COLLETON, James Edward (c.1709-90), of Haines Hill, Berks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1709 at Barbados, 1st s. of John Colleton of Barbados and Haines Hill by Elizabeth, da. of Edward Ernle of Etchilhampton, Wilts., wid. of Thomas Shatterden (afterwards Drax); Henry Drax was his half-bro. educ. poss. Eton 1725; Clare, Camb. 1727. m. (1) 1731, Lady Anne Cowper (d. 26 Mar. 1750), da. of William Cowper, M.P., 1st Earl Cowper, s.p.; (2) 30 Mar. 1754, Francis, da. of Philip Jennings, s.p. suc. fa. 1755.
The great grandson of Sir John Colleton, 1st Bt., a royalist refugee to Barbados, Colleton stood for Lyme Regis in 1734, telling his wife that, if returned, he ‘would always vote according to his conscience’. Although he had been assured of the support of John Scrope, he was defeated. On this, according to his sister-in-law, Lady Sarah Cowper,
my brother [Lord Cowper] went to Sir Robert Walpole at Mr. Colleton’s request. Mr. Scrope had told Mr. Colleton that Sir Robert was very sorry at his disappointment, and promised to bring him into Parliament for a Cornish borough which was likely to be vacant ... that Mr. Colleton might depend upon this, but that if Lord Cowper would wait on Sir Robert, it would make things more secure ... When my brother went Sir Robert denied that he had promised any such thing, or intended to do it, said that he had seven or eight persons to bring into Parliament first and that Mr. Colleton mismanaged things from the beginning. My brother told him he hoped to see Colleton in Parliament without any assistance from or obligation to him, and upbraided him with letting him come on such a fool’s errand, telling him that Scrope assured Mr. Colleton that Sir Robert had bid him say all he told him. Sir Robert denied that he ever said any thing of it to Scrope, but one or t’other must be a liar. I believe both agreed to abuse Colleton and affront my brother. Sir Robert’s enmity to my father [Lord Chancellor Cowper] is well known and is continued to his family, but Scrope owns obligations to my father and pretends to love and respect his memory, this however is expressing it oddly.1
After Walpole’s fall Colleton was brought in for Lostwithiel by Pelham as a government supporter. He died 30 Aug. 1790.
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. Diary of Lady Sarah Cowper, 24 Apr. 1734, 5 May 1734, 25 Apr. 1735, Cowper (Panshanger) mss in Herts. RO; see LYME REGIS.