PARKER, Sir Peter, 1st Bt. (?1721-1811), of Bassingbourn, Cambs.
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Family and Education
b. ?1721, 3rd s. of Adm. Christopher Parker. m. in or bef. 1761, Margaret, da. of Walter Nugent, 2s. 2da. Kntd. 10 June 1772; cr. Bt. 13 Jan. 1783.
Entered navy as a boy; capt. 1747; r.-adm. 1777; v.-adm. 1779; adm. 1787; adm. of the Fleet 1799.
Parker served during the American war as commander of a squadron in North American waters, and from 1777 to 1783 as commander-in-chief at Jamaica. In 1784 he was adopted at almost the last moment as Government candidate at Seaford after the original candidates had withdrawn:1 it is not certain whether or not this was done with his knowledge. The election was contested, and since the returning officer had failed to give the statutory notice it was declared void. It seems that Parker wished his son to be a candidate at this second election,2 but in the event he himself stood again; and after another contest was unseated on petition. Although classed by William Adam in May 1784 as Administration, he voted against Pitt over Richmond’s fortifications plan, 27 Feb. 1786.
A year later Parker was returned for Maldon. He voted against the impeachment of Impey, 9 May 1788, but with the Opposition on the Regency. Lord Sandwich wrote to J. W. Payne in Nov. 1788:
I think I have secured another friend to our cause who will do us credit, the person I mean is Sir Peter Parker; he is to dine with me on Wednesday next.
And on Thursday:
Sir P. Parker dined with me yesterday and declared before all the company that for the future his political conduct should be guided by mine: he is much fixed, and as eager in our present cause as anyone among us.3
Only two speeches by Parker are reported, both on the system of promotion in the navy.4 He seems not to have stood in 1790.
Parker died 21 Dec. 1811, aged 90.