BARING, Alexander (1773-1848), of The Grange, nr. Alresford, Hants and 82 Piccadilly, Mdx
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Family and Education
b. 27 Oct. 1773,1 2nd s. of Sir Francis Baring†, 1st bt. (d. 1810), of 6 Mincing Lane, London and Harriet, da. of William Herring of Croydon, Surr.; bro. of Henry Baring* and Sir Thomas Baring, 2nd bt.* educ. Hanau. m. 23 Aug. 1798, Anne Louisa, da. of William Bingham of Philadelphia, senator, USA, 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 4da. (1 d.v.p.). cr. Bar. Ashburton 10 Apr. 1835. d. 12 May 1848.
Dir. Bank of England 1805-17; pres. bd. of trade Dec. 1834-Apr. 1835; PC 16 Dec. 1834; master of mint Jan.-May 1835; amb. (spec. mission) to USA Jan. 1842.
Baring, a partner in Baring Brothers and Company from 1803 and senior partner since his father’s death in 1810,2 played a vital role in establishing the firm as the leading force in international finance. It was largely through his efforts that the Louisiana purchase by the USA in 1803 was underwritten by Barings, along with Hope of Amsterdam; his marriage alliance helped to secure the coveted prize of the agency for the United States government in London, the same year; and when in 1818 he arranged a loan to the French government to pay off its war indemnities, the house of Baring was deemed to be the ‘sixth great Power of Europe’. During the 1820s, as his involvement in politics deepened and his appetite for the life of a leisured gentleman grew, he gradually took a less active part in the company’s affairs, and a reorganization in 1828 presaged his final retirement from business, 31 Dec. 1830. For some years, his quest for social acceptance had prompted him to convert some of his immense wealth into land, notably through the acquisition of The Grange estate in Hampshire for £136,620 in 1817. Further purchases enabled him to consolidate this estate into one that rivalled his brother, Sir Thomas’s, at nearby Stratton Park, and the two were among the greatest landowners in the county. At The Grange, Baring entertained on a lavish scale and collected Rembrandts and other works by the Dutch masters. He also bought up land elsewhere and, according to his nephew Henry Labouchere*, by the 1840s his total holdings amounted to ‘at least 60 or 70 thousand acres ... in ten or twelve ... counties’. This practice of scattering his purchases was apparently designed to enable him to ‘elude the public eye ... and ... avoid being talked against and aimed at in times of commotion by mob oratory’.3 As Whig Member for Taunton from 1806 he made his early reputation as a staunch advocate of free trade principles, but on issues such as parliamentary reform his conservative tendencies became apparent at the time of the Peterloo massacre, and these were ultimately reinforced by his social metamorphosis into a country gentleman. His independent standing as a financial expert, who was sometimes consulted by Tory ministers, likewise distanced him from the Whig mainstream, and he privately admitted in 1822 that he had ‘little zeal as a party man’.4 At the dissolution in 1820 he was tempted by an invitation to offer for Hampshire, but declined, perhaps because he was still considered to be an arriviste, and stood again at Taunton where his past services and long purse ensured his return at the head of the poll.5
He continued to act with the Whig opposition to Lord Liverpool’s ministry on many issues, including parliamentary reform, 9 May 1821, 24 June 1822, 24 Apr. 1823, 26 Feb. 1824. He voted for Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 17 Apr. 1823, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. He was a frequent contributor to debates, particularly on economic matters. He supported the London wool trade’s petition against the increased duty on foreign wool, 4 May 1820, maintaining that it had given an advantage to Britain’s competitors and harmed the agricultural interest. In presenting a London merchants’ petition against commercial restrictions (which may have been encouraged by ministers)6, 8 May, he ascribed the absence of any post-war economic recovery to the damage to business confidence caused by the ‘general insubordination and insecurity which pervaded the country’, and the fact that Britain was now ‘surrounded by jealous rivals’. The solution lay in a return to the free trade principles of Pitt, but he accused ministers of ‘apathy’. His speech was reportedly listened to attentively by a full House and received ‘loud cheerings’.7 Welcoming a similar petition from the Glasgow chamber of commerce, 16 May, he hoped manufacturing and trade would revive if encouraged by ‘good laws’ and ‘wise and liberal regulations’. He opposed the agriculturists’ demand for increased protection, 30 May. Next day he complained that the composition of the select committee on agricultural distress, to which he was named (and again, 7 Mar. 1821, 18 Feb. 1822), made its report predictable. On 5 June he successfully moved for a select committee on foreign trade, to which he was named (and again each year until 1824). He supported the proposed new standing order requiring trade regulation bills to be referred to a select committee before being given a first reading to safeguard against hasty legislation, 14 June. He voiced concern at the government’s expedient of issuing new exchequer bills, 11, 31 May. He suggested that the salaries of the lord lieutenant of Ireland and the governor of the Cape be reduced in line with the depreciation of money, 17 May. He supported the labourers’ wages bill ‘under the present circumstances’ of the country, 23 June. He was against allowing Irish masters in chancery to sit in Parliament, 30 June, but was a minority teller for the amendment that the disabling bill should not apply retroactively, 3 July. That day he criticized ministerial reticence about the personal property of the late king, warning that ‘a strong sensation would be excited in the country’, and advised that the coronation should be delayed until the outcome of the proceedings against Queen Caroline was known. In a letter to Lord Lansdowne, 30 July 1820, he observed that the revolution at Naples demonstrated the need ‘to arm the property of the country and reduce our dependence on regular troops, for the corruption of the soldier is now the favourite cause of Jacobinism’. He regarded the government’s decision to summon Parliament in the autumn and proceed with a bill of pains and penalties against the queen as ‘quite inexcusable ... at such a time, it should have been smothered at all costs’.8
Baring played a leading role at the Hampshire county meeting, 14 Jan. 1821, when he moved petitions condemning ministers’ conduct towards the queen and denounced the underhand methods employed to try to suppress the meeting. He was also present at a turbulent meeting on this issue in the City, 29 Jan., which the Whig leader Tierney had asked him to help organize in order to counteract an earlier loyal address.9 At the eve-of-session Whig meeting at Burlington House, 22 Jan., he opposed Tierney’s view that there should be no amendment to the address, but did not press his case.10 He defended the Hampshire meeting from the ‘injurious assertion’ made against it by the duke of Wellington, 26 Jan., and alleged that the disturbances at the City meeting were caused by opponents of the petition, 2 Feb. He criticized the conditions attached to the queen’s annuity bill, which he thought she might accept if she survived the king, 12 Feb. He admitted that he had previously harboured a ‘strong feeling’ against parliamentary reform, 31 Jan., but was now convinced of its necessity, warning that ‘if the House did not in the course of the session express some opinion in sympathy with that of the people, as to the degrading character of the late persecution of Her Majesty, it would do more to condemn the manner in which ... [it] was formed than all the speeches ... delivered by all the demagogues from the beginning of time’. He supported the amendment to the Grampound disfranchisement bill to raise the voting qualification in Leeds from £10 to £20, 2 Mar. 1821, arguing that ‘experience proved the necessity of looking to property as an essential principle for the permanence of social order’, although ‘the interests of the poorer classes of society should [also] be mixed up with these considerations’. He favoured a graduated scale, giving the wealthiest three or four votes, and pointed to Westminster and Southwark, where ‘any man who would complain of great public grievances and ... talk the greatest nonsense upon legislation and good government was most likely to succeed’, as examples of the danger of admitting the popular principle of representation.
He supported reform of the mode of presenting the public revenue accounts, which were often so complicated as to be ‘unintelligible’, 1 Feb., 25 May 1821. He condemned the conduct of the Bank of Ireland in refusing to receive coin of the realm as deposits, suggesting that its status be reviewed, 2 Feb., although he recognized that there must be a national bank, 9 Apr. Endorsing the Birmingham petition for inquiry into distress, 8 Feb., he emphasized the need for retrenchment but rejected any return to a paper currency, hinting at his own favoured bimetallist solution. He was convinced that ‘the attempt to bring about the restoration of the currency was at the bottom of the public distress’, 22 Feb., and hoped this would ‘operate as a solemn warning to future times, not to depart from the established standard of value’. He did not object to bringing forward the date for the resumption of cash payments, 19 Mar., but still argued the bimetallist case for a double standard of gold and silver; his amendment for inquiry was negatived. Another for inquiry into how the Act of 1819 might be altered so as to relieve the pressure on various branches of the economy was defeated by 141-27, 9 Apr. He feared that the ministerial plan to revise the method of calculating average corn prices was likely ‘not only to create uneasiness among ... consumers, but to inspire the growers with false hopes’, 26 Feb. He divided with ministers against repeal of the additional malt duty, 3 Apr. He backed their proposed revisions of the timber duties, 5 Apr., and Navigation Acts, 25 June, believing that ‘a free importation would be productive of the greatest benefit’. He supported repeal of the duty on foreign wool, as Britain was ‘in danger of losing a large portion of her trade’, 9 Apr. He thought repeal of the usury laws would be ‘of the greatest benefit to the country’, especially the landed interest, 12 Apr. He opposed repeal of the husbandry horses tax, 14 June, arguing that the maintenance of public credit was the chief priority given the ‘extravagant’ level of expenditure approved by the House. When ministers gave way on this issue, 18 June, he delivered what was described as a ‘provoking’ speech,11 trusting that the agriculturists would not demand any more concessions and denouncing their failure to support retrenchment. He opposed the inclusion in the Catholic relief bill of a requirement that those currently in holy orders must take an oath of allegiance, 28 Mar. He supported the resolutions criticizing the delay in completing the inquiry into the English courts of justice, 9 May, and thought ‘nothing very sanguine could be hoped from an investigation carried on [by] the officers in the courts themselves’; he was a minority teller. He urged the Commons to be robust in asserting its privileges with regard to the libel by John Bull against Grey Bennet, 11 May, moving that the author be committed to Newgate and acting as a majority teller. He opposed the motion to indemnify the creditors of Burton, late Member for Beverley, 30 May, but argued that Members who pleaded parliamentary privilege in order to avoid arrest should be unseated after a given period of time. He supported the forgery punishment mitigation bill on the principle that ‘mild but certain punishments were better calculated than severe punishments to prevent the commission of crime’, 25 May, and opposed the amendment to except cases involving promissory notes and bills of exchange, which would render the measure useless, 4 June. He supported the slave removal bill in order to alleviate overpopulation, 1 June 1821.
In January 1822 the cabinet, ‘with Baring in attendance’, considered various options for agricultural relief, before deciding against increased protection or major tax cuts.12 He appears to have been absent for most of the session, but was presumably the Mr. Baring who complained of the financial burden imposed on British merchants to support the consular service in the Brazils, 15 July 1822. Following the suicide of Lord Londonderry, the foreign secretary and leader of the Commons, Baring doubted that Canning would take his place, remarking that he ‘would be indeed a fool to trust himself in such a cabinet’.13 He praised the work of Wallace, chairman of the select committee on foreign trade, which was ‘fully appreciated by the merchants of London’, 12 Feb. 1823. He congratulated the new chancellor of the exchequer, Robinson, on the clarity of his budget statement, 21 Feb., but thought the size of the sinking fund had been overestimated and dissented from Ricardo’s view that it should be abolished to allow for tax cuts; it was essential for the purpose of maintaining public credit. He dismissed Maberly’s tax reduction resolution, 28 Feb., and voted with ministers against Hume’s amendment, 3 Mar. He attacked Ricardo’s views on the sinking fund and land taxation, which were fine in theory but showed he had ‘lost sight of man and of all practical conclusions’, 6 Mar. He was in a quandary over the national debt reduction bill, 17 Mar., as he supported the sinking fund but believed its true size to be £3 million, not £5 million; his motion to insert the correct figure was defeated by 100-72. He objected to the way in which the military and naval pensions bill gave the Bank ‘the power of stock-jobbing’, 11 Apr., maintaining that ministers had made a bad bargain for the public and denouncing it as ‘the most unwise and even the most ridiculous [measure] that had ever been presented to the House’; he was a teller for the hostile minority. He opposed inquiry into the resumption of cash payments, 11 June, despite his aversion to the Act of 1819, as it was ‘essentially a question of time’ and continual tampering with the currency would unsettle the public mind and derange the public credit; he voted with ministers the next day. He condemned the government’s conduct with regard to Spain, 28 Apr., claiming that Allied interference could have been avoided by a ‘firm and vigorous remonstrance’ from Britain. Ministers had ‘neglected their duty ... in a manner disgraceful and dishonourable to the character of the country’, and detrimental to ‘the spread of liberal principles and ... reform in every shape’. In presenting a petition from agents of the West Indian colonies against interference with the existing laws on slavery, 15 May 1823, he explained that he had ‘always been a sincere abolitionist’ but was ‘of opinion that any measure having that object in view should be dictated by prudence and reason ... not by the new lights of enthusiasm and madness’. In the ensuing debate on Fowell Buxton’s abolition motion he stressed that he had no business interests in the West Indies, but dwelt on the practical difficulties and maintained that the sufferings of the negroes had been greatly exaggerated; their condition was ‘in many respects, superior to that of most of the European peasantry’.
He called for ‘a complete remodelling of the exchequer’, 16 Feb. 1824, as it was ‘high time ... the country [got] rid of a system of keeping accounts so cumbrous and so inefficient that it might almost disgrace a tribe of Indian savages’. He believed the Bank of England was necessary and that its charges for handling public money were reasonable, 19 Feb. He welcomed Robinson’s encouraging financial statement, 23 Feb., and while he thought the revenue estimates and the consequent scope for tax reductions were probably too optimistic, it was ‘a subject of national pride and exultation that, recovering from a long and expensive war, we were enabled to effect such improvements in the finances of the country without the violation of any honourable principle, or of those moral obligations by which society was held together’. He gave the House the benefit of his historical knowledge and technical expertise concerning the Austrian loan convention, 24, 26 Feb. He was a majority teller for the usury laws repeal bill, 27 Feb., having argued that ‘there was nothing so necessary to the freedom of trade as the freedom of capital’ and that variable interest rates would help attract capital to Ireland. On the grant for the new courts of justice, 1 Mar., he complained that ‘nobody connected with the government ... was responsible for these ridiculous buildings’. He opposed repeal of the window tax, 2 Mar., and reduction of the sugar duties, 8 Mar., on the ground that it was vital to maintain the sinking fund. He presented a London silk trade petition against removing the prohibition on imports, a matter that also concerned his constituents, 5 Mar. He was prepared to make an exception to the free trade principle in this case, 8 Mar., as British manufacturers could not compete on equal terms with the French, and he condemned the government’s plan as ‘a dangerous experiment for the country’ which would ruin an industry and cause thousands to starve. He suggested that any change should be gradual, 9 Mar., and moved an unsuccessful amendment to delay free importation for three years, 22 Mar. In a lengthy critique of ministerial indecision on the slavery question, 16 Mar., he called for an impartial inquiry, as the abolitionists were guilty of gross exaggeration and the planters had not received fair play. According to one cabinet minister, Baring was ‘cut to the bone’ by Canning’s reply, and a Whig Member wrote that
the best thing I have heard for a long time in Parliament was Canning’s castigation of Baring, whose dirtiness and shabbiness of conduct exceeds all description ... It lasted about half an hour. He gave a loose rein to his fury, which was excessive, and with all stops pulled out, laid on him unmercifully ... Baring evidently suffered greatly under the operation, and is extremely sore about it. The House enjoyed it, and supported Canning with all the glee of boys surrounding a dog worrying a rat.14
His absence in Paris in May on business brought him ‘into something of a scrape’ with his constituents, as he was unable to attend to the Bridgwater and Taunton canal bill, which ‘passed the Commons by one of those disgraceful committee scrambles which usually attend this sort of business’.15 He returned to denounce the methods employed by the abolitionists, 15 June 1824, claiming that missionaries like the Rev. John Smith were responsible for provoking the insurrection in Demerara, warning that such activities would ‘ruin’ the colonies and calling on ministers to ‘speak out in a manly and decided tone’.
In the discussion on private bills, 23 Feb. 1825, Baring agreed that Members with a personal interest should refrain from voting as a matter of honour, but doubted whether it was possible to do more. However, in a wider criticism of current practice, he claimed to be ‘shocked at the manner in which private business was conducted’ and ‘so convinced ... of the partiality and injustice evinced by committees on private bills’ that he would rather see such business removed from the House altogether than left as it was; at the very least, voting should be confined to Members who had heard the evidence. He supported the Welsh Iron and Mining Company bill, arguing that the Commons should not obstruct the spirit of enterprise, 28 Feb., and the Thames Quay bill, which was ‘absolutely necessary’ to facilitate communications in the metropolis, 15 Mar. That day he opposed the Canadian wastelands bill, which was not designed to improve the country but merely assisted a joint-stock company speculating on future emigration. He supported the Peruvian Mining Company bill, in which he had no personal interest, 16 Mar., as the House had passed many similar measures, but shared the fears about the gambling mania infecting investors and ‘believed that all the mining speculations would turn out to be delusions’. He supported the West India Company bill, denying that it would encourage the slave trade, 16 May. He defended the conduct of the committee on the Western Ship Canal Company bill, 3 June, claiming that it had been well attended and thorough. He argued that Catholic emancipation was an experiment worth trying in order to get to the root of Irish disorder, 25 Feb., and denied that hostile petitions were representative of public opinion, 21 Apr. He expressed no opinion on Grattan’s Irish poor relief bill, 22 Mar., as he ‘did not know what [he] meant by it’. He welcomed the president of the board of trade Huskisson’s proposed resolutions on colonial policy, which were based on ‘broad and liberal views of commerce’, 21 Mar. He similarly approved of Huskisson’s general principles of commercial policy, 25 Mar., declaring that Britain should ‘set the example of free trade to other nations’. Yet according to Charles Arbuthnot*, Baring, for ‘all his liberalism in the House’, privately believed that Huskisson’s tariff policies would result in an outflow of gold from the country and predicted ‘great distress from ... diminishing circulation’.16 He condemned the delay in inquiring into the corn laws, 25 Apr., and while he recognized that agriculture was entitled to some protection, 28 Apr., said that the present level was too high and imposed a heavy burden on industry. He approved of ministerial measures to encourage the release of bonded corn, 2 May. He now voted for repeal of the window tax, 17 May. He thought the export of machinery was harmless in most cases but that the board of trade should retain some discretionary power, 14 June. He described the repeal of the combination laws as ‘one of the most mischievous measures that the House ever agreed to’, 3 May. He called for inquiry into the serious allegations made against the governor of the Cape, Lord Charles Somerset†, whose regime was run on ‘despotic principles’, 16 June 1825.
In what one observer considered to be a ‘very sensible’17 speech on the address, 2 Feb. 1826, Baring attributed the financial crisis to the way in which the Bank and the country banks had ‘saturated’ the country with paper money, encouraging ‘enterprises so rash and ridiculous’ that it seemed as if ‘all bedlam had broken loose on the royal exchange’. It was necessary to restore the Bank’s prestige, as it had an essential role to play in financing any future war, and he favoured the creation of joint-stock banks. He complained that government policy had produced a ‘great deal of immediate misery’ in the silk trade, but expressed his ‘unqualified admiration’ of Canning’s foreign policy, particularly in relation to the recognition of the South American republics. He presented and endorsed a Taunton petition against the importation of foreign silk, 9 Feb., and called for inquiry into the trade, 24 Feb., as free trade principles must be adapted to meet special circumstances. In a very long and, according to George Agar Ellis*, ‘able’ speech,18 following Robinson’s statement, 10 Feb., Baring blamed the government for not summoning Parliament earlier to deal with the banking crisis. While disavowing any intention of engaging in party opposition, he dismissed the ‘milk and water’ remedy of ending the circulation of small banknotes in 1829. He maintained that too much of the Bank’s reserves were tied up through its connection with government and that it needed to have ‘unfettered command’ of its resources, if it was to properly perform its role. He reiterated his support for joint-stock banks and a bimetallic currency, but did not move for inquiry into the currency question, which Peel had believed him to be contemplating before the debate.19 Agar Ellis thought he spoke ‘bitterly’20 in a clash with Canning on the same issue, 13 Feb., when he moved an amendment against going into committee on the Bank Charter Acts, declaring that the plan to withdraw small notes was opposed by all practical men of business and that the country should be restored to a settled state before alterations were made to the banking system. He was defeated by 222-39, acting as a minority teller; most of his supporters were merchants or bankers, but the majority of the opposition sided with ministers. The Whig James Abercromby* believed the government might have been vulnerable to defeat during the debates on distress, but ‘there was nobody to lead the crowd. They do not like Baring and indeed he is too vacillating in himself to command confidence’.21 Baring announced his support for the amended promissory notes bill, 20 Feb., but he still feared that ministers were moving too quickly. In presenting a London merchants’ petition for relief measures, 23 Feb., he argued that the distress was ‘of such an extraordinary nature, and so extensive in its operation, as to render it the indispensable duty of government to step forward and attempt its alleviation’; he recommended a £5 million issue of exchequer bills to restore confidence and reduce the pressure on debtors. Huskisson, according to one of his partisans, made a powerful reply, which ‘placed Baring’s conduct in a most contemptible light’.22 Baring supported an issue of exchequer bills to finance public works, 28 Feb., and welcomed the government’s bill allowing the Bank to advance money on the security of goods, 8 Mar., reporting that ‘there was already in London a renewed confidence and a freedom of commercial intercourse within a few days’, which was ‘wholly attributable to this measure’. He reiterated his argument that the Bank was hampered by its connection with government, 10 Mar., and advocated inquiry into the Scottish banking system, 14 Mar. However, on 13 Mar. 1826 he said he had ‘never ... heard a speech which [gave] him more satisfaction’ than Robinson’s financial statement.
He objected to the policy of appointing consuls who could not engage in trade, 17 Mar. 1826, preferring the old system of employing the principal merchant of a trading port at a lower salary. He urged the House to be more consistent in its treatment of private legislation such as the Welsh Mining Company bill, 22 Mar., observing that in the previous session every ‘trumpery’ bill had been passed whereas now there was a reluctance to agree to any. He initially supported the proposed salary increase for the president of the board of trade, 6 Apr., but when Robinson announced that the treasurership of the navy would not be abolished to pay for it, he was regretfully obliged to vote against ministers, 7, 10 Apr. He was shut out from the division on reform of Edinburgh’s representation, 13 Apr.23 He presented and endorsed a petition from the council and assembly of Antigua protesting against the attacks made by anti-slavery campaigners and offering to sell their land to the British government for the purpose of an experiment in emancipation, 14 Apr. He similarly presented a petition from London West India merchants for protection of their property or compensation, 20 Apr., repeating his criticism of the damaging effect of the abolitionists’ exaggerated attacks and calling for change ‘by moderate and well digested measures’. He cautioned the House not to interfere with government policy towards the slaves of Demerara and Berbice, which was ‘preparing ... the negroes by degrees to receive the blessings of freedom’. He maintained that the reciprocity system had so far been a failure, 17 Apr. He deplored ‘the enormous abuses’ in chancery administration, 18 Apr. On 8 May he urged ministers to adopt ‘some permanent and solid system’ of agricultural protection, rather than ‘vacillating measures’ in response to popular pressure, claiming that even the country gentlemen knew the level of protection was too high and suggesting that a duty of 15 to 18s., when the price of wheat was between 55 and 60s., would suffice; his amendment against the government’s plan to admit foreign corn was defeated by 167-51. He supported the amendment to the warehoused corn bill to raise the level of duty from 12 to 15s., 10 May. He concurred in Huskisson’s statement on the Navigation Acts, 13 May 1826, observing that the only way of preserving the North American colonies was by ‘giving them all the advantages of a free trade and attaching them to us by acts of kindness and liberality’.
In 1825, Baring’s support for Catholic relief had placed him under great pressure at Taunton, where a ‘No Popery’ campaign was orchestrated by the Tory county Member Lethbridge. This confirmed his disinclination to face another protracted election campaign and he announced in September that he would retire at the dissolution. Writing to Lansdowne, he predicted that this was imminent and feared the general election would produce ‘a vile No Popery Parliament’.24 In the spring of 1826 he was ‘strongly urged by the commercial interest’ to offer for London, where it was believed he would be ‘brought in at the head of the poll’, but he declined the invitation and at the general election returned himself for Callington, although he faced a token challenge from a ‘Protestant’ candidate.25
He welcomed Torrens’s speech against the export of machinery, 6 Dec. 1826, which was a refreshing change when it had been ‘for so long the habit to look upon any man as a Goth who dissented from the modern doctrine of political economy’. This speech prompted one Member to note that Baring’s ‘change’ on free trade, ‘since he bought the bad land and turned round on the silk, is very bad’.26 In supporting the reappointment of the select committee on emigration, 15 Feb. 1827, he drew encouragement from the prosperity of migrant farmers in Canada and said it would be ‘an act of the greatest charity’ to facilitate emigration from Ireland. Privately at this time, he expressed the fear that ‘we are on the descent from the summit of prosperity. We have turned the corner’.27 He presented the committee’s report, 5 Apr., and while he accepted the decision not to grant money for this purpose, given the improved state of the country, 18 May, he hoped ‘something permanent’ could eventually be done to ease the problems in agricultural counties like Sussex, which were ‘overloaded with a wretched population’ imposing ‘an enormous charge on the cultivators of ... land’. He recognized that corn importation was unavoidable, as the country could not feed itself, 9 Mar., but, indicating his shift of emphasis on this subject, observed that ‘they must protect the landed interest if they desired the establishments to be maintained’. According to one Member, he was ‘not listened to at all’ by an impatient House.28 He opposed the use of the Winchester measure in framing the new corn bill, 23 Mar. He made what the Whig Sir James Mackintosh* considered ‘a very clever and most bitter speech against the Lords’,29 18 June, condemning their rejection of the ministerial scheme for amending the corn laws, but he accepted that there must be a temporary measure until the following year and opposed repeal of the 1822 Act. Presenting a London ship owners’ petition complaining of distress, 19 Mar., he called for inquiry to establish whether changes to the navigation laws were responsible and admitted that since supporting these changes he had ‘seen some reason to change his mind’. He also condemned the inactivity and ‘apathy’ resulting from the absence of an efficient ministerial head since Lord Liverpool’s stroke, hinting that an independent Member might be obliged to move an address to the king. However, this attempt to extract a statement about the new ministerial arrangements failed to achieve its purpose, and he proved unwilling to press the issue any further.30 He demanded ‘full protection’ for ‘the interests of the British ship owners’, 7 May, but opposed the Dorset wool growers’ petition for a duty on foreign wool, which would be an ‘indefensible’ infraction of ‘sound principles of commerce’, 28 May 1827.
In what a minister described as a ‘warlike’ speech, outdoing that made by Canning, 12 Dec. 1826,31 Baring fully supported the case made for British intervention in Portugal and only regretted that similar firmness had not been displayed over Spain four years earlier. He did not advocate ‘a crusade in support of liberal opinions’, as the British had ‘quite enough to do to look after our own interests’, but argued that in this case national security was threatened by the spread of French influence in the Iberian peninsular. He complained that the House was ‘too inattentive to the condition of the national finances’, 16 Feb. 1827, but deemed it unwise to obstruct the government while British troops were engaged in Portugal and therefore opposed postponing the ordnance estimates. However, he voted against the grant for army garrisons, 20 Feb., and warned that excessive expenditure must lead to higher taxes which the country could not bear, advising that ‘the whole system of expenditure ... be referred to a committee’. He voted for the Clarences’ annuity bill, 16 Mar., but was in the minorities for postponing supply, 30 Mar., and inquiry into the Irish miscellaneous estimates, 5 Apr. He supported the sale of the Canada clergy reserves, 20 Feb., observing that the Anglican church had ‘taken but slight root’ there and that its assets were a cause of discontent, but emphasizing that he was ‘a zealous member’ of the church in England. He was cool towards Lord Althorp’s motion on bribery at elections, which would ‘open the door to vague inquiry’, 26 Feb. He divided for Catholic relief, 6 Mar., and information regarding the conduct of the Lisburn magistrates, 29 Mar. He condemned the ‘most disgraceful’ chancery bankruptcy fees and thought the lord chancellor should have a fixed salary, 13 Mar. He opposed the Turnpike Act amendment bill and accused Lethbridge of being motivated by personal interest, 27 Mar. In presenting a petition from inhabitants of the Cape for a system of representative government, 8 June 1827, he claimed that they had suffered years of maladministration under a system ‘as despotic as that of Turkey’.
Baring approved of Lansdowne’s decision to join Canning’s coalition ministry in April 1827 and offered his ‘co-operation’, seizing the opportunity to apprise his old friend of his own ambition:
My success in the world in my own particular pursuit is almost without parallel and I believe I may with truth add, what is not always attendant on the accumulation of a large fortune, that my character has been uniformly and successfully upheld. For some years I have been withdrawn from active occupation and with a clear income of between £50 and 60,000 a year, of which the larger portion is in land attended with every desirable circumstance of political influence, and with my eldest son with character and habits which encourage me in indulging the vision of founding, as it is called, a family: the only thing that remains to me to wish for is the finishing my career by a seat in the House of Peers. My political habits and connections forbade the entertaining in the remotest measure of any such dreams until the late unexpected revolution.32
He was prepared to extend his support to Lord Goderich’s premiership in August, believing that the dispute over Herries’s appointment as chancellor of the exchequer was not sufficiently important to justify Lansdowne in resigning. Of greater concern was the leadership of the Commons, and Baring felt that ‘we want something better than I yet see in our ranks to keep us in order, especially if, as I fear, Huskisson’s health will not stand siege’. He thought Althorp, though a ‘second rate performer’, would ‘please the House and satisfy the country better than anybody’. As the autumn progressed, he became more pessimistic about the state of affairs, suspecting that the king exercised the ‘real power of government’, and judging that foreign affairs were a source of weakness which might ‘offer a great field for a man in Lord Grey’s temper’. He believed that when Parliament met ‘new combinations may arise’, but in the meantime advised Lansdowne to adhere to his ‘straightforward’ course, which would at least be ‘intelligible and satisfactory to the rational part of the country’.33
He supported the bill to relieve Catholics from double payment of the land tax, 4 Feb., and divided for Catholic claims, 12 May 1828. He voted to repeal the Test Acts, 26 Feb. He was named to the finance committee, 15 Feb., but expressed surprise that so few ministers were on it and particularly regretted the omission of Huskisson. From the Wellington ministry’s viewpoint, Baring was chosen as a ‘reformer’, in favour of retrenchment, who ‘would not lean to the subversion of our financial system’; one minister summoned to give evidence thought he ‘showed intelligence and good sense’.34 He defended the committee’s work, believing that it could never please everyone but would achieve good results, 24 Mar., although he admitted that its investigations were too detailed and that it was unlikely to secure significant reductions in naval expenditure, 16 May. He thought the grant to the Royal Military College might be a suitable subject for future inquiry, 13 June. He endorsed Michael Angelo Taylor’s resolutions regarding the misappropriation of public funds for building work at Buckingham House, 23 June, which had attracted the committee’s attention, and said he was reflecting the committee’s view when he voted to abolish the salary of the lieutenant-general of the ordnance, 4 July. He defended the use of informers in order to enforce the collection of taxes, 19 Feb., but favoured reduction of the ‘impolitic and unjust’ stamp duty on insurances, 25 Mar. He complained about the spiralling cost of the Post Office’s new building, 15 Apr., and criticized its uneconomic mail packet service, 30 May. He voted for information regarding civil list pensions, 20 May. He attacked the ‘absurd and extravagant’ superannuation grant for employees of the aliens office, the secret service grant to the home office, the excessive cost of maintaining convicts in New South Wales and the grant for the civil expenses of Nova Scotia, 30 May. That day he defended the grant for missions to the new South American republics, which were necessary to promote commercial intercourse, but later announced that he would oppose it as the only means of forcing government to make economies in other areas of the consular service. He voted against the salary of the governor of Dartmouth Castle, 20 June, and welcomed the bill to abolish the board of longitude and its ‘absurd’ experiments, 27 June. He opposed the grant for Canadian fortifications, 7 July 1828, asserting that the Canadians were ‘a complaining and dissatisfied people’ who ‘will infallibly separate themselves from us’.
He did not resist the introduction of Althorp’s borough polls bill, 21 Feb. 1828, as reform was needed, but he opposed the second reading, 3 Mar., complaining that its obscure wording was ‘calculated to produce mischief’ and spread ‘extraordinary confusion’. In moving its rejection, 31 Mar., he argued that it would complicate matters and put more power in the hands of usually partisan returning officers; he dropped his amendment on the understanding that the bill would be withdrawn and amended. At the report stage, 15 May, he said his experience of Taunton elections showed him that the bill would be unworkable. He voted against extending East Retford’s franchise to Bassetlaw freeholders, 21 Mar., and was against recommitting the bill, 27 June, arguing that Parliament should retain control of the way in which seats from disfranchised boroughs were transferred, rather than vesting their disposal in the hands of the crown. He opposed any alteration in the parliamentary representation beyond the enfranchisement of ‘a few’ manufacturing towns to give the Commons ‘somewhat of a more popular character’. He unsuccessfully moved to omit a clause in the Penryn disfranchisement bill requiring the poll clerk to administer the bribery oath, 24 Mar. He pressed ministers to make their intentions clear on the slavery question, 5 Mar., warning that the present uncertainty would have ‘ruinous consequences’. Next day he deplored the abolitionists’ denial of the right of property in slaves and the ‘erroneous’ impression conveyed that the condition of the negroes was one of ‘cruelty and abomination’. He doubted that compulsory manumission was workable and lamented that Britain did not sufficiently value its colonies. He supported the tithes commutation bill, 17 Mar., maintaining that the Church of England would benefit from the removal of a cause of friction between clergy and parishioners; he was a minority teller against limiting the duration of any agreement. He urged ministers to announce their intentions regarding the corn laws before the Easter recess, 24 Mar., as ‘the whole kingdom [was] excited’ on this issue and Members needed an opportunity to consult their constituents. However, he opposed an early division on the government’s resolutions, which might bind Members prematurely, 28 Mar. On hearing the ministerial plan, 31 Mar., he felt ‘very like ... a person who is only transported, after expecting to be hanged’, and warned protectionists like Lethbridge that ‘the effect of realising their ... extravagant expectations would be to pull the house down about their ears’. He preferred the older system, which allowed government to intervene in exceptional circumstances, and feared the new plan would cause wild price fluctuations. He warned that the proposed duties were too high and that the agricultural interest would ‘labour under the obloquy of the whole country’ as a result, 22 Apr., although he stressed that he was not opposed to a reasonable level of protection. He voted that day with the minority for a lower pivot price, but opposed Benett’s alternative sliding scale giving less protection to agriculturists, 25 Apr. 1828, as he was inclined to trust to ministers’ judgement. He hoped the country would ‘struggle through the difficulties by which it is surrounded ... and ... go on for some few years longer in the present condition of its resources’.
He saw nothing wrong with the principle of selling life annuities to the public, but thought it had been done on disadvantageous terms for the government, 24 Mar. 1828. He supported the Battersea and Wandsworth enclosure bill, which would benefit the public as population growth made new house building essential, 31 Mar. He was prepared to support the emigration bill, 17 Apr., as he considered ‘excessive population’ to be a ‘great evil’, but he doubted that any ‘great outlay’ of public money was possible and looked instead to voluntary funding with the government providing transport. He voted to condemn delays in chancery, 24 Apr., and for greater control over crown proceedings for the recovery of customs and excise penalties, 1 May. He approved the proposal to amend rather than abolish the usury laws, 20 May. Next day he opposed the alehouse licensing bill, which involved ‘a direct invasion of the rights of magistrates in corporate towns’. He thought the petitioners opposing the removal of £1 notes from circulation exaggerated the likely consequences and was confident that ‘the difficulties which will attend our return to a sound system are very much over’, 22 May. He opposed inquiry into this subject, 3 June, as it would be ‘an outrage on all reason and decency’ to interfere again with the currency. He supported the Scottish and Irish bank notes bill, 16 June. He made light that day of the demand for equalizing the duty on East and West Indian sugar and said that such ‘absurd disputes’ between rival colonial interests ought to be put aside. He drew attention to the unsatisfactory practice of Members connected with the East India Company being absent for long periods in India, 24 June, and hinted that he might introduce a bill next session requiring such individuals to vacate their seats. He supported repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, preventing unlicensed weapons or ships from being supplied to other countries, 3 July 1828, as there was no reason for ‘shutting ourselves out from what is now considered a legitimate subject of commerce all over the world’.
Baring opposed the demand for drastic reductions in the army, which could not be achieved ‘without injury to the public service’, 20 Feb. 1829, but he saw scope for economies in various government departments and questioned the employment of cavalry in Canada. He said he would not object if ministers decided against reappointing the finance committee, as the work had been very time-consuming and it had proved impossible adequately to examine all the subjects referred to it. Nevertheless, he believed that such a committee exercised a ‘salutary control’ over ministers and was needed from time to time; he trusted they now had their own plans for retrenchment. He was satisfied with the ministerial statement on the navy estimates, 27 Feb., but looked for improvements in naval administration and regretted the financial burden arising from ‘deadweight’ expenditure on pensions and the half-pay list. He condemned the ‘extravagant application of ... public money’ to the Rideau Canal in Canada, 2 Mar., when he suggested that civil officers should be required to make their own pension provision. He saw little scope for the diminution of taxes, 8 May, as it was necessary to maintain an ‘efficient’ sinking fund, but thought the unfunded debt might be extinguished by using funds tied up in chancery. He generally approved of the ministerial plan for debt reduction, 11 May. He opposed the exemption of husbandry horses from taxation, as there would be ‘no end to it’ once such a distinction was made, 13 May. He doubted whether reduced sugar duties would lead to increased consumption, 25 May, and was disinclined to ‘run the hazard’. He objected to the ‘taste’ of the building work at Buckingham House, but even more to the way in which the Commons had been deceived in this matter, 12 May. As a Windsor commissioner, he defended the expenditure incurred in restoring the Castle, a national monument, but in the case of Buckingham House he regretted that ministers had ever become involved with Nash; he voted to reduce the grant for the sculpture of Marble Arch, 25 May 1829.
He objected to various anti-Catholic petitions on the grounds of their wording, their unrepresentative nature or the ‘fraudulent practices’ employed in getting them up, 26 Feb., 3, 9, 19 Mar. 1829. He divided for the ministry’s concession of emancipation, 6, 30 Mar. He voted against requiring O’Connell to swear the oath of supremacy before taking his seat, 18 May. He presented a Canterbury petition complaining of the absence as governor of Madras of its Member Lushington, 19 Mar., and announced that he would introduce a bill requiring Members to vacate their seats in such cases. When introducing it, 6 May, he disclaimed any personal or party motive and denied any desire to reduce the power of the crown. It received an unopposed second reading, 15 May, after Baring had indicated willingness to amend it in committee so that the principle of exclusion was not carried too far. He stated that it would not apply to crown officers in Britain, who could attend parliamentary sittings, 19 May. At the committee stage, 22 May, he accepted amendments proposed by the chancellor of the exchequer, Goulburn, agreed that it should exclude military officers serving abroad, but regretted that it did not apply retrospectively to Lushington. The committee was adjourned while a select committee inquired as to whether Lushington’s case was covered by the Place Act of 1708, but Baring reported, 2 June 1829, that no agreement could be reached and his bill would therefore deal with the issue prospectively. No further progress was made before the end of the session.
He doubted the wisdom of entrusting money to the king of Spain for the settlement of war claims, 6 Apr. 1829. He presented a petition from George Simcox against his treatment by the commissioners dealing with war claims by British subjects on France, 4 May, but regarded the Commons as ‘the worst possible’ tribunal for hearing such a case, given ‘the canvass which takes place, the interest which [Members] insensibly imbibe for the parties whom they wish to succeed, and the slovenly manner in which business is done’. He approved of the archbishop of Canterbury’s estate bill, ‘a measure to maintain the splendour and dignity of the church’, 10 Apr. In a rambling speech on the motion for inquiry into the state of the silk trade, which he considered to be pointless, 13 Apr., he regretted that ministers had no remedy to offer but was not sure that ‘relief is in the power of ... government’. He recognized that the extension of free trade principles ‘may be inevitable’ but warned that if silk manufacturing stood ‘condemned ... sooner or later [to] perish’, the cotton and woollen industries would eventually go the same way. Condemning the government’s plan to cut the duty on imported Indian silks, he urged the House to consider the plight of those in the manufacturing towns ‘who, from European habits, are not able to do without clothes [or] subsist upon a handful of rice’. He fatalistically accepted the government’s silk trade bill, as the alternative of total prohibition was out of the question, 1 May. He voted to transfer East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 5 May. He supported a small debts recovery bill, 8 May, arguing that such a ‘beneficial’ measure ought not to be delayed by the consideration of its effect on certain office holders. He advised the government and the East India Company to make ‘a gracious act ... to conciliate the trading interests’, by opening access to Chinese markets, 12 May. He thought the appointment of a select committee should be postponed until the next session, 14 May, suggesting that three committees were needed, to consider the Company’s financial position and its dependence on the China trade, trade with India and the condition of the Indian people, ‘the greatest question of the whole’. He suspected that British trading interests had exaggerated ideas of the benefits of ending the Company’s monopoly, and generally praised the Company’s ‘disinterested, liberal, and enlightened conduct’ in governing India. He questioned ministers about the cost of the silver coinage, believing the operation to have been ‘at least ... ill-judged’, 15 May, and pressed for immediate action to stop England from being inundated with small paper notes, 22 May. He dismissed the claim of the Birmingham petitioners that their distress was caused by the metallic currency, 4 June, and was similarly unsympathetic to a Blackburn petition on distress, 12 June 1829, seeing nothing that Parliament could do and claiming that conditions were improving in any case.
On the address, 8 Feb. 1830, Baring acknowledged that distress was widespread but he was unclear as to causes and remedies. He believed that agriculture was suffering most and that the corn laws must be maintained at their present level; recognized that the withdrawal of small banknotes had caused much suffering, but would ‘not easily yield’ to the restoration of a paper currency, and contended that manufacturing was not in as bad a state as other sectors of the economy. He approved of the government’s foreign policy of non-interference, argued that Spain should be encouraged not to meddle in South America, where Britain had an interest in the preservation of peace and stability, and in general was ‘sorry ... to observe a disposition in some quarters to disturb a government with which I can as yet find no fault’. He warned that those who looked to ‘reductions upon our establishments ... as a permanent source of relief’ from distress were ‘very much mistaken’, 19 Feb., and while he welcomed the proven desire of ministers to retrench, he considered reduction of the ‘enormous weight’ of debt more important than tax cuts. He was not against inquiry into distress, 3 Mar., but was sceptical as to what it would achieve, thinking that ‘exaggerated statements’ were being made about the extent of the problem; he ‘never knew’ Hampshire ‘so perfectly quiet’. Convinced that ‘experience has fully proved ... the theory of Mr. Malthus ... correct’, 9 Mar., he saw emigration as the only remedy for pauperism, arguing that the poor law must be revised so that relief was confined to the aged and infirm, while ‘the young and able-bodied proceed to the colonies’. He maintained that the transition from a paper to a metal currency was the cause of the ‘peculiar state of depression’ afflicting Britain almost continuously since the end of the Napoleonic wars, 8 June, but repeated his unwillingness to support another change in the system now that it was established ‘on a secure basis’. However, he approved of Attwood’s resolution in favour of a silver standard, which would conduce to greater stability. He considered the proposed reductions in excise duties to be ‘most judicious’, 15 Mar., but wished ministers had waited to see if prosperity returned. He feared that the failure to reduce the national debt would inflict ‘a permanent evil, calculated hereafter to augment national distress’, and deplored the way in which Parliament tended to be ‘ruled by meetings in market places, where, whoever calls the loudest for the repeal of taxes, without caring for the consequences, is sure to be applauded as the greatest patriot’. He voted to reduce the grant for volunteer forces, 9 Mar., paired against the salary of the lieutenant-general of the ordnance, 29 Mar., argued that cadets at the Royal Military Academy should pay for their own training, 30 Apr., and voted to reduce the grant for consular services, 11 June. He thought a property tax was ‘totally unsuitable’ except in wartime, 25 Mar. He voted to repeal the Irish coal duties, 13 May, as ‘an act of ... economical policy, to enable that country to employ a portion of her population in other than agricultural pursuits’. He made clear his opposition to a protective duty on lead, 25 May. He thought the proposed reduction in the sugar duties was ‘too great a risk’, 21 June, 1 July 1830.
He was named to the select committee on East India Company trade, 9 Feb. 1830, approving the inclusion of directors because of their valuable knowledge, but he feared that the task was too much for one committee. He voted to transfer East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 11 Feb., 15 Mar., and paired with the minority to enfranchise Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb. He concurred with the resolution that Members should not manage private bills for pecuniary reward, 26 Feb. He called for a statute of limitations on bounty claims for slaves captured in wartime, 29 Mar. He favoured postponing the St. Giles’s vestry bill, 2 Apr., to give time for the parishioners to reach an agreement, and advocated a lower voting qualification. He divided with the minority to amend the law relating to Irish vestries, 27 Apr., when he called for reform of the Irish and English churches as Parliament had ‘not merely the power ... but also the equitable right’ to deal with the unequal distribution of ecclesiastical property, which threatened to cause ‘mischief’. He wanted a revision of English tithes to remove the friction between clergy and farmers, but had no practical suggestion to make, 18 May. He objected to the way in which the additional churches bill surreptitiously gave bishops greater power over the clergy, 8 June, 1 July. He doubted the practicability of abolishing imprisonment for debt or of making a distinction between fraudulent and unfortunate cases, 29 Apr.: ‘nothing but the disgrace ... can ... operate to make men more careful of their own interests’. He suspected that the petitioners for abolishing the death penalty for forgery were acting from ‘the impulse of warm feelings, rather than from sound and practical views’, 13 May, but he appeared willing to consider reform provided there was a ‘sufficiently severe punishment’ available ‘to operate as a terror to those who would otherwise be inclined to violate the laws and attack private property’. He regarded the crown’s exemption from import duties on sugar as ‘an important constitutional question’, 14 May, warned that this privilege could be abused for commercial gain, 21 May, and welcomed the ministerial proposal to place such sales under parliamentary control, 4 June. He presented and endorsed ‘a most important testimonial’ from 14,000 London businessmen in favour of Jewish emancipation, 17 May, which he saw as proof of the mutual goodwill between the Jewish community and their neighbours. He asserted that there was ‘no question more important ... to the whole commerce of Great Britain’ than the disruption caused by Spanish-Mexican hostilities, 20 May, and called on ministers to press Spain to cease its threatening behaviour. He supported the rate imposed by the new metropolitan police force, 15 June, as the public would benefit from ‘the diminution of crime that will ensue’. He urged ministers to give parliamentary time for the labourers’ wages bill, which was of great interest to manufacturers, 17 June, observing that under the present system ‘the masters and men are always in a state of disorder’, 1 July. He pressed ministers to state when the sale of beer bill would next come on, 24 June, complaining of the difficulty for Members who did not know if it was safe to leave the House ‘when discussions on important questions are taken at two or three in the morning’. He argued that revenue could be better sacrificed in relieving the poor from taxes on basic necessities, 1 July, and warned that the loss of magisterial control over alehouses was ‘an experiment ... fraught with imminent risk to the country’, as it deprived them of ‘all control ... over poachers, vagrants and idlers’, making it impossible to secure law and order. He voted that day to postpone on-consumption for two years. At the opposition meeting in Althorp’s rooms, 4 July 1830, according to a Tory source, he spoke against a strategy of outright hostility to the government.35 He was returned unopposed for Callington at the general election that summer.
The ministry still regarded Baring as one of their ‘foes’. However, he clashed bitterly with Hume, 5 Nov. 1830, accusing him of making ‘outrageous and extravagant assertions’ in public about government corruption which were ‘disturbing the tranquillity of the country’, and maintaining that it was a ‘gross exaggeration’ to describe the English as ‘a starving people’. In a second heated intervention he charged Hume, who had called him ‘a snake in the grass’ and suggested he should cross the floor, with behaving like a dictator since his election for Middlesex. He attended the opposition meeting at Althorp’s, 13 Nov., and his nephew, Francis Baring*, believed he would vote against the government on reform.36 In the event, he was absent from the crucial civil list division, 15 Nov. No evidence has been found to confirm Lord Gower’s claim that Baring had ‘intended to adhere’ to the ministry before Wellington’s declaration against reform.37 To Baring’s annoyance, neither he nor his eldest son was offered a post in Lord Grey’s government, and there is a suggestion that the premier had snobbish objections to recommending him for a peerage.38 Hampshire was one of the counties worst affected by the ‘Swing’ riots, and on 19 Nov. The Grange was attacked and occupied by a mob numbering some 250; Baring was reportedly ‘nearly killed’.39 Convinced of the seriousness of the ‘existing evil’, he urged ministers to put a stop to the disturbances, 22 Nov., warning that ‘if the disorders go on for three or four days longer they will extend beyond the reach of almost any power to suppress’. He saw little purpose in a general inquiry into distress, 6 Dec. 1830. He backed the government’s emigration bill as essential for improving the condition of the agricultural poor, 22 Feb. 1831. He supported inquiry into public salaries and pensions, 6 Dec. 1830, confident that it would disprove the wild allegations which were shaking confidence in public men, his own experience being that ‘very little ... corruption has existed since I have been in the House’. In bringing up the report of the resulting select committee, 30 Mar. 1831, he denied that its recommendation to make pensions subject to parliamentary approval encroached on the royal prerogative. He was named to the select committee on the East India Company’s charter, 4 Feb. While he thought that such colonies as the Ionian Islands should be disposed of, he now admitted that it was desirable to retain Canada provided it did not involve Britain in continual wars, 10 Feb. At a party meeting at Althorp’s, 13 Feb., he reportedly condemned the budget proposal for a transfer tax, but refrained from attacking the government on this issue in the Commons, a decision which one Whig observer ascribed to his lingering hope for a peerage.40 He opposed any reduction in the civil list as neither ‘proper nor decent’ towards a monarch who was ‘the object of the admiration of all his subjects’, 25 Mar. He opposed, as before, the immediate abolition of slavery, 15 Apr. 1831, adding the new argument that as free labour would not choose to work in the plantations, and Britain would therefore have to buy foreign sugar, the effect would be to encourage slavery and the slave trade. In the wider view, he argued that for the sake of national prosperity it was ‘our duty to cherish all our means of foreign commerce, all our colonies’. However, recognizing that the strength of public opinion obliged Parliament to act, he was prepared to support Althorp’s proposal to use the resolutions carried in 1823 as a basis for promoting gradual change. Thomas Gladstone* reported to his father that Baring’s speech had adopted the arguments propounded in his pamphlet, ‘often your very words.41
Baring’s breach with the Whigs had become clear on 3 Mar. 1831 when he opposed the government’s reform bill, which he feared would destroy the blend of monarchical, aristocratic and popular influences in the Commons on which ‘the whole working of the constitution hinges’. The presence of monarchical and aristocratic elements, for instance through the close boroughs, had prevented the Commons from becoming simply the mouthpiece of the absolute power of the people, enabling it to retain a degree of independence. Pointing to historical proof of the ‘sins of democracy’, he nevertheless considered it important that the working classes should have some share of power and deplored the way in which the bill proposed to concentrate it in the hands of the ‘middling classes’. Claiming to be a ‘moderate reformer’, who admitted that representation was needed for the large manufacturing towns and that the Scottish electorate should be enlarged, he was averse to ‘pulling the constitution to pieces’, warned against testing it ‘by some imaginary state of felicity, which the wise man knows to be beyond our reach in this world’, and asked ‘if the ministers of the crown turn agitators, where is common sense to find a refuge?’ On the Tory side, he was judged to have ‘spoken gallantly and very well’, deploying a ‘very astute, able, and mischievous argument’, and his effort was greeted as ‘very important’ and a ‘practical sensible speech’, which was ‘considered the coup de grace of the measure’.42 From a Whig perspective, it was reckoned to be ‘very efficient although very unfair’, and the duke of Bedford declared that ‘I have always had the most contemptible opinion of Alexander Baring as a politician’. Baring allegedly told John Cam Hobhouse* that he expected the bill to pass and that ‘if the people showed a determination for it, he should not continue his opposition’, raising suspicions that his real motivation was his failure to obtain a peerage.43 His opposition to reform produced a political rift in the Baring family, as his elder brother, nephew and eldest son supported it. He advised Inglis not to proceed with his breach of privilege case against The Times, which had attacked opponents of the bill, asserting that he had no fear of intimidation and would vote ‘as if I were voting upon a turnpike bill’, 21 Mar. He duly voted against the second reading, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. He repeated his claim to be a moderate reformer who supported ‘limited disfranchisement’, 21 Apr., as he was ‘not at all [an] advocate [of] the doctrine of virtual representation’. He emphasized the danger that in a reformed Parliament the king would find it impossible to provide seats in the Commons for his servants, forcing ministers to cultivate the popularity of the masses. He also condemned their willingness to spare some nomination boroughs, which would ‘create a monopoly in the hands of a very few great families’ at the expense of the ‘smaller gentry’. His name had meanwhile appeared as a signatory to the ‘Hampshire Declaration on Reform’, published in the local press, which accepted the need for gradual reform but rejected the government’s attempt to force a ‘hasty’ measure on the country.44 At the subsequent general election he was returned unopposed for Thetford, where he controlled one seat, with a reformer.45
In June 1831 Baring reportedly spoke at an opposition meeting at Peel’s residence.46 He divided against the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, and predicted that the measure would ‘render the House wholly democratic’, 14 July. He supported an amendment to group boroughs facing total disfranchisement, 15 July, arguing that the £10 householder franchise would create respectable single Member constituencies in these cases. Defending his general position, 20 July, he explained that he had originally expected ministers to bring forward a measure ‘in accordance with their and my own previously expressed opinions’, and had ‘not the remotest notion that they could have proposed a plan to which I could not give my hearty assent’. However, the government’s bill was ‘a leap in the dark’ which afforded ‘no security to liberty and property’, and he declared that ‘the people ought only to have that degree of power which is consistent with their own interests’, as they were ‘no more to be trusted with power than children with edge-tools’. On the motion that day to disfranchise Callington, he accepted that it failed to meet the criteria set by ministers, but described it as ‘one of the purest boroughs that ever existed’ and bade farewell to it ‘without feeling the least ashamed’. He supported the proposal to combine East and West Looe to form a schedule B borough, 22 July, protesting at the ‘monstrous demolition’ of constituencies in southern England and asserting that Cornwall, with its distinct interests, ought not to be ‘completely denuded’ of representation in order to give seats to ‘mere watering places such as Cheltenham or Brighton’. He supported motions for the removal of various boroughs from schedule B, 28, 30 July, 2 Aug., complaining that the bill was riddled with anomalies. He feared that the partial disfranchisement of such boroughs as Thetford would mean that ‘before long [the] field of coal will beat the fields of barley’, 30 July, as in the new boroughs ‘there will be an activity, a perseverance, a power of pushing forward, backed ... by clubs and large assemblages of people’. He denied that his opposition to the bill’s details was factious, 3 Aug., and defended the right of dissidents to voice their objections, 5 Aug., complaining of the way in which his speeches were reported in the government press, where he was made to ‘utter the most complete nonsense ... put into disjointed sentences’. He predicted that the ‘Tory party’ would be ‘utterly extinguished’ by the bill. He objected to making the sheriff of the Isle of Wight its returning officer, 16 Aug., as it would thereby ‘form a mere nomination borough for the service of ... government’. He warned that the measure would be ‘an attorney’s bill’, as its numerous inconsistencies would breed ‘litigation’, 18 Aug., when he supported the Chandos amendment to enfranchise £50 tenants-at-will. Next day he backed the amendment to restrict the 40s. county freehold vote to inheritors, in order to avoid the abuse of freehold votes being created for electoral purposes, and advocated the adoption of a simple occupancy qualification in the counties. He objected to the extension of borough boundaries, which would interfere with the surrounding counties, 13 Sept., but supported the arrangements for polling places and registration, 14 Sept., although they would probably require amendment. He could not allow the bill to pass ‘without bestowing upon it my most hearty malediction’, 19 Sept., warning that it would produce ‘a complete and general conflict ... between those who possess property and those who do not’, and that ‘those institutions which formerly were our pride and our boast, and the envy of other nations, will be destroyed one after another’. He voted against the bill’s passage, 21 Sept. 1831.
He moved for information about the precautions being taken to prevent a cholera outbreak in Britain, which would give a ‘very serious check ... to our manufactures and other branches of productive industry’ from which the country would ‘not be able to recover ... for several generations’, 24 June 1831. On the petition from British merchants at Canton for protection of their interests, 28 June, he predicted that military action would eventually prove necessary to uphold British honour. He was named that day to the select committee on the East India Company’s charter (and again, 27 Jan. 1832). He favoured inquiry into the working of the Sale of Beer Act, 30 June, believing that while it had made little difference in the towns, the appearance of small alehouses in rural areas was ‘a plague and mischief’, largely responsible for the recent disturbances. He strongly opposed any extension of parliamentary privilege, following the imprisonment of Long Wellesley, Member for Essex, for contempt of chancery, and urged the need for new regulations, 18 July. On a sensitive personal issue, 21 July, he supported an inquiry into the conduct of his eldest son, William Bingham Baring*, a Hampshire magistrate accused of violent conduct during the arrest of Thomas and Caroline Deacle, claiming that he had been unfairly hounded by the press. He received a sympathetic response from Althorp, the leader of the Commons, who privately hoped this might ‘soften’ his opposition to the government.47 He complained bitterly of such Members as Daniel O’Connell, who were getting up ‘petitions from the dregs of the community for the purpose of vilifying me and slandering the character of my relatives’, 27 Sept., and alleged that his son was being persecuted because of his own political conduct; he voted in the minority that day for a select committee. He argued that the grant to the Society for Propagating the Gospels in the colonies should be abolished in the next session, 25 July, but supported that for the Swan River colony, which could not be expected to pay its own way immediately. He defended the king of the Netherlands against the ‘abominable and atrocious calumnies’ levelled at him, 18 Aug. 1831, concluding that since it was impossible to have an independent kingdom between France and the Rhine it would be better to divide Belgium between the Netherlands and France, for the sake of international peace.
Before the reconvening of Parliament Baring was in communication with the Tory ‘Waverer’ Lord Wharncliffe, whose attempts to negotiate a compromise reform measure with ministers met with his approval. He also attended the meeting of leading City bankers, 22 Nov. 1831, which failed to agree on a moderate reform declaration, although he felt he had been ‘sufficiently yielding, indeed if I were very solicitous about what is called political consistency I was perhaps rather too much so’. While he was not surprised when Wharncliffe’s negotiation failed, and expressed concern that ‘the timid portions of the peers and particularly the bishops’ might snatch too eagerly at any minor concession offered, he remained confident that ‘if they could be brought to act together and ... play their game with common skill ... a tolerably safe measure might yet be worked out’.48 He responded cautiously to Russell’s statement on the revised bill, 12 Dec., admitting that there was some improvement in its details and that the public was anxious for a settlement, but he doubted that the committee stage would produce a measure ‘satisfactory to all parties’. On the government side his speech was described as being ‘of the dolce amoro kind as usual’, and was thought to have ‘thrown over’ Peel ‘to a certain degree’.49 Nevertheless, he divided against the second reading, 17 Dec. 1831. Amidst frequent interruptions, he renewed his criticism of the complexity of the county voting qualifications and suggested a simple rating franchise to cover perhaps the 5,000 highest ratepayers, 1 Feb. 1832. He favoured raising the £10 franchise qualification in the more populous boroughs, to give more influence to ‘property’ and help ensure the return of ‘respectable and intelligent representatives’, 3 Feb. He opposed the partial disfranchisement of Dartmouth, 23 Feb., voted against the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., thought it an ‘absurdity’ to give Gateshead separate representation from Newcastle, 5 Mar., and voted against the third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. Privately, he expressed the view that, bad as the bill was, ‘the evil was done and past recovery the moment the crown was seduced. In our balanced system the democratic principle was gaining daily power, but the moment the king was brought to throw his weight into that scale the game was up’. He no longer thought it desirable to reject the bill, but hoped ‘the sting and venom’ might be to some extent extracted from it by the Lords and that ‘a spirit of compromise and concession may enable the friends of the constitution to act together for our protection’.50
When the resignation of Grey’s ministry was announced, 9 May 1832, Baring demanded specific information as to the advice which the king had rejected, suspecting that it was ‘the most outrageous and unconstitutional that could possibly be given’. After attending a meeting of Tory leaders at Lord Stormont’s* residence, 10 May,51 he complained that the Commons lacked the necessary information, condemned Grey for his uncompromising insistence on the whole bill and argued that ministers should not have resigned, as the Lords would have passed the bill for the sake of the country. He considered Lord Ebrington’s motion for an address asking the king to appoint only ministers committed to carrying an unimpaired measure as ‘not a humble address, but a positive mandate to the crown’, and he deplored the way in which the government had thrown the country into a state of confusion by ‘appealing to the mob’. Next day he defended this strong language, asserting that the Commons would lose its freedom as a legislative assembly if it allowed itself to be ‘overawed by the brawling’ of public meetings. During the negotiations for the formation of an alternative ministry, he initially declined to serve as leader of the Commons under Wellington because of the duke’s previous opposition to any measure of reform, but subsequently agreed to become chancellor of the exchequer in the projected ministry to be formed by the Speaker, an arrangement that one outgoing minister considered ‘too absurd’.52 In a tumultuous sitting, 14 May, Baring spoke four times, defending the king and Wellington’s conduct in attempting to shield the crown from ‘another serious violation of the constitution’, before he prepared an escape route by acknowledging that the bill must pass and hoping that the rift between the king and his former ministers might be healed: ‘I do not hesitate to admit that the permanence of the present administration is desirable for the good of the country’. According to one Whig observer, there was ‘such a scene of violence and excitement as never had been exhibited within those walls’; another confirmed that it was ‘the most extraordinary debate I ever witnessed ... I never heard such strong language as was used towards Baring, who cut a poor figure and I must say deserved what he got’; while a third recorded how Baring’s defence of Wellington was ‘received with horse-laughter’. Goulburn believed he had ‘evinced a want of discretion, which showed him to be quite unfit with all his talent to conduct any party in the House’. Reporting afterwards to Wellington at Apsley House, Baring apparently declared that ‘he would face a thousand devils rather than such a House of Commons’.53 He announced that the attempt to form a new ministry was ‘entirely at an end’, 15 May, but continued to vindicate Wellington, who ‘could not have exhibited a greater act of heroism’, 18 May 1832. Privately, he described Peel’s crucial refusal to serve in a Tory reform ministry as ‘shabby ... Peel, as usual, thought chiefly of Peel’.54
Baring praised Althorp’s candid statement regarding the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan. 1832, but contended that with the separation of Belgium from the Netherlands Britain’s obligation had ceased; he divided with the minority against any further payment. He asked when the bill to legalize the loan payments would be introduced, 4 June, and condemned Althorp for failing to seek an Act of Indemnity and ‘dragging the House unnecessarily into the dirt’, 12 July, when he again voted against the loan. He moved for papers regarding the convention of 1815, 16 July, complaining that the Commons had insufficient information with which to make a judgement, suspecting that ministers were ‘paying the emperor of Russia to keep the peace’ and declaring that nothing ‘connected with our foreign policy has been less to the credit of the country since the days of the Stuarts’; he was defeated by 191-155. He condemned the Treaty of London, by which Britain guaranteed the neutrality of Belgium, as ‘the most unfortunately worded treaty I ever saw’, 3 Feb. On 26 Mar. he deplored the way in which Britain’s ‘rash and precipitate interference’ had encouraged Belgium to secede from the Netherlands, ‘converting into bitter enemies our old friends the Dutch’, and creating a new state which was no more than ‘one of the French provinces’. He acknowledged that ministers were ‘acting most substantially for the benefit of the people, so far as economy is concerned’, 6 Feb., and only feared that retrenchment in the public service might be carried too far. He saw dangers in allowing all parishes access to the public purse under the provisions of the cholera prevention bill, 14 Feb., and suggested that the privy council should have discretionary power to distribute funds. He supported the grant to enable Dr. Bowring to study the French public accounts system, 17 Feb., as Britain’s were ‘in a most wretched condition’. As the only trustee of the British Museum sitting in the Commons, he moved the annual grant, 29 Feb. He regarded the contribution made by merchant seamen towards the cost of Greenwich Hospital as a tax on commerce, 8 Mar. He thought ‘no very material reduction’ was presently possible in the army estimates, 28 Mar., as the volatility of the manufacturing population necessitated a considerable home force. That day he defended the Military College, which provided opportunities for ‘the democracy and the middle classes’ and prevented the army from becoming an ‘aristocratic preserve’. He favoured a comprehensive investigation of distress in the silk trade, 21 Feb., and was converted to supporting inquiry into the glove trade, 3 Apr. However, he saw no case for a general inquiry into the state of trade, 22 May, because ‘the labouring classes are as well off at present as they were at almost any period’ and the agricultural labourers were ‘on the whole, in an improved condition’. He urged that Parliament should declare its intentions regarding the corn laws before the dissolution, 1 June, as the concealment of Members’ views would be ‘a very unfair and uncandid manner of dealing with the country’ and vested interests would ‘be driven to a state of ruin and despair’. He was named to the select committee on renewal of the Bank of England’s charter, 22 May 1832, and secured the addition of Alderman Thompson, a director, whose expertise was needed.
On 14 Feb. 1832 he introduced a privileges of parliament bill to limit parliamentary privilege in cases of arrest for personal debt, require insolvent Members in custody to vacate their seats and prevent insolvents from being elected. He argued that in the changed circumstances of society Members’ privileges ‘tend to degrade the House in the eyes of the public and ... produce an injustice between subject and subject’. The bill was discharged so that a mistake in its title could be rectified, and a revised bill was introduced, 22 May. After stating that he had no intention of extending it to cover peers, the second reading was carried by 38 to four, 30 May. Faced with numerous objections to details, 6 June, he urged that these be left to the committee, and his motion to go into committee of the whole House was carried by 72-29. The same motion was passed by 69-50, 27 June, when he repudiated the accusation made in a Birmingham Political Union petition that the bill was designed to give the wealthy a monopoly of parliamentary representation, denied that he was motivated by the passing of the Reform Act, but defended the principle of a property qualification for Members, as ‘a competent and independent subsistence is necessary for the security of a faithful discharge of the duties which a Member ... has to perform’. The bill was withdrawn in view of the state of parliamentary business and of ‘the public health of the metropolis’, 16 July. He advised ministers to settle the sugar duties question for the sake of the colonies, without which ‘we lose the foundation of our happiness and prosperity’, 7 Mar. He backed inquiry into the distress among the West Indian planters, 15 Mar., and opposed the immediate abolition of slavery, 24 May. He voted for a system of representative government for New South Wales, 28 June. He felt unable to refuse the grant to the West Indies for the damage caused by the Jamaican insurrection and a hurricane, 29 June, but warned that ‘we are about to proceed upon an entirely new principle’, by not requiring security for repayment from personal property. He opposed the bill to transfer the alternate Norfolk assizes from Thetford to Norwich, 23 May, arguing that this was not only unjust to Thetford, which benefited economically, but that it was a matter for the judges to decide and that parliamentary interference would encourage ‘corrupt jobbing’ in future cases; he was a minority teller against the second reading. He believed that coroners should have the power to exclude the public from their courts, as it was not always appropriate to allow ‘hackney coachmen and rabble from the street to be admitted’, 20 June. He thought the Polish question was ‘much more ... a matter of feeling than of national interest’, and that Britain could not interfere in every case of injustice without becoming involved in ‘perpetual broils and interminable disputes’, 28 June 1832.
Baring was narrowly returned in second place for North Essex as a Conservative at the general election of 1832.55 After serving in Peel’s cabinet of 1834-5 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Ashburton. His American contacts and negotiating skills were put to good use in 1842 as special ambassador responsible for settling the boundary dispute between the USA and Canada, but he was offended that his success was not rewarded with an earldom and declined the proferred viscountcy.56 Extraordinarily, the early champion of free trade ended his career opposing repeal of the corn laws in 1846, which illustrated how ‘he had ceased to be a mere commercial man and ... begun to regard with more concern his position as a peer and a landowner’. As a parliamentarian, he was ‘regarded as an oracle’ on economic matters, but otherwise ‘possessed few of the qualities which ensure success in a popular assembly’, tending ‘to sum up like a judge rather than ... debate in the manner of a partisan’. Characteristically, he ‘scarcely ever enunciated a proposition without at the same time stating its limits and qualifications so effectively that his audience was always left in a state of extreme uncertainty as to his real opinions’.57 He died in May 1848 and was succeeded by his eldest son William Bingham Baring.58
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Terry Jenkins
- 1. Not 1774, as usually stated (Baring Archives BEP 193.40).
- 2. He inherited £35,000 and $25,000 worth of Louisiana stock; the personalty was sworn under £250,000 (IR26/166/24).
- 3. R.W. Hidy, House of Baring in American Trade, 45-48, 76; P. Ziegler, The Sixth Great Power: Barings 1762-1929, pp. 70-72, 79-88, 112-13; Hatherton diary, 24 Jan. 1845.
- 4. Suff. RO (Bury St. Edmunds), Hervey mss 941/56/48, Baring to Bristol, 1 Nov. 1822.
- 5. Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 22 Feb.; Hants RO, Malmesbury mss 9M73/G2459, Malmesbury to Fitzharris, 22 Feb.; Taunton Courier, 16 Feb., 15 Mar. 1820.
- 6. B. Hilton, Corn, Cash, Commerce, 174.
- 7. Buckingham, Mems. Geo. IV, i. 20-21.
- 8. Lansdowne mss.
- 9. Hants Telegraph, 15 Jan.; The Times, 30 Jan.; Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 13 Jan. 1821.
- 10. HLRO, Hist. Coll. 379, Grey Bennet diary, 1.
- 11. Ibid. 101.
- 12. Hilton, 150.
- 13. Lansdowne mss, Baring to Lansdowne, 26 Aug. 1822.
- 14. Buckingham, ii. 46; TNA 30/29/6/3/92.
- 15. Lansdowne mss, Baring to Lansdowne, 20 May 1824.
- 16. Arbuthnot Corresp. 67.
- 17. Nottingham Univ. Lib. Acc. 636, Denison diary, 2 Feb. 1826.
- 18. Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary, 10 Feb. 1826.
- 19. Wellington mss WP1/849/5.
- 20. Keele Univ. Lib. Sneyd mss SC8/79.
- 21. Hilton, 221; Add. 51574, Abercromby to Holland, 16 Feb. 1826.
- 22. Denison diary, 23 Feb. 1826.
- 23. The Times, 15 Apr. 1826.
- 24. Taunton Courier, 17 Aug., 14 Sept.; Lansdowne mss, Baring to Lansdowne, 16 Sept. 1825.
- 25. Add. 51690, Lansdowne to Lady Holland, 4 Apr.; West Briton, 26 May, 2 June 1826.
- 26. Gurney diary, 6 Dec. 1826.
- 27. Denison diary, 15 Feb. 1827.
- 28. Grey mss, Howick to Grey, 12 Mar. 1827.
- 29. Add. 52447, f. 82.
- 30. Hobhouse Diary, 126-7.
- 31. Croker Pprs. i. 322.
- 32. Chatsworth mss, Lansdowne to Devonshire, 24 Apr.; Lansdowne mss, Baring to Lansdowne, 2 May 1827.
- 33. Lansdowne mss, Baring to Lansdowne, 1 Sept., 20 Oct. 1827.
- 34. Add. 40395, f. 219; Croker Pprs. i. 407.
- 35. Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 369.
- 36. Baring Jnls. i. 70-71.
- 37. Harrowby mss, Gower to Lady Harrowby, 5 Dec. 1830.
- 38. Ziegler, 113-15.
- 39. CUL Add. 7564, A/4, Pollock to Alexander, 20 Nov. 1830; E. Hobsbawm and G. Rudé, Captain Swing (1985), 90.
- 40. Three Diaries, 9, 51.
- 41. St. Deiniol’s Lib. Glynne-Gladstone mss 198, T. to J. Gladstone, 16 Apr. 1831.
- 42. Three Diaries, 63; Bunbury Mem. 159-60; Rutland mss (History of Parliament Aspinall transcripts), Mrs. Arbuthnot to Rutland, 4 Mar. 1831; Bodl. MS. Eng. lett. d. 153, f. 75; Hopetoun mss 167, f. 224.
- 43. Broughton, Recollections, iv. 90-91; Add. 51670, Bedford to Lady Holland [6 Mar. 1831].
- 44. Hants Chron. 18 Apr. 1831.
- 45. Norwich Mercury, 7 May 1831.
- 46. NLW, Ormathwaite mss FG1/5, Walsh diary, 18 June 1831.
- 47. Le Marchant mss, Althorp to Spencer, 22 July 1831.
- 48. Sheffield Archives, Wharncliffe mss, Baring to Wharncliffe, 20 Nov., 4 Dec. 1831.
- 49. Add. 51573, Rice to Lady Holland [12 Dec. 1831].
- 50. Hervey mss 941/56/48, Baring to Bristol, 30 Apr. 1832.
- 51. Croker Pprs. ii. 154.
- 52. M. Brock, Great Reform Act, 294; J. Cannon, Parl. Reform, 235-7; Graham mss (IHR microfilm XR80), Palmerston to Graham, 14 May 1832.
- 53. Greville Mems. ii. 325-6; Broughton, iv. 225-6; Add. 52058, C.R. to H.E. Fox [15 May]; Surr. Hist. Cent. Goulburn mss Acc 304/67B, Goulburn to wife, 15 May 1832.
- 54. Broughton, iv. 228-9.
- 55. The Times, 3 Dec. 1832; Dod’s Parl. Companion (1833), 88.
- 56. Ziegler, 117-18.
- 57. Gent. Mag. (1848), ii. 89-91; The Times, 15 May 1848.
- 58. PROB 11/2079/601; IR26/1795/731; Ziegler, 88.