HARVEY (afterwards SAVILL ONLEY), Charles (1756-1843), of Stisted Hall, Essex and 22 Great George Street, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1812 - 1818
1818 - 1826

Family and Education

b. 20 Dec. 1756, 3rd s. of Alderman Robert Harvey (d. 1816), merchant, banker and twice mayor of Norwich, and Judith, da. of Capt. Anthony Onley, RN, of Staverton and Catesby, Northants. educ. Lynn; Caius, Camb. 1772; M. Temple 1774, called 1780. m. (1) Mar. 1783, Sarah (d. 12 Mar. 1805), da. of John Haynes of Twickenham, Mdx., 1s. 3da.; (2) 27 Mar. 1817, Charlotte Haynes, his first w.’s sister, s.p. suc. mat. uncle Rev. Charles Onley of Stisted Hall and took name Savill Onley by royal lic. 14 Dec. 1822. d. 31 Aug. 1843.

Offices Held

Bencher, M. Temple 1783; steward, Norwich 1783, recorder 1801-26.

Capt. Norwich vol. inf. 1797, maj. 1803, lt.-col. 1804, col. 1807-8.

Chairman, Penclawdd Copper Co. 1815; manager, Grand Junction Canal Co.


Harvey came from a leading family of Norwich corporators who, as a friend reminded the home secretary Peel in 1825 when soliciting a position for his distinguished elder brother, Lieutenant-Colonel John Harvey of Thorpe Lodge, Norfolk, had ‘always been attached to government’.1 He continued to sit unopposed for the ‘comeattible borough’ of Carlow placed by the 1st earl of Charleville at treasury disposal, provoking local anger that an ‘Englishman and a stranger’ had again been ‘chosen to represent’ a town ‘which he never saw!!’.2 Harvey, described in a radical publication as ‘one of the Irish Members’ who ‘scarcely ever attend’, continued to give general support to the Liverpool ministry when present.3 He presented a Norwich petition for repeal of the wool duties, 1 May 1820. On 1 June he successfully moved that Henry Swann* be brought to the bar for questioning by the Penryn election committee, of which he was a long-serving member.4 He was granted a week’s leave on urgent business, 3 July 1820. He voted in support of ministers’ conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb. 1821. He divided for Catholic claims, 28 Feb. 1821, 1 Mar., when he was erroneously listed by Hudson Gurney* as one of those who ‘came over’, 21 Apr., 10 May 1825.5 He voted against repeal of the additional malt duty, 3 Apr., and military reductions, 11 Apr. 1821. He presented multiple petitions from the coach masters and farmers of Essex against the metropolis roads bill, 18 May 1821.6 He divided against more extensive tax reductions, 11 Feb. 1822. By the death of his uncle, the Rev. Charles Onley, whose surname he assumed, he obtained ‘possession of a very fine estate in Essex’ later that year.7 He voted against Hume’s amendment to the national debt reduction bill, 13 Mar., and inquiry into the currency, 12 June 1823. He spoke briefly and was a minority teller against the second reading of the Bristol and Taunton canal bill, 30 Mar. 1824.8 He divided for suppression of the Catholic Association, 15 Feb. 1825. He voted for the duke of Cumberland’s annuity bill, 10 June 1825, and against reform of Edinburgh’s representation, 13 Apr. 1826.

At the 1826 dissolution he made way for Charleville’s son Lord Tullamore. The following year he offered as the ‘county candidate’ for a vacancy at Maldon, professing hostility to Catholic relief, but he caused ‘a most extraordinary sensation’ by retiring on the ground that he had been lured into standing by ‘representations which he had subsequently discovered to be false’.9 It was later said of him that he lacked ‘the energy which distinguished ... [and] animated the conduct’ of his brother John, but that in ‘cheerful sociality’ they had ‘greatly resembled each other’.10 Harvey died at Stisted Hall in August 1843. By his will, dated 11 July 1838, he left his daughters large annuities and his wife his leasehold London house in Great George Street. The remainder of his estate passed to his only son Onley Savill Onley (1795-1890).11

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Philip Salmon


  • 1. Add. 40372, f. 257; Gent. Mag. (1842), i. 452.
  • 2. Ramsey’s Waterford Chron. 4, 21 Mar. 1820.
  • 3. Black Bk. (1823), 162; The Times, 2 May 1820.
  • 4. The Times, 2 June 1820.
  • 5. Gurney diary, 1 Mar. 1825.
  • 6. The Times, 19 May 1825.
  • 7. Gent. Mag. (1843), ii. 546.
  • 8. The Times, 31 Mar. 1824.
  • 9. Ibid. 4 Dec. 1827.
  • 10. Gent. Mag. (1843), ii. 546.
  • 11. PROB 11/1987/715; IR26/1654/665.