DODD, John (1717-82), of Swallowfield, Berks.

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



17 Feb. - 27 Apr. 1741
19 Nov. 1755 - 9 Feb. 1782

Family and Education

b. 24 Sept. 1717,1 o.s. of Randolph (or Randall) Dodd of Chester by Margaret, da. of William Glaseour. educ. Eton 1728-32; King’s, Camb. 1735. m. (1) 4 Sept. 1739, Jane (d. 13 Oct. 1744), da. of Henry Le Coq St. Leger of Shinfield, Berks., 3s. 1da.; (2) 31 July 1753, Juliana, da. of Philip Jennings of Duddleston Hall, Salop, sis. of Philip Jennings Clerke M.P., and sis.-in-law of J. E. Colleton and James Hayes, 1s. 3da. suc.. fa. 1721.

Offices Held


At the age of three John Dodd was left considerable estates in Berkshire and Middlesex by his father. A year later, in 1722, he succeeded under the will of Lady Isabella Dodd, widow of his great-uncle Sir Samuel Dodd, chief baron of the Exchequer and father of John Dodd, to the fortune amassed by her husband. In 1737 he bought Swallowfield from Thomas Pitt for £20,770,2 entertaining there ‘largely and extravagantly’. He stood unsuccessfully as a Whig for Reading at a by-election in November 1740 but was seated on petition, his friend Charles Pratt, M.P., later Lord Camden, appearing for him.3 The petition cost him ‘some say £13,000, others £11,000, the least £9,000’.4 He did not stand at the general election in 1741 or in 1747, though announcing his intention to do so in future.5 Meantime he nibbled at St. Albans, where one of James West’s principal supporters was told in June 1747 that Dodd, who had £3-4,000 p.a., was willing to join him ‘and bear his proportion of the expenses’.6 With Pelham’s approval he declared himself a candidate for Reading in 1753,7 stating in answer to an address from the corporation that he held

his principles to be ‘truly revolutional’, but knows that the corporation are deeply engaged with his opponents; the abettors of the late horrid rebellion are in part accountable for the taxes we now labour under, ‘under the most mild and gentle government that this nation was ever blest with’; will use his utmost endeavours to get the Act for the Jews repealed, and will oppose any subsequent bill in their favour.8

Defeated by one vote only, he was successful at a by-election in 1755 for the borough, which he continued to represent till his death, 9 Feb. 1782.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. On the same day as his friend Horace Walpole, Walpole to Wm. Cole, 14 Feb. 1782.
  • 2. Constance, Lady Russell, Swallowfield and its Owners, ch. 25.
  • 3. Nichols, Lit. Hist. i. 503.
  • 4. HMC 5th Rep. 364.
  • 5. R. A. Neville to Bedford, 16 June 1752, Bedford mss.
  • 6. Jos. Styles to Thos. Rudd, 9 June 1747, Add. 34734, f. 23.
  • 7. Dodd to Hardwicke, 4 July 1753, Add. 35633, f. 238.
  • 8. HMC 11th Rep. VII, 206.