BROMLEY, Clobery (1685-1711), of St. James’s, Westminster and Baginton, Warws.
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Family and Education
bap. 18 Dec. 1685, 1st s. of William Bromley II* of Baginton by his 1st w. Catherine, da. of Sir John Cloberry† of Upper Eldon, King’s Somborne and Parliament Street, Winchester, Hants; half-bro. of William Bromley†. educ. Rugby 1694; Christ Church, Oxf. matric. 1703. m. 25 Mar. 1708, Dorothy, da. of William Bromley I* of Holt Castle, Worcs., s.p.1
Commr. public accts. 19 Mar. 1711–d.
Bromley continued his studies at Oxford as a gentleman commoner for at least four years after matriculating. Despite his having reached his majority a year or so before the 1710 election, no arrangements were made on that occasion for him to join the Tory forces in the Commons. Very soon afterwards, however, he took the opportunity presented by a sudden vacancy at Coventry, a few miles from his family’s principal seat at Baginton. With his father as the new occupant of the Speaker’s chair, he was virtually assured of being returned. He took his seat after the Christmas recess and had within a short time thrown himself wholeheartedly into the activities of the October Club, in which he became a leading light: indeed, it is quite possible that he was involved in its inception. But his part in ‘intrigues’ to promote ‘Country’ measures that were anathema to the ministry was a source of embarrassment to his father, and on several occasions Robert Harley* was driven to complain to Bromley snr. about young Clobery’s behaviour. On 19 Mar. 1711 Bromley jnr. was elected a commissioner of public accounts, taking fifth place in the ballot. By then, however, he had succumbed to smallpox, and expired during the morning of the next day. The House saw fit to adjourn until the 26th to allow the Speaker ‘to perform the funeral rites, and to indulge his just affliction’. Swift thought the gesture ‘handsomely done’ but believed, as did other cynical minds, that the adjournment also provided a much needed breathing-space in proceedings in view of Harley’s continued absence and recovery from Guiscard’s assassination attempt. Bromley was interred at Baginton. In the will he had made five days before he died he bequeathed to his father all his ‘lands and farms’ in Warwickshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset. Laments on Bromley’s unfulfilled promise duly flowed from the pens of Tory writers: Swift, in the Examiner, spoke of his having ‘already acquired so great a reputation for every amiable quality; and who might have lived to be so great an honour and ornament to his ancient family’; while in the History of the Present Parliament (1711), William Pittis sighed that ‘expectation could not but accompany so promising a genius, bright intellects, and acquired understanding’.2
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Andrew A. Hanham
- 1. IGI, Warws. and London; Vivian, Vis. Devon, 201; Dugdale, Warws. i. 232–3; PCC 99 Young.
- 2. Hearne Colls. iii. 135; NSA, Kreienberg despatch 23 Mar. 1711; Parl. Hist. v. 3; Huntington Lib. Q. xxxiii. 162–3; Post Boy, 20–22, 22–24 Mar. 1711; Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. vi. 1012; Swift Stella ed. Davis, 220–1; PCC 99 Young; Swift Works ed. Davis, iii. 121; Pittis, Present Parl. 169.