DARCY, Conyers (c.1685-1758), of Aske, nr. Richmond, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1685, 2nd surv. s. of Hon. John Darcy† of Hornby Castle, Yorks. (d.v.p. s. of Conyers Darcy†, 2nd Earl of Holdernesse) by Bridget, da. of Robert Sutton†, 1st Baron Lexington. educ. ?Eton 1698; King’s Coll. Camb. matric. 1703. m. (1) Aug. 1714, Lady Mary (d. 1726), da. of Hans Willem Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, sis. of Henry Bentinck*, Visct. Woodstock, and wid. of Algernon Capell, 2nd Earl of Essex, s.p.; (2) 12 Sept. 1728, Elizabeth (d. 1741), da. of John Rotherham of Much Waltham, Essex, wid. of Sir Theophilus Napier, 5th Bt., of Luton Hoo, Beds. and Thomas, 6th Baron Howard of Effingham, s.p. KB 27 May 1725.1
Cornet and maj. 1 Life Gds. 1706–15; gent. of horse 1710–17; avener and clerk martial 1711–17; commr. executing the office of master of the horse 1712–14, 1715–17; master of Household 1720–May 1730, comptroller May 1730–55.2
Bailiff and steward of Richmond 1721–d.; ld. lt. N. Riding, Yorks. 1727–40.
The Darcys were one of the leading Whig families in the North Riding. In the 1690s Darcy’s brother, the 3rd Earl of Holdernesse, obtained the office of bailiff and steward of the liberty of Richmond, with reversion to Darcy himself. The family already held a substantial number of burgages in Richmond, which they gradually increased by purchase.3
Although proposed as a potential candidate for Yorkshire prior to a by-election in January 1707, Darcy did not stand for the county until a second by-election in December, at which he was returned unopposed. He was listed as a Whig in an analysis of Parliament in early 1708. At the general election later the same year he stood again, but was defeated in one of the fiercest county contests of the period, and in 1710 refused to stand. Though a Whig, he became gentleman of the horse and a joint commissioner of the office of master of the horse under the new Tory administration, despite protests from Horatio Walpole I*, who claimed that ‘her Majesty’s person is not safe’ in Darcy’s hands. Remaining in office, he re-entered Parliament in 1715, when he was listed as a Whig in a comparative analysis with the 1713 Parliament. He continued to sit in Parliament after the Hanoverian succession as a Whig. He died on 1 Dec. 1758.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath
- 1. Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, ii. 84.
- 2. Info. from Prof. R. O. Bucholz; Boyer, Anne Annals, ix. 279; Pol. State, i–ii. 54; iv. 31.
- 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 54; xi. 257; xvii. 287; xx. 659.
- 4. Cumbria RO (Carlisle), Lonsdale mss D/Lons/L1/4/Stray letters (Wharton), Ld. Carlisle (Charles Howard*) to [Thomas, Ld. Wharton*], 13 Dec. 1707; W. A. Speck, Tory and Whig, 147; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 673; Swift Stella ed. Davis, 376; Add. 70262, Walpole to Ld. Oxford (Robert Harley*), ; Clay, 84.