VANDERHEYDEN, David (c.1758-1828), of 29 Lower Harley Street, Mdx.

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



1807 - 8 Apr. 1816

Family and Education

b. c.1758, o. s. of David Vanderheyden of Isleworth by w. Poyer (d. 21 Feb. 1818, aged 82).1 unm. suc. fa. 1806.

Offices Held

Writer, E.I. Co. (Bengal) 1777, factor 1782, jun. merchant 1785; asst. collector, Tirhut (Tripura) 1787; collector and judge of the 24 Pargannas 1790; sen. merchant and member, board of revenue 1790; sen. judge ct. of appeal, Benares and agent to gov.-gen. 1798; home 1801.


Vanderheyden, who received his commercial education at Hebden’s school, Hounslow, followed in his father’s footsteps and spent nearly 25 years in the service of the East India Company. As a member of the board of revenue in Bengal he became a ‘particular friend’ of John Buller I* of East Looe, who described him as ‘a most worthy and respectable character’, and who furnished him with letters of introduction when he returned to England in 1801 because of ill health, ‘almost as much a stranger as if he had never been in it’. Since 1798 he had been chief judge at Benares, appointed by Lord Wellesley after an insurrection there. Though apparently an admirer of Warren Hastings, he declined an invitation to celebrate Hastings’s acquittal in Calcutta in 1795. He was an original member of the Oriental Club.2

In 1807 Vanderheyden came in for East Looe on the interest of Edward Buller*, brother of his deceased friend, in accordance with the latter’s request. In Parliament he was a friend of Lord Wellesley. He made little mark there. On 23, 26 Jan., 5 and 30 Mar. 1810 he voted with government on the Scheldt expedition, and also on the Regency proposals, 1 Jan. 1811. He was in the majority against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810. In May 1812 Lord Liverpool hoped that Vanderheyden’s patron would cause him to vacate his seat to provide one for his new chancellor of the Exchequer, Vansittart, but he retained it and voted for Stuart Wortley’s motion for a stronger administration, 21 May. Had the negotiations for a coalition government between Wellesley and the Whigs succeeded, he was to have had an unpaid seat at the India Board. His connexions remained Indian: on 5 Nov. 1812, Lord Apsley wrote to Peel from Brighton, ‘we have also here those great statesmen George Johnstone and Vanderheyden’. His re-election for East Looe at the election of 1812 was a fresh source of irritation to government, who had hoped to get the patron to bring in Lyndon Evelyn* there. Charles Arbuthnot informed Peel, 7 Oct., ‘Sir E. Buller has behaved to us like the greatest of scoundrels. He has promised us a seat for Mr Evelyn, and he has brought in Vanderheyden, a friend of Lord Wellesley’s.3

On 2 Mar., 13 and 24 May 1813 Vanderheyden voted for Catholic relief. In April he gave evidence to the committee on East India affairs to which he had belonged since 1808, maintaining that Europeans not in the Company service should be denied enterprise in the Indian provinces. He voted against Christian missions to India, 22 June, 12 July 1813. He was listed a friend of government by the Treasury but his prime allegiance remained to Lord Wellesley. On 22 Apr. 1814 he voted for the censure of the Speaker. He was in the government majorities of 8 and 31 May 1815 and voted with them for the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816. In April 1816 he vacated his seat to let in his next door neighbour in London, Thomas Potter MacQueen. He died at Bath, 31 July 1828, leaving the bulk of his estate to Anne Crain of Devonshire Street, Portland Place.4

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. PCC 680 Pitts, will of David Vanderheyden sen.; Gent. Mag. (1818), i. 468; PCC admon. act bk. Mar. 1819.
  • 2. India Office Lib. J/1/9, f. 77; Pole Carew mss CC/L/36, Buller to Pole Carew, 10, 28 Feb. 1801; Parl. Deb. xxv. 663; Add. 29175, f. 155.
  • 3. NMM, WYN/107, Pole Carew to Pole, 7 May 1807; Whitbread mss W1/384; Sidmouth mss, Pole to Sidmouth, 22 May 1812; Broughton, Recollections, i. 39; Add. 37297, list of June 1812; 38363, f. 65; 40222, ff. 62, 387.
  • 4. Parl. Deb. xxv. 663; Gent. Mag. (1828), ii. 190; PCC 680 Sutton.