SHEPHERD, Henry John (?1784-1855), of 1 Pump Court, Temple, London.

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



1818 - 1820

Family and Education

b. ?1784, 1st s. of Samuel Shepherd* by Elizabeth, da. of John White. educ. Eton 1799; Trinity Coll. Camb. 28 Apr. 1803, aged 19; L. Inn 1804, called 1809. m. 11 Apr. 1808, Lady Mary Primrose, da. of Neil, 3rd Earl of Rosebery [S], 1s. 1da. suc. fa. 1840.

Offices Held

Commr. of appeals in excise Feb. 1816-May 1818; counsel to Admiralty June 1828-Feb. 1845; clerk of presentations and custodies in Chancery July 1829; recorder, Abingdon 1833-52; KC 27 Dec. 1834; bencher, L. Inn 1838; commr. of bankrupts Jan. 1845-May 1850.


‘Son to a considerable lawyer, and ... himself very clever’, Shepherd practised as a barrister on the Oxford circuit and at the Berkshire sessions. In 1808 he eloped with Lord Rosebery’s daughter, six years his senior. He entered Parliament for Shaftesbury on the interest of his brother-in-law Lord Rosebery in 1818. He supported administration, in which his father was attorney-general. Like his father he voted against the Marriage Act amendment bill, 26 Apr. 1819. He voted with ministers against Tierney’s censure, 18 May. He spoke three times: in objection to the poor rates misapplication bill, 17 May, in defence of the foreign enlistment bill, 21 June, and on the riot at Manchester, which he claimed as a dangerous proof of the existence of sedition, 26 Nov. 1819.

In 1820, Lord Rosebery having disposed of his interest at Shaftesbury, Shepherd went out of Parliament. He was the author of A Summary of the law relating to the election of Members of Parliament (1825). He died 21 May 1855 at Rose Hill, Caversham, one of the properties he left in trust for his children.

Jerningham Letters, i. 307; DNB (Shepherd, Sir Samuel); Gent. Mag. (1855), ii. 108; PCC 1855, f. 734.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne