SITWELL, Sitwell (1769-1811), of Renishaw Hall, Eckington, Derbys.

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. Sept. 1769, 1st s. of Francis Hurt (afterwards Sitwell) of Renishaw, and bro. of Francis Sitwell*. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1788; Grand Tour. m. (1) 1 Aug. 1791, Alice (d. 3 May 1797), da. of Thomas Parke, merchant, of Highfield House, Liverpool, Lancs., sis. of James Parke, 1st Baron Wensleydale, 1s. 2da.; (2) 23 July 1798, Sarah Caroline, da. of James Stovin of Whitgift Hall, Yorks., 1da. suc. fa. 1793; cr. Bt. 3 Oct. 1808.

Offices Held

Capt. Derbys. yeoman cav. 1794, maj. 1799-1804, capt. 1805-7.

Sheriff, Derbys. 1807-8.


Sitwell’s father Francis Hurt inherited the immense wealth of his kinsmen the Sitwells in 1776 and assumed their name.1 He disapproved at first of his son’s attachment to Alice Parke, daughter of a Liverpool merchant of yeoman stock, and sent him on an extended Grand Tour. At Constantinople young Sitwell was informed that Miss Parke had died; he hurried home to find her alive and was allowed to marry her. Coming into his inheritance in 1793, he was an extravagant amateur of hunting, racing and building, characterized by ‘impulsiveness, high spirit, taste, audacity and temperament’. In 1798 he displayed great courage in killing the ‘royal Bengal tiger’ which escaped from a menagerie at Sheffield.2

In the autumn of 1795 Sitwell informed the Duke of Portland of his wish for a seat in Parliament. On 9 May 1796 the duke invited him to London to discuss the matter.3 He came in for West Looe on the Buller interest, a seat available to friends of government. On 4 Jan. 1798 he voted for Pitt’s assessed taxes. Nevertheless, he had voted with the minority, 14 Dec. 1796, for Fox’s motion against the advancing of subsidies to the allies without consulting Parliament and, on 3 Mar. 1797, for Whitbread’s critical motion on the French invasion of Ireland. No speech is known. Although the True Briton, 9 Nov. 1796, thought his name suggested ‘an excellent man ... for a long debate’, he did not seek re-election in 1802. In 1806 he made extensive alterations at Renishaw in order to give a ball in honour of the Prince of Wales. ‘Mr Sitwell’ appeared in the Duke of Portland’s patronage book in 1807 under baronetcies and he obtained one in 1808. The Eton boys affected indignation when he brought his ‘strumpet’ with him on a visit to his son in 1809.4

He died 4 July 1811 of gout in the head. He was seen twice after his death, at Sheffield and Renishaw, but not in the House of Commons.5

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. The history of the Hurts was written by Sir George Sitwell, 2nd Bt.
  • 2. Sir Osbert Sitwell, Left Hand Right Hand, 13-15.
  • 3. Portland mss PwV110.
  • 4. Horner mss 4, f. 83.
  • 5. Sitwell, 17; Gent. Mag. (1811), ii. 91.