ELIOT, Edward (c.1684-1722), of Port Eliot, Cornw.
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Family and Education
b. c.1684, 1st s. of William Eliot, RN, of Cuddenbeak, Cornw. by Anne, da. of Lawrence Williams of Ireland. educ. Exeter, Oxf. matric. 9 Mar. 1703, aged 18. m. (1) Susan (bur. Jan. 1714), da. of Sir William Coryton, 3rd Bt.*, and sis. of Sir John Coryton, 4th Bt.*; (2) Apr. 1718, Elizabeth (d. 1765), da. and coh. of James Craggs I*, and sis. and coh. of James Craggs II*, 1s. 1da. suc. cos. Daniel Eliot* at Port Eliot 1702.
Receiver-gen. duchy of Cornw. Mar. 1715–20; commr. victualling 1718–June 1720, excise June 1720–Apr. 1722.
Eliot was the grandson of Nicholas Eliot, fourth son of the noted parliamentarian, Sir John Eliot†. He was the beneficiary of Daniel Eliot’s determination to retain the link between the family name and Port Eliot. With the Eliot family estates, he inherited the patronage of the borough of St. Germans, for which he returned himself at a by-election soon after coming of age. He was not active in his first Parliament, but was classed as a Tory in a list of early 1708. Re-elected later that year, he acted as a teller on 20 Apr. 1709 against agreeing with a Lords’ amendment to the bill explaining a previous Act ‘to prevent mischiefs by fire’ by regulating practices in London and Westminster. In the next session, on 18 Jan. 1710, he told for the motion that the High Tory Lewis Pryse* was duly elected for Cardiganshire. He voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell, and was inevitably classified as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’. In the first session of the 1710 Parliament he figured in the lists of ‘Tory patriots’ voting for peace, and ‘worthy patriots’ who had helped detect the mismanagements of the previous ministry.
Until 1713 Eliot was a Tory but his absence from the division of 18 June 1713 on the French commerce bill may indicate his disillusionment with the ministry over his failure to gain office. Lord Lansdown’s (George Granville*) correspondence with Lord Treasurer Oxford (Robert Harley*) about a place for Eliot suggested that he had ‘a bargain ready on the other side’. Given that Eliot had been waiting over three months for an answer to a proposal that he should succeed Francis Scobell* as receiver of the revenues of the duchy of Cornwall, Lansdown felt that ‘a man less jealous and impatient of neglect might think himself not fairly dealt with by so long a delay’. Eliot’s disappointment may also explain his vote on 18 Mar. 1714 against the expulsion of Richard Steele and appearance on the Worsley list as a Tory who would often vote with the Whigs. Following the accession of George I Eliot went over to the Whigs and obtained the duchy post he had coveted. He died on 18 Sept. 1722, aged 39.1
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Stuart Handley
- 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 148; HMC Portland, v. 312, 315; Polsue, Complete Paroch. Hist. Cornw. ii. 42.