PLEYDELL BOUVERIE, Jacob, Visct. Folkestone (1750-1828).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



15 June 1771 - 28 Jan. 1776

Family and Education

b. 4 Mar. 1750, 1st s. of Hon. William Bouverie, 1st Earl of Radnor, by his 1st w. Harriet, da. and h. of Sir Mark Stuart Pleydell, 1st Bt., of Coleshill, Berks.; half-bro. of Hon. Bartholomew and Hon. William Henry Bouverie.  educ. Harrow 1762; Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1767.  m. 24 Jan. 1777, Hon. Anne Duncombe, da. and h. of Anthony, 1st Lord Feversham of Downton, 5s. 3da.  suc. to estates of his maternal gd.-fa. 1768 and took name of Pleydell before Bouverie; and fa. as 2nd Earl of Radnor 28 Jan. 1776.

Offices Held

Ld. lt. Berks. 1791-1819.


Folkestone’s note books, containing details of proceedings and the text of his speeches in Parliament, are in the possession of the Earl of Radnor. No correspondence appears to have survived.

Folkestone took his seat on 27 Jan. 1772, being introduced by Charles Marsham; and made his maiden speech on 6 Feb. 1772, in opposition to the petition for relief from subscription to the 39 Articles. He spoke twelve times that session. Ecclesiastical questions seem to have interested him particularly: though ‘a sincere friend to the Church of England’ he voted for the extension of the nullum tempus principle to ecclesiastical property, 17 Feb. 1772, and spoke for the bill to relieve Protestant Dissenters, 14 Apr. 1772. He made his longest speech against the royal marriage bill, 11 Mar. 1772, and opposed it at every stage of its passage. He voted for a bill to determine the ineligibility of persons to sit in Parliament, 27 Feb. 1772, and for a bill to shorten the duration of Parliament, 4 Mar. 1772—both favourite Opposition topics. At the end of the session he was clearly in Opposition, yet he never identified himself with any party; and his status in the House was such that he was elected to Burgoyne’s select committee on East India affairs, 16 Apr. 1772.

He attended regularly during the session 1772-3, but appears to have spoken only twice: in support of the motion condemning the expedition to St. Vincent, 15 Feb. 1773, and against the bill to allow the Adam brothers to dispose of the Adelphi by lottery. On East India questions and on the renewal of Wilkes’s case, 26 Apr. 1773, he voted against Government. On 25 Feb. 1774 he voted for the motion to make Grenville’s Election Act perpetual; and in six divisions on the Quebec bill voted against Government. His speeches 1774-6 were mostly on private or non-political measures: he spoke five times against the copyright bill; five times against the grant of a new charter to Saltash, and three times against a bill for erecting a lighthouse on the Welsh coast. He voted against Government on America, and his last speech in the Commons, 4 Dec. 1775, was to move an amendment to the bill for prohibiting trade with the colonies. At the end of each session he jotted down how many times he had divided: during his career in the Commons he was with the majority on 47 divisions and with the minority on 127.

He made his first speech in the Lords on 20 May 1776, and voted regularly with Opposition until 1782. He voted against Fox’s East India bill, and after 1784 supported Pitt.

He died 27 Jan. 1828.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke