LONG, Sir James, 5th Bt. (c.1681-1729), of Draycot House, Draycot Cerne, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1681, 3rd s. of James Long (d.v.p. o. s. of Sir James Long, 2nd Bt.*) of Athelhampton, Dorset by his 1st w. Susan, da. of Giles Strangways† of Stinsford and Melbury Sampford, Dorset. educ. Balliol, Oxf. matric. 1 Feb. 1699, aged 17. m. 9 June 1702, Henrietta (d. 1765), da. of Fulke Greville†, 5th Baron Brooke, of The Castle, Warwick and Twickenham, Mdx. 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. bro. Sir Giles Long, 4th Bt., as 5th Bt. 1697.1
Long’s family held extensive estates in north Wiltshire, centred upon Draycot manor and including the neighbouring manors of North Bradley and Sutton Benger. That he inherited these properties was due to the unfortunate deaths of all senior claimants. His father died while he was still a child, his elder brother died only four days after inheriting the baronetcy, and his second brother died while preparing to travel overseas in late 1697. Although his grandmother, Dorothy, was then said to be in receipt of the estate’s profits, these duly devolved upon him when he reached his majority.2
Long’s properties, as well as his family’s long record of political service, assured him a seat at any of several north Wiltshire boroughs. In addition he was well connected to a number of MPs: his maternal grandfather was the outspoken Tory Giles Strangways, and through his father-in-law Fulke Greville he was cousin to the prominent Tories Hon. Dodington* and Hon. Francis Greville*. Such connexions may have influenced Long’s own political ideas, and in Parliament he was to join his cousins in a number of key votes. In 1705 he was elected in place of a Whig at Chippenham, where his grandfather had an interest, a result which was accounted a ‘loss’ by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*). He was also classed as a ‘Churchman’ in an analysis of that Parliament. He voted against the Court candidate for the Speakership on 25 Oct. 1705, and was marked as a Tory on lists of early 1708. Re-elected unopposed in 1708, he was active in support of the Tory interest at Devizes. Despite his evident activity in canvassing votes for his political friends, Long made little impression on the work of the House. Having voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell, he was granted three weeks’ leave of absence on 14 Mar. 1710. Classed again as a Tory on the ‘Hanover list’ of 1710, in the 1710–11 session he was included among both the ‘Tory patriots’ who voted against the continuation of the war with France and the ‘worthy patriots’ who had helped to expose the mismanagements of the previous ministry. He was also noted as a member of the October Club, in company with his cousin Dodington Greville. On 12 Mar. 1712 he was again given leave from the House for a month ‘upon extraordinary occasions’. He was defeated at Chippenham in the election of 1713, claiming that his majority had been undermined by the bribery of the successful Whig candidates. At the next election he switched to the neighbouring borough of Wootton Bassett when he was once more listed as a Tory on a comparative analysis of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments.3
Long was the brother of the celebrated beauty Anne Long, to whose misfortunes he was, by all accounts, callously indifferent. Swift, who set up a memorial to her, blamed her death in 1711, in debt and despair, on Long’s meanness and neglect, calling him a ‘brute’ for having refused to advance her the £2,000 which she would have been due to receive upon the death of her grandmother, Dorothy. Long drew up his will in 1716, and the extent of his bequests testifies to his considerable estates and personal wealth. He provided £50 annuities to each of his four surviving children, in addition to other provisions amounting to £4,000, together with £1,500 marriage portions to two daughters. Further maintenance for them was to come from the interest raised from an £800 bequest made by Long’s father-in-law in 1710, as well as the profits of leasehold estates in Derbyshire and Admiston, Dorset. His wife, named as sole executrix, was given land in Froxfield and Calne, Wiltshire, together with other unspecified property in Dorset. Long died on 16 Mar. 1729 ‘of a fit of apoplexy, at his house in Jermyn Street, soon after he was risen from bed’, and he was buried in the family vault in Draycot church. Within three years of his death his widow caused a scandal by secretly marrying her mother’s gardener. Her new husband immediately asked to be settled with £7,000, to which her mother, Sarah Dashwood, replied that she ‘hoped he would spend it fast, that she might have the pleasure to see her daughter a beggar’. Long was succeeded by his only surviving son, Sir Robert Long, 6th Bt., who sat as a Tory MP during George II’s reign.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: D. W. Hayton / Henry Lancaster
- 1. BL, Add. 24121, f. 50; Misc. Gen. et Her. n.s. iii. 58; Post Boy, 11–13 June 1702; PCC 109 Abbott.
- 2. PCC 444 Lort; VCH Wilts. xiii. 221; xiv. 77, 224.
- 3. Duckett, Penal Laws and Test Act (1883), 208, 210; CJ, xvi. 6, 370; xvii. 132, 485; HMC Portland, iv. 175–6, 486; Boyer, Pol. State, iii. 120; ix. 170–1.
- 4. Swift Stella ed. Davis, 445–6; Swift Corresp. ed. Williams, i. 133; PCC 239 Smith; 109 Abbott; Boyer, xxxvii. 315; HMC Egmont Diary, i. 289–90.