HARVEY, Edward (1658-1736), of Coombe, Surr.

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



1705 - 1713
30 Mar. 1715 - 1722

Family and Education

b. 30 Mar. 1658, 1st s. of Sir Daniel Harvey of Coombe and bro. of Daniel Harvey. m. (1) 8 May 1679, cos. Elizabeth (d. 15 Jan. 1696), da. of Sir Eliab Harvey, M.P., of Chigwell, Essex, 3s. 8da.; (2) July 1702, Lady Elizabeth (d. 7 Mar. 1724), da. of Francis Newport, M.P., 1st Earl of Bradford, wid. of Sir Henry Lyttelton, 2nd Bt., M.P., of Frankley, Worcs., s.p.; (3) 6 July 1725, Mary, da. of Edward Carteret, s.p. suc. fa. 1672.

Offices Held

High steward, Kingston, Surr. 1707-d.


Harvey’s grandfather, a rich Turkey merchant, was the brother of William Harvey, who discovered the circulation of the blood, and of Eliab Harvey, the grandfather of William Harvey. His father, who was ambassador at Constantinople 1668-72, purchased the manor of Coombe in Surrey. He was defeated for Surrey in 1715, but was successful on petition for Clitheroe on the interest of his relation, the 2nd Duke of Montagu. A member of the October Club, he was an ardent supporter of the Stuarts, ‘continually talking of designs to bring them back’.1 The Duke of Berwick wrote to the Pretender, 13 May 1714, that he had been shown some letters from Harvey, who desired ‘to be laid at his master’s feet, and would give all he is worth, which is considerable, for his service’.2 In September 1715 the Government received information of a treasonable correspondence between Harvey, the Duc d’Aumont, late French ambassador at London, and the Duke of Ormonde. In the papers of Harvey’s agent was found the following letter, dated 9 Jan. 1715, in Harvey’s own hand:

I shall lay out no more money till I am repaid what 22 [the Duc d’Aumont] was pleased to promise me long ago ... We are now in a hurry on choosing of Parliament men, and how those things will go, God above best does know; but this I will affirm, were those that are to choose left to themselves to choose, no money, court threats, nor any other indirect means used, all would be out of sight on the Tories side; and as it is, I hope all will do well if 6 [the King of France] and 22 stick to their true friends, and on no account forget them and all their good intentions ... Press 22 to think of his friends, it will be of service I am sure to 6. All looks well for 8 [the Pretender] and in my heart I think better than ever 9 [King George] loses himself.3

Harvey was immediately arrested, questioned by the Privy Council, and shown this letter, whereupon he showed the ‘utmost consternation’, asked to withdraw, and attempted to commit suicide by stabbing himself that night, but, though badly wounded, he recovered. On 3 May 1716 he was re-examined by the committee and committed to Newgate, from which he was released on 10 June, with Lord Barrymore as his bail.4 While on bail he did not cease from treasonable activities, for in August 1716 a Jacobite agent met Sir William Wyndham, Harvey, ‘and the rest of the King’s friends,’ who sent word to the Pretender ‘that now was the proper time for him to go about his business, and that he should immediately land in England with 5,000 regulars and 20,000 stand of arms for arming the people’. In 1718 the Stuart papers show him furnishing Lord Mar, the Jacobite secretary of state, with reports of parliamentary proceedings.5 At the time of the Atterbury plot, his correspondence with a Jacobite agent was intercepted by the Government, including a letter dated 20 July 1722 in which he wrote:

a cargo of new German ladies of the largest size are coming, and Mahomet Ulrick [the King’s Turkish servant] is to be chief over them. ... In short, only villainy, beggary and Mahomitism is countenanced by those in power.6

He was again arrested in August 1722, released on bail for £2,000, but never brought to trial.7 In his last years he expressed his anti-Hanoverian feelings by shooting pheasants which strayed into his property from Richmond Park.8 He died at Dunkirk 24 Oct. 1736.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Manning & Bray, Surr. i. 402.
  • 2. HMC Stuart, i. 322-3.
  • 3. Howell's State Trials, xv. 904-18, 925-6, 929-30.
  • 4. A Full and Authentick Narrative of the intended Horrid Conspiracy and Invasion (1715), pp. 5-9; HMC Stuart, ii. 200, 205, 227.
  • 5. HMC Stuart, iv. 57; vii. 592.
  • 6. Report from the Committee appointed by the House of Commons to examine Christopher Layer and others, and appendix H. 16.
  • 7. S P Dom. 35/32, f. 114.
  • 8. Manning & Bray, loc. cit.