SOUTHWELL, Edward (1738-77), of Henbury, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. 6 June 1738, o.s. of Edward Southwell of King’s Weston, Glos. by Catherine, da. of Lewis Watson, Visct. Sondes, sis. of Thomas, 3rd Earl of Rockingham. educ. Westminster 1748-c. 51; Pembroke, Camb. 1748. m. 29 Aug. 1765, Sophia, da. of Samuel Campbell of Mount Campbell, co. Leitrim, 4s. 5da. The abeyance of the barony of de Clifford was terminated in his favour 17 Apr. 1776.
In 1761 Southwell successfully contested Bridgwater on the interest of his distant cousin Lord Egmont. He appears in Henry Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries, December 1762, and voted with the Administration on the Address on the preliminaries,1 but in the autumn of 1763 was classed by Jenkinson as ‘doubtful’.
Early in October 1763 Southwell declared himself a candidate for Gloucestershire. He was supported there by Norborne Berkeley, trustee for the young Duke of Beaufort, and Member for the county. Berkeley obtained for Southwell the support of George Grenville who arranged for him to vacate the seat at Bridgwater, and ensured his unopposed return for Gloucestershire.2 Likewise in 1768 and 1774 Southwell was returned unopposed. Nevertheless he seems to have been thoroughly independent; he voted with Opposition on general warrants, 15 and 18 Feb. 1764 (though noted in the list of 18 Feb. as normally a friend to Government); was classed as ‘doubtful’ by Newcastle on 10 May 1764, and by Rockingham in July 1765 and November 1769; and voted with Opposition on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767. On the expulsion of Wilkes, 3 Feb. 1769, he voted with Administration, but with Opposition on the Middlesex election, 25 Jan. 1770; and Robinson, in his two surveys on the royal marriage bill, March 1772, marked him as ‘pro, present’. He voted with Opposition on the naval captains’ petition, 9 Feb. 1773, and on Grenville’s Act, 25 Feb. 1774, yet in each case was marked in the King’s list as a friend, and Robinson in his survey of September 1774 listed him as a Government supporter. His only recorded vote in the next Parliament was with Opposition on Wilkes, 22 Feb. 1775. There is no record of his having spoken in the House. On 17 Apr. 1776, shortly after the death of Southwell’s maternal great aunt, Margaret, Countess of Leicester and suo jure Baroness de Clifford, the barony was called out of abeyance in his favour, thus vacating his seat.
He died 1 Nov. 1777.