ROSE, George Pitt (1797-1851), of Upper Kensington Grove, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 9 Jan. 1797, 1st s. of George Henry Rose* (d. 1855) and Frances, da. and coh. of Thomas Duncombe† of Duncombe Park, Yorks. educ. St. John’s, Camb. 1815. m. 30 Apr. 1828, Phoebe Susannah, da. of Maj.-Gen. John Agmondesham Vesey, 1s. d.v.p. 19 Sept. 1851.
Cornet 15 Drag. 1822, lt. 1824, capt. 1826; capt. (half-pay) 9 Drag. 1837; out of service 1848.
Cornet S. Hants yeoman cav. 1815, lt. 1817, capt. 1820.
Rose was named after his godfather William Pitt†, under whom his grandfather George Rose† had served as a loyal lieutenant and prospered as a place hunter for himself and his family.1 On the latter’s death in 1818 Rose’s father declined to return him for the resulting vacancy at Christchurch, the family’s pocket borough, as he was ‘young for his age’ and he ‘wished to keep him under his eye at Berlin’, where he held a diplomatic post.2 In October 1821 he was presented to George IV by the foreign secretary Lord Londonderry* on the king’s visit to Hanover.3 Next year he embarked on an army career, which appears to have been free of active engagement. At Hampton Court in 1828 he married the orphan daughter of a major-general and former aide-de-camp to the duke of Kent.4
At the 1826 general election Rose was returned unopposed for Christchurch with his father, whose Tory line he followed in the House.5 He is not known to have delivered a full speech. He voted against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, 12 May 1828, and repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb. 1828. He divided with the Wellington ministry against ordnance reductions, 4 July. He was listed by Planta, the patronage secretary, as ‘opposed to the principle’ of Catholic emancipation in February 1829. Like his father, he voted steadily against it, 6, 18, 23, 27, 30 Mar., but, as Planta had also anticipated, he did not vote against the disfranchisement of Irish 40s. freeholders, 19 Mar. 1829. He divided against Lord Blandford’s parliamentary reform motion, 11 Feb., the enfranchisement of Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb., and Jewish emancipation, 17 May 1830. On 14 May he presented a petition for the building of a direct road from Waterloo Bridge to the British Museum. He was in minorities with his father for amendments to the sale of beer bill to prohibit on-consumption, 21 June, 1 July 1830. At the 1830 general election Rose was again returned unopposed for Christchurch. He was listed as one of the ‘moderate Ultras’ by ministers and was absent from the division on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. He voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. After another unchallenged return at the ensuing general election, he voted against the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, and the partial disfranchisement of Chippenham, 27 July. He paired for a censure motion on the Irish government for using undue influence at the Dublin election, 23 Aug., and voted against the passage of the reform bill, 21 Sept., and the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept. He divided 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. 1832. On 25 May he paired against the second reading of the Irish reform bill. He voted against ministers on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan. (as a pair), 12 July 1832.
At the 1832 dissolution Rose retired from Christchurch, which had been partially disfranchised. He apparently bided his time until the general election of 1841, when he was narrowly defeated as a Conservative at nearby Poole. On 25 Aug. he informed Peel, the new premier, of his impending petition against the return and requested a household appointment for himself or his wife, noting that his family had ‘for three generations steadily and invariably supported Conservative governments’ and that though the expense of his defeat had been ‘great’, the ‘salary is not a consideration, but an employment in or near London is one’.6 Explaining that he had been forced to abandon his petition on the advice of Lord Lyndhurst, 2 Sept., he outlined his qualifications to serve Prince Albert, observing that ‘having served all my life in the light cavalry and acquired in Prussia a proficiency in German, I might ... be enabled to make the prince acquainted with our cavalry system’.7 Subsequently he obtained an interview to explain ‘some circumstances which it would be difficult to do in writing’, but Peel could do nothing for him.8 Undaunted, he submitted a dubious plan for an efficient reorganization of the cavalry, based on the establishment of regimental settlements on waste crown lands. By this means, he enthusiastically added, ‘Protestant colonies might be founded in Ireland’. This was met with a polite rebuff, as was his request for assistance to obtain a grace and favour apartment at Hampton Court early the following year.9
Rose died v.p. and intestate at Winchester in September 1851.10 His wife and son were allowed provision from a trust fund of some £22,000 in his father’s will drawn up later that year and proved on 9 July 1855, in addition to an annuity settled on his wife in 1833.11 Rose’s only son George Ernest Rose, who followed him into the army, saw active service in the Crimea and acted as an aide-de-camp to his uncle General Hugh Rose during the Indian mutiny. He died at Calcutta, ‘aged 27’, in 1865.12
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Authors: Philip Salmon / Howard Spencer
- 1. Salisbury Jnl. 5 June 1826.
- 2. Hants RO, Malmesbury mss, Malmesbury to Fitzharris, 21 Feb. 1818.
- 3. Add. 42793, f. 142.
- 4. Gent. Mag. (1812), i. 189; (1828), ii. 465; Add. 40486, f. 190.
- 5. Salisbury Jnl. 12 June 1826.
- 6. Add. 40486, f. 190.
- 7. Add. 40487, ff. 130-3.
- 8. Add. 40488, ff. 250-2.
- 9. Add. 40492, ff. 47-52; 40499, ff. 209-11
- 10. Gent. Mag. (1851), ii. 55.
- 11. PROB 11/2216/638; IR26/2043/773.
- 12. Gent. Mag. (1865), i. 661-2.