FANE, Charles (aft.1707-1766), of Basildon, nr. Reading, Berks.
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Family and Education
b. after 17071, 1st s. of Charles, 1st Visct. Fane [I], by Mary, da. of Alexander Stanhope, sis. of James, 1st Earl Stanhope. m. 7 June 1749, Susanna, da. of John Marriott of Sturton Hall, Suff., wid. of Sir William Juxon, 2nd Bt., of Little Compton, Glos., s.p. suc. fa. 7 July 1744.
Minister to Tuscany 1734-9.
Fane had for many years been connected with the Duke of Bedford, on whose interest he was returned for Tavistock, and whose political line he followed in the House. In 1754 Fane, whose estates were near Reading, contested the borough, and was returned by a majority of one vote over the Administration candidate John Dodd. When Dodd petitioned against Fane’s return, Bedford immediately began organizing support, and on 19 Nov. 1754 wrote to Lord Upper Ossory:2
The great personal friendship I have for Lord Fane, and the great opinion I have of his honesty and abilities, must always make me look upon those who engage at my request in this just defence of his cause, against the arbitrary power of a minister, as personal friends to myself.
I had conversation this day at Reading, with Lord Fane ... His Lordship I have known from boy’s age, and his worth and honour inferior to none. His language is very manly: to your humble servant very obliging upon my public situation.
And on 26 Nov. 1754 John Calcraft wrote to Lord Digby:5 ‘At night was the first committee of elections. Mr. Pitt got up to move for a day for Reading, in order, as is guessed, to make a panegyric on Lord Fane, which he did very finely.’
In Dupplin’s list of 1754 Fane is classed as an Opposition Whig. When, towards the end of 1755, Bedford made his peace with Administration Fane followed. Yet he voted with Opposition on the Minorca inquiry, 26 Apr. 1757.6 There is no record of his having spoken in the House.
Fane did not contest Reading at the general election of 1761, having promised to withdraw if Dodd were chosen (presumably at a borough meeting). He does not seem to have attempted to re-enter Parliament elsewhere. In the remaining years before his death on 24 Jan. 1766 he appears to have been short of money. His nephew Charles de Salis wrote to his mother on 16 Apr. 1766: ‘I am afraid ... all the personal and real estates subject to the payment of Lord Fane’s debts do not amount to much more than the lists of debts we have got in.’7