PEACH, Nathaniel William (1785-1835), of Bownham House, nr. Stroud, Glos.; Ketteringham Hall, Wymondham, Norf.; Hyde, Dorset and 13 Savile Row, Piccadilly, Mdx.
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Family and Educationbap. 14 Sept. 1785, 1st s. of Nathaniel Peach of Bownham and Julia Maria, da. of William Keasberry of Bath.1 educ. Shrewsbury 1799; L. Inn 1814. m. (1) c. 1806, Elizabeth (d. 5 July 1809), da. of John Goodman of Oare, Wilts., 1s. 2da. (1 d.v.p.);2 (2) 14 July 1824, Harriet, da. of John Thomas Atkyns of Huntercombe House, Bucks. and his cos. Mary, da. of Edward Atkyns of Ketteringham, s.p.3 suc. fa. 1788.4 d. 29 Aug. 1835.
Peach was descended from one of the leading clothier families of the Stroud valleys. His father, the son of Benjamin Peach of Westbury, was in partnership with John Ridley of Rooksmore, but following his death in 1788, at the age of 39, his capital and stock in trade in the business were withdrawn over a period of three years, according to his instructions. The estate was left unadministered and a fresh grant of probate was made to Peach, the residuary legatee, in 1809.5 By then he had already married, produced three children and lost his wife. He made a belated entry to Lincoln’s Inn in 1814, but did not persevere with the law. In 1824 he married the heiress of the Ketteringham estate, about ten miles from Norwich. She was dead within a year, but the property gave Peach a stake in the county. He was invited to stand for Norwich in harness with Jonathan Peel* in 1826, but thought better of it.6 In February 1828, having also acquired a property in Dorset, he was returned on a vacancy for Corfe Castle on the Bond interest, and was commended by George Bankes* to Robert Peel, leader of the Commons in the duke of Wellington’s ministry.7
He was apparently a silent Member. He divided against Catholic relief, 12 May 1828. In February 1829 Planta, the patronage secretary, listed him as one who was ‘opposed to the principle’ of Catholic emancipation. Shortly afterwards he transferred to Lord Falmouth’s borough of Truro to replace a supporter of concession.8 He duly voted against emancipation, 18, 23, 30 Mar. 1829. That autumn Sir Richard Vyvyan*, the Ultra Tory leader, numbered him among those Tories who were ‘strongly opposed to the present government’. He divided against Lord Blandford’s parliamentary reform scheme, 18 Feb. 1830. However, he voted against ministers on relations with Portugal, 10 Mar., and the Bathurst and Dundas pensions, 26 Mar. He chaired the committee on Muskett’s divorce bill, 28 Apr., and the same day dealt with the withdrawal of the Highgate School estate bill. He divided against Jewish emancipation, 17 May. He was in the minorities for amendments to the sale of beer bill, 21 June (as a pair), 1 July 1830. He was returned for Truro at the general election that summer after an attempt to open the borough failed; he survived a subsequent petition.
The ministry regarded Peach as one of the ‘violent Ultras’, and he was absent from the crucial division on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. Opposition to the Grey ministry’s reform bill restored him to his old allegiance. He divided against the second reading, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. He came in again for Truro at the ensuing general election, after a token contest. He voted against the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, and at least twice for adjournment motions, 12 July. He divided against the bill’s passage, 21 Sept., and the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept. He was named as a defaulter prior to the division on Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. That autumn he played an active part on the opposition side in the Dorset by-election.9 He voted against the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the third reading, 22 Mar., and paired against the second reading of the Irish bill, 25 May 1832. He divided against ministers on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., and paired against them, 12 July. He voted against the malt drawback bill, 2 Apr., and for the Liverpool disfranchisement bill, 23 May 1832.
Peach, who was a member of the committee formed by the Conservatives in May 1832 to manage the forthcoming elections in England, stood for East Norfolk in December, when he made a point of attacking the government’s aggressive policy towards Holland. He and his colleague were defeated by two Liberals.10 In December 1834 he asked the new premier, Peel, with whom he was evidently on cordial terms, to appoint his son-in-law Christopher Pemberton, a treasury clerk, as one of his private secretaries; Peel said he would have complied, but for a prior claim. Three weeks later Peach wrote to Peel’s brother William, expressing an interest in the joint-secretaryship of the board of control and declaring that ‘in spite of Lord Ellenborough’s assurance that 12 hours will be daily necessary for the due performance of the duties of the office ... there is no appointment I should prefer’. William Peel* noted that ‘Peach comes into Parliament’ and ‘deserves well of the party’, adding that ‘his complexion is Indian, but perhaps fronto nulla fides’. In the event, he obtained neither a seat nor office, though he worked for the successful Conservative candidate in East Norfolk.11 He died in August 1835.12 He left all his freehold property to his only son William Nathaniel Peach, who sold the Ketteringham estate the following year for £80,000; after settlement of a contingent chancery suit, his personalty was finally sworn under £35,000.13
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: David R. Fisher
- 1. IGI (Glos.); PROB 11/1167/315.
- 2. Glos. N and Q, iv. 354; Gent. Mag. (1809), ii. 784.
- 3. Gent. Mag. (1824), ii. 271; Add. 39781, f. 317.
- 4. Gent. Mag. (1788), i. 468.
- 5. T.D. Fosbrooke, Glos. i. 272; Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. xxviii (1905), 362; lxi (1945), 136; lxxiii (1954), 220, 225; PROB 11/1167/315.
- 6. J. Hunter, Hist. Ketteringham, 51, 53; The Times, 30 May 1826; Add. 40387, f. 56.
- 7. Add. 40395, f. 44.
- 8. West Briton, 13 Mar. 1829.
- 9. Arbuthnot Corresp. 149; Three Diaries, 134, 138.
- 10. Three Diaries, 266, 291; The Times, 19, 24 Dec. 1832.
- 11. Add. 40404, ff. 315, 317; 40408, f. 65; Wellington Pol. Corresp. ii. 781.
- 12. Gent. Mag. (1835), ii. 444.
- 13. PROB 8/228/584; 11/1852/564; IR26/1397/564; Hunter, 53.