PARKER, Sir George, 2nd Bt. (c.1673-1727), of Ratton, Willingdon, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. c.1673, 1st s. of Sir Robert Parker, 1st Bt.†, of Ratton by Sarah, da. of George Chute of Brixton Causeway, Lambeth, Surr. m. 25 Feb. 1692, Mary, da. of Sir Walter Bagot, 3rd Bt.*, 3s. 4da. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 30 Nov. 1691.
Sub-commr. prizes, Portsmouth 1702–6.1
Parker’s family had been in Sussex since the later 14th century and had frequently provided parliamentary representatives for the county’s constituencies. He married while still a minor, shortly after his father’s death, and then used the good offices of William Campion* to secure the passage through Parliament of a bill enabling him to make a marriage settlement. When the sub-commissionership of prizes at Dover fell vacant through Campion’s death in 1702, Parker immediately applied for it. William Lowndes* wrote to Lord Treasurer Godolphin (Sidney†) on 22 Sept. 1702 that
Sir George Parker by interest of the Duke of Somerset endeavours to get Mr Campion’s place and intends to go to Bath for that purpose. Sir George is a very honest gentleman, well esteemed in Sussex, lives near Seaford, where I have been several times obliged to him. Your favour to him will be well taken by his brother [Sir Edward] Bagot*, and other gentlemen of the House.
Godolphin was willing to be helpful, and persuaded Parker to accept a similar post at Portsmouth in October. The following year Parker was involved in a mysterious incident, when it was alleged he had been seen in Gosport in the company of a French captain, ostensibly there to visit a prisoner of war. The French captain was later imprisoned, but no charges were ever brought against Parker.2
Returned for Sussex in 1705, Parker was classed as a ‘Churchman’ in a list of the new Parliament, and voted against the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct. He was removed from his place in May 1706, presumably for voting against the Court. On 10 Feb. 1708 he was first-named to the drafting committee for a bill to reform Sussex elections. A list compiled at about this time classed him as a Tory. He lost his seat in the general election of that year, coming bottom of the poll, but was returned again in 1710, when he was listed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’ and later as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the 1710–11 session helped in exposing the mismanagements of the previous administration. On 6 Mar. 1711 he was first-named to the committee for drafting the bill for better qualifying justices of the peace. A member of the Tory October Club and the ‘Board of Brothers’, he was one of those thanked by the latter on 24 Jan. 1712 for their good attendance and service in the Commons. He did not stand again and died on 14 May 1727 in his 55th year.3