle of Wight in March 1819. The patron was (Sir) Leonard Thomas Worsley Holmes*, but he probably came to a private arrangement with the vacating Member John Taylor*. On 2 Apr. he took two weeks’ leave of the House. He may have been in the government majority against Tierney’s motion on 18 May and was certainly in that favouring the foreign enlistment bill on 10 June. No speech is known before 1820. Pole saved much of his personal fortune when his bank crashed in 1825, but gave up Parliament. He died 30 Aug. 1850.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: Brian Murphy / R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Hilton Price, London Bankers, 130; E. M. Forster, Marianne Thornton, 106.
  • 2. Essex RO, Sperling mss D/DSE/13.
  • 3. R. Cornw. Gazette, 20 June 1818.