PIERREPONT, Charles Evelyn, Visct. Newark (1805-1850).
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Family and Educationb. 2 Sept. 1805, 1st s. of Charles Herbert Pierrepont†, 2nd Earl Manvers (d. 27 Oct. 1860), and Mary Laetitia, da. and event. coh. of Anthony Hardolph Eyre† of Grove Park, Notts.; bro. of Sydney William Herbert Pierrepont†, Visct. Newark. educ. by Rev. Thomas Trevenen Penrose; Eton 1817; Christ Church, Oxf. 1823. m. 16 Aug. 1832, Emily, da. of Edward John Littleton*, s.p. d.v.p. 23 Aug. 1850.
Capt. Holme Pierrepont yeoman cav.; maj. S. Notts. yeoman cav.
Newark, whose father’s succession as the 2nd Earl Manvers in 1816 ended the family’s 38-year occupation of one of the Nottinghamshire seats, spent his sickly early years at Thoresby Hall, under a private tutor, before going to Eton.1 According to Edward John Littleton, who visited him in November 1821, Manvers, a former naval officer who now represented the Kingston family, ‘has at Thoresby a large cold house, with quantities of rooms badly aired and furnished’, adding that ‘a constant round of indiscriminate hospitality, and his amiable, open sailor like habits procure him a good name and influence in his neighbourhood’.2 Manvers, who spent modestly on rebuilding Thoresby in the following decade, was an anti-Catholic Tory and had refused to allow Newark to serve as a page at George IV’s coronation that year because the invitation had come from the royal mistress, Lady Conyngham.3 Nothing came of a rumour that Newark would stand for his native county at the general election of 1826, when he was still just under age.4 In January 1827 the duke of Newcastle, with whom Manvers was politically connected, described Newark, shortly after he had left Oxford with a first, as ‘a good and amiable young man’, who ‘I trust will not be spoiled by the world when he goes into it’.5 Manvers considered him as a possible candidate for East Retford, and obtained Newcastle’s approval for this in April 1828, when it was expected that that borough would be thrown into the hundred of Bassetlaw.6
At the general election of 1830 Newcastle, aghast at John Evelyn Denison’s* brief intervention, considered that Newark ‘ought to be the representative’, in the event of any vacancy for the county. None arose there, however, and Newcastle presumably responded favourably to Manvers’ renewed application for assistance, since Newark duly offered for the now enlarged constituency of East Retford, ostensibly as an independent, although he stressed his support for economies. On the hustings, he repudiated the imputation that he had coalesced with his uncle, Granville Venables Harcourt Vernon*, and after his relation had withdrawn from the contest, he was returned ahead of Arthur Duncombe, Newcastle’s nominee.7 The local Whig newspaper, which counted him as a supporter of the duke of Wellington’s administration, denounced the swagger of his acceptance speech, noting that he ‘either must or ought to be aware that nursery tales are not always accounted as wit, nor is swearing to be taken for a sign of good sense’.8 Ministers listed him among the ‘moderate Ultras’, and he duly voted against them in the division on the civil list which brought them down, 15 Nov. 1830. He was granted four weeks’ leave on account of ill health, 25 Nov. 1830, and again, 14 Feb. 1831. He presented and endorsed the East Retford anti-slavery petition, 8 Feb., but made his maiden speech proper on the Grey ministry’s reform proposals, 2 Mar.9 He urged the necessity of winning over the middle classes ‘for the preservation of the state’ and disavowed the alarmism of the anti-reformers, stating that
if I am reduced to the alternative of adopting this bill with all its provisions, and with its full destruction of all these boroughs, or of having no reform at all, my warm, though humble, support shall be given to the bill, even without my desiring one single letter of it to be altered.
He presented his constituents’ favourable petitions, 21 Mar., and voted for the second reading of the bill, 22 Mar., and against Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831.
At the ensuing general election Newark stood as an avowed reformer and, repudiating claims of a coalition, was returned behind his uncle after a short contest against Duncombe.10 He voted for the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July 1831, and generally for its details. He complained bitterly when The Times listed him as having opposed the disfranchisement of Appleby, 19 July, since he had in fact paired with Sir John Walsh, just as he had done earlier that day against using the 1831 census to determine the disfranchisement clauses.11 He urged revision of the game laws, 8 Aug. He divided in the minority for enfranchising resident borough freeholders, 17 Aug., but spoke in support of the government’s amendment to place Aylesbury, Cricklade, East Retford and New Shoreham on the same footing as other boroughs, 2 Sept. He voted for issuing the Liverpool writ, 5 Sept. Deliberately silent hitherto, he delivered himself of a tirade against what he saw as the absurd and often contradictory arguments of the reform bill’s opponents, 19 Sept. At Sir Robert Peel’s expense, he ridiculed the assertion that the bill favoured the northern manufacturing districts to the detriment of a largely agricultural south, and he was bemused by the paradoxical inconsistencies in the anti-reformers’ arguments, particularly over the division of counties, the £10 borough franchise and the project for colonial representation. He accordingly divided for the passage of the reform bill, 21 Sept., and Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. 1831.
Newark voted for the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, and again mostly for its details. However, he opposed the creation of one Member constituencies, whose new seats he would have preferred to see divided between a smaller number of extra two Member boroughs, 23 Jan., and repeated his objections, 14 Mar. 1832, when his alternative proposal was negatived without a division. He voted for the third reading of the bill, 22 Mar., and Ebrington’s motion for an address calling on the king to appoint only ministers who would carry it unimpaired, 10 May. He welcomed the reinstatement of the government, 18 May, and urged Edward Ruthven not to hinder the progress of the Irish reform bill over the representation of Dublin, 25 June. He divided against the production of information on Portugal, 9 Feb., and, although he had cast a wayward vote on this on 26 Jan., sided with ministers for the Russian-Dutch loan, 16, 20 July. Since May he had been wooing Emily Littleton, and during discussions with her father, who made clear that she would not have a substantial dowry, he entered into ‘much explanation respecting the state of his health, concerning which he had some cause of anxiety’.12 The marriage was solemnized in August, when it was wrongly reported that his father was dying.13 Manvers, who backed Newcastle’s heir Lord Lincoln† for one of the county seats, again put Newark up for East Retford at the general election in December 1832, when he was narrowly returned as a Liberal after a contest.14 He retired at the dissolution in 1834 and died, ‘a poet of considerable merit’, in August 1850.15 His younger brother Sydney William Herbert (1825-1900), was Conservative Member for Nottinghamshire South from 1852 until succeeding as 3rd Earl Manvers in 1860.
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Authors: Stephen Farrell / Simon Harratt
- 1. Doncaster, Nottingham and Lincoln Gazette, 30 Aug. 1850.
- 2. Hatherton diary, 3 Nov. 1821.
- 3. J.V. Beckett, Aristocracy in England, 332; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 109.
- 4. The Times, 5 June 1826.
- 5. Unhappy Reactionary ed. R.A. Gaunt (Thoroton Soc. rec. ser. xliii), 14.
- 6. Ibid. 54.
- 7. Ibid. 65, 67-68; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Portland mss PwH 987; Nottingham Jnl. 31 July, 14 Aug.; Doncaster, Nottingham and Lincoln Gazette, 13, 20 Aug. 1830.
- 8. Nottingham Rev. 23 July, 13 Aug. 1830.
- 9. Blackwood’s Mag. xxix (1831), 662.
- 10. Nottingham Rev. 6 May 1831; East Retford Pollbook (1831), 6-8.
- 11. The Times, 21 July 1831.
- 12. Hatherton diary, 21, 22 June .
- 13. Portland mss PwH 359.
- 14. Unhappy Reactionary, 94, 98.
- 15. Gent. Mag. (1850), ii. 432-3.