PORTMAN, Edward Berkeley I (1771-1823), of Bryanston, Dorset

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



1802 - 1806
1806 - 19 Jan. 1823

Family and Education

b. 31 Jan. 1771, 2nd s. of Henry William Portman (d. 1796) of Orchard Portman, Som. and Bryanston and Anne, da. of William Wyndham of Dinton, Wilts.; bro. of Henry Berkeley Portman†. educ. St. John’s, Camb. 1788; grand tour. m. (1) 28 Aug. 1798, Lucy (d. 20 Mar. 1812), da. of Rev. Thomas Whitby of Portland Place, Mdx. and Cresswell, Staffs., 4s. 3da.; (2) 16 Mar. 1816, Mary, da. of Sir Edward Hulse, 3rd bt., of Braemore House, Hants, s.p. suc. bro. Henry 1803. d. 19 Jan. 1823.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Dorset 1798-9; lt. Dorset yeomanry 1798, 1803.


Portman, who came from an old Somerset family now settled in Dorset, retained his county seat as an independent at the general election of 1820, being returned unopposed.1 He appears to have attended irregularly, possibly because of poor health. He voted against the appointment of an additional baron of exchequer in Scotland, 15 May 1820. On 28 June he obtained leave to introduce a bill to prevent unqualified persons from practising as conveyancers. It failed to get a second reading, 4 July, and he vowed to reintroduce it next session, but did not do so.2 He was one of the county Members, ‘generally more inclined to opposition’, who voted with ministers against condemning the omission of Queen Caroline’s name from the liturgy, 26 Jan. 1821.3 He was granted two weeks’ leave because of illness in his family, 19 Feb., but was present to vote against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. He divided with government on the state of the revenue, 6 Mar., but against them on the repeal of the additional malt duty, 3 Apr., the army estimates, 21, 28 May, and the duke of Clarence’s grant, 8 June. He paired against the forgery punishment mitigation bill, 23 May 1821, but voted for criminal law reform, 4 June 1822. His only other recorded votes were for more extensive tax reductions to relieve distress, 11 Feb., abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 14 Mar., and repeal of the salt duties, 3 June 1822. He died, in Rome, in January 1823, while travelling with his family, whose delayed return home was expected by the British attaché William Fox Strangways to be ‘very melancholy’. His remains were interred in the family vault at Bryanston in April.4 By that time his son and namesake, who succeeded to his estates in Dorset, Somerset and Marylebone, and most of the personalty sworn under £80,000, had also taken over his parliamentary seat for Dorset.5

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. J. Hutchins, Dorset, i (1861), 256, 263; HP Commons, 1790-1820, iv. 873-4; Western Flying Post, 6, 20 Mar. 1820.
  • 2. The Times, 29 June, 5 July 1820; CJ, lxxv. 365, 377, 397.
  • 3. Add. 38742, f. 171.
  • 4. Add. 51342, Fox Strangways to Lady Ilchester, 30 Jan.; Western Flying Post, 17 Feb., 21 Apr. 1823.
  • 5. PROB 11/1669/236; IR26/970/376; M. Portman, Bryanston, Picture of a Fam. 128-9.