LAWSON, Marmaduke (1792-1823), of Boroughbridge Hall, Yorks.
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Family and Educationb. 10 July 1792,1 1st s. of Rev. Marmaduke Lawson, rect. of Sproatley, and Barbara Isabella, da. of John Wilkinson of the M. Temple, h. of Rev. James Wilkinson of Boroughbridge Hall. educ. Shrewsbury; St. John’s, Camb. 1811; fellow, Magdalene, Camb. 1815. unm. suc. fa. 1814. d. 10 Mar. 1823.
Capt. N. regt. W. Riding yeomanry 1817.
Lawson, whose family controlled the Wilkinson interest at Boroughbridge through his mother’s inheritance, had successfully challenged the duke of Newcastle’s domination of that borough in 1818 and at a by-election in 1819. Though his contemporaries regarded him as an amusing eccentric, some passages in letters to his old headmaster, Dr. Butler, suggest that he may have been prone to mental instability: an illness that had affected his academic career at Cambridge caused him to ‘set the college on fire’ and walk naked ‘at noon day’. His deep-seated conservatism led him to rail against some ‘blackguard discontented stocking weavers’ who were ‘abusing’ the government in 1812, and six years later he referred dismissively to a ‘surly democrat’. Yet until Peterloo he voted against Lord Liverpool’s government.2 In 1820 he offered again for Boroughbridge with Richard Spooner, against Newcastle’s nominees. Both parties elected their own bailiffs, who conducted separate polls, but it was Lawson and Spooner’s return that was accepted by the sheriff of Yorkshire. All four candidates were chaired and in the ensuing affray Lawson narrowly escaped injury.3 He is not known to have spoken in the House in this period and his only recorded vote was against government on the appointment of an additional baron of exchequer in Scotland, 15 May 1820. Three weeks later, as Lawson had anticipated, he and Spooner were unseated on petition. He died, politically unfulfilled, in March 1823. No will has been found. His brother Andrew became the heir to their mother’s estate.