BRODRICK, George, 3rd Visct. Midleton [I] (1730-65), of Peper Harrow, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. 3 Oct. 1730, 1st s. of Alan, 2nd Visct. Midleton, by Mary, da. of Algernon Capel, 2nd Earl of Essex. educ. Eton 1742-5. m. 1 May 1752, Albinia, da. of Hon. Thomas Townshend, sis. of Thomas, 1st Visct. Sydney, 6s. 3da. suc. fa. 8 June 1747.
Returned at Ashburton on the interest of John Harris, Midleton throughout his parliamentary career was a close follower of Newcastle. In 1756 Newcastle offered him a place at the Board of Trade which Midleton refused, fearing he might not be returned again at Ashburton, where in any case he was not ‘very ambitious ... of the honour of a second recommendation from Mr. Harris’.1 But he was anxious for office, and in November 1758 applied for that of comptroller of the Household if Lord Edgcumbe, who had just succeeded to the peerage, should resign, pressing the application ‘because I apprehend that there can be no great difficulty in my being elected for the borough which Lord Edgumbe must vacate by his peerage’.2 This application having failed, Midleton continued unsuccessfully to press for office, and on 17 Feb. 1761 wrote to Newcastle:3
I do not imagine that your Grace would have given the same answers as you have given to me, to a person whom you really intended to serve, and therefore I look upon them to be meant to prevent any future application from me ... These things which I have mentioned I have the vanity to think I had a right to ask for. And I think also that if my connexions had been with other persons I should not so frequently have failed in my applications.
Nevertheless: ‘As a minister, and the head of that set of men ... whom I shall ever consider as the truest friends to this country my respect for your Grace can never fail.’ He received no appointment, but at the general election Newcastle introduced him at New Shoreham where he was returned unopposed, and at Newcastle’s request on 13 Nov. 1761 he moved the Address.
Midleton remained with Newcastle when he went into opposition, and strongly opposed the peace terms, introducing the motion to postpone consideration of the peace preliminaries, 1 Dec. 1762. In January, 1763 Newcastle wrote that Midleton, with Lord Villiers and Thomas Pelham, was determined ‘to cry aloud and spare not’ in opposition.4 After Wilkes’s arrest Midleton visited him at the Tower, writing to Newcastle that it was ‘very necessary for every honest and independent man to show him all the countenance he can’.5 He voted with the minority in all the divisions on Wilkes, and though in December 1764 thought that they had ‘trifled away the most favourable opportunities last year with a very formidable party’, yet believed that if ‘all the remaining persons ... would act in harmony and spirit’ they might still rescue the country from the ‘present detestable ministry’.6 Ill-health prevented him from attending the meeting at Claremont to consider whether to take office, 30 June 1765, but on July 2, 5 and 9 in lists submitted to the King Midleton was suggested as treasurer of the navy.7 He preferred however ‘the view of a peerage to any other consideration’, and on 21 July 1765 wrote to Newcastle reminding him of a promise to apply for one on his behalf, and on 24 July received the assurance from Newcastle: ‘I have taken those steps which I thought most proper to obtain it.’8 But Midleton died 22 Aug. 1765.