HANBURY, John (1744-84), of Pontypool, Mon.
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Family and Education
b. 6 Aug. 1744, o.s. of Capel Hanbury. educ. Eton 1753. m. 12 Feb. 1774, Jane, da. of Morgan Lewis of St. Pierre, Mon., 3s. suc. fa. 7 Dec. 1765.
The Hanburys had large estates in Monmouthshire and were proprietors of extensive ironworks at Pontypool. The family had held a county seat since 1720, and John Hanbury’s election on his father’s death was popular and unanimous.1 In Parliament Hanbury, like his father, was one of the independent Members attached to the Rockingham group, and he voted steadily with Opposition from 1766 until the fall of the North ministry in 1782. Surviving division lists indicate that he attended regularly at times of crisis: he was in the minority in all five divisions on Wilkes in 1769, and was present at the Opposition dinner at the end of the session; he was present at four of the five important divisions in 1780, and at all five in 1782. That Hanbury had inherited also his father’s sympathy with nonconformists is suggested by his vote of 1772 in the minority over the 39 Articles.
Hanbury doubtless supported the Rockingham ministry of 1782, but his independence was shown when Fox led the former Rockinghams into opposition to the Shelburne Administration. Hanbury voted for that ministry over the peace on 18 Feb. 1783, although John Robinson in the next month reckoned him a follower of Fox. Hanbury, too, was one of the Coalition supporters who voted on 7 May for Pitt’s proposals on parliamentary reform. He was absent during the important session of 1783-4, Robinson carefully noting the reason:2 ‘Mr. Hanbury is in a very ill state of health, and for that and other causes he is gone abroad. His life has been thought precarious for some time.’
He died at Rouen on 6 Apr. 1784, two days before his fifth unopposed return for Monmouthshire.