LE HEUP, Isaac (c.1686-1747), of Gunthorpe, Norf.
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Family and Education
b. c.1686, 1st s. of Thomas Le Heup of St. Lo, Normandy, and St. Anne’s, Westminster by Jeanne, da. of Pierre Harmon of Caen, Normandy. m. 10 Aug. 1720, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Peter Lombard of Burnham Thorpe, Norf., tailor to Queen Anne, 1s. 2da.; bro.-in-law to Horatio Walpole, 1st Baron Walpole. suc. fa. 1736.
Envoy to the Diet at Ratisbon 1726-7; envoy to Sweden 1727; commr. of customs 1741-2.
The son of a Huguenot who had emigrated to England on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Le Heup was connected by his marriage with Horace Walpole, who describes him as ‘a man of great wit and greater brutality’.1 Returned for Bodmin as a government supporter in 1722, he purchased Gunthorpe from the trustees of the South Sea Company in 1726, when he was appointed British representative at the Diet of Ratisbon, only to be expelled in April 1727 as a reprisal for the expulsion of the Imperial minister from London.2 In July 1727 he was sent as envoy to Stockholm, from which he was immediately recalled ‘for very indecent behaviour’ to the Prince of Wales at Hanover3 on his way to take up his appointment. He was said to have told the Prince
amongst other insolent and rude expressions ... that he and his family had kept his father and grandfather upon the throne, which was more than all the German princes could do, and that if they did not please him (for he was independent, had £10,000 a year, and did not care a straw for all of them), he would turn Jacobite.4
On learning of his recall, he wrote to Townshend (22 Sept.):
The heavy concern I labour under and my ignorance of the particulars with which I am charged hindered me from writing to your Lordship on this unfortunate behaviour of mine ... I shall not now undertake to say anything to excuse what I have done nor palliate facts of which I do not know the least little but what I have been informed of since I came to Sweden, and which I thought to have been an invention of some enemy’s, when I heard the first report of my having committed any fault against the respect due to his Royal Highness ... I have received the mortifying news, that his Highness hath complained of me himself which convinces that I have been guilty of some most unpardonable fault, though I hope still to find the heinous circumstances with which it is told not to be true, and whatsoever my offence is, his goodness is so great, that I conceive hopes that he will grant me his pardon, which I have begged in the humblest manner upon the first apprehension I had of it, and hope that it will be imputed to a phrenzy caused by my want of rest and excess of heat and wine for which last I beg forgiveness heartily, and hope his Highness will become my mediator to the King that he will most graciously please to bear no farther resentment of the guilt of my tongue which on this occasion most certainly held no correspondence with my heart.5
He never received another diplomatic appointment. Unsuccessful for Wallingford in 1727, he was returned for Grampound in 1732 and for Callington, a Walpole borough, in 1734, voting with the Administration in every recorded division. He did not stand in 1741, was made a commissioner of customs the following August, but was dismissed a year later, following the fall of Walpole.
He died 25 Apr. 1747, aged 61.