CLEVLAND, John (?1707-63), of Tapeley, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1741 - 2 Mar. 1743
1747 - 1761
1761 - 19 June 1763

Family and Education

b. ?1707, 1st s. of Capt. William Clevland, R.N., a commr. of the navy, by Anne, da. of John Davie of Orleigh, Devon. educ. Westminster, Sept. 1718, aged 11; M. Temple 1723. m. (1) Elizabeth, da. of Sir Caesar Child, 2nd Bt., of Woodford, Essex, sis. of Sir Caesar Child, 3rd and last Bt., 2s. 2da.; (2) 1747,1 Sarah, da. of Richard Shuckburgh of Longborough, Glos. and sis. of Sir G. A. Shuckburgh, 6th Bt., M.P., 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 1715.

Offices Held

Clerk in the navy office c.1723-31; clerk of the cheque, Plymouth 1731-43; commr. of the navy Mar. 1743-6; jt. sec. to the Admiralty 1746-51, sec. 1751-d.


The son of a captain in the Royal Navy, who purchased Tapeley, near Bideford, in Devon, Clevland entered the navy office, where his father was then comptroller of the accounts. Appointed clerk of the cheque, i.e. finance officer, at Plymouth in 1731, he was returned for Saltash on the Admiralty interest in 1741, but vacated his seat on becoming a commissioner of the navy in 1743. Three years later he was appointed joint secretary of the Admiralty, to assist Thomas Corbett, who was becoming infirm.2 Soon after his promotion he applied to Pelham and the Duke of Bedford, then first lord, for a vacant Admiralty seat at Rochester, but was ruled out by Pelham on the ground that the town ‘will expect an admiral’, though Bedford would have liked to have returned him.3 Next year he was brought in for Sandwich where he managed the government interest. He also managed Saltash for the Government, and had an interest of his own at Barnstaple derived from his property at Tapeley. On Corbett’s death, he became sole secretary to the Admiralty, retaining his post under successive Administrations, till his death 19 June 1763.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. C. Aspinall-Oglander, Admiral's Wife, 64.
  • 2. Namier, Structure, 40.
  • 3. Bedford Corresp. i. 139, 141; Pelham to Bedford, 4 Oct. 1746, Bedford mss.