BATHURST, Henry, Lord Apsley (1762-1834), of Oakley Park, Cirencester, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. 22 May 1762, 1st s. of Henry Bathurst†, 2nd Earl Bathurst, by 2nd w. Tryphena, da. of Thomas Scawen of Maidwell, Northants. educ. Eton 1773-8; Christ Church, Oxf. 1779. m. 1 Apr. 1789, Georgiana, da. of Lord George Henry Lennox†, 4s. 2da. suc. fa. as 3rd Earl Bathurst 6 Aug. 1794; KG 24 July 1817.
Ld. of Admiralty Dec. 1783-Aug. 1789, of Treasury Aug. 1789-June 1791; teller of Exchequer 1790-d.; commr. Board of Control June 1793-July 1802; PC 21 June 1793; jt. clerk of the crown in Chancery 1801-16, sole clerk 1816-d.; master of Mint July 1804-Feb. 1806, Apr. 1807-Oct. 1812; pres. Board of Trade Mar. 1807-Sept. 1812; sec. of state for Foreign affairs Oct.-Dec. 1809; sec. of state for War and Colonies June 1812-Apr. 1827; ld. pres. of Council Jan. 1828-d.
Capt. commdt. Cirencester vol. cav. 1803.
Apsley, a personal friend and protégé of Pitt, was returned for Cirencester on his father’s interest at the contested general election of 1790, which took place less than a month after his re-election for the borough on succeeding Lord Hardwicke to one of the valuable sinecure tellerships, to which he had been granted the reversion in 1786. He voted for abolition of the slave trade, 18 Apr., was listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland that month, and sat on the committee of inquiry into the Prince of Wales’s use of funds granted for Carlton House, 3 June 1791. Shortly afterwards he relinquished his seat at the Treasury board, but he returned to office at the Board of Control in 1793. George III referred in 1796 to his ‘natural diffidence’ and he is not known to have spoken in the Commons between 1790 and his removal to the Lords by his father’s death in 1794.1
The bulk of his political career lies outside the scope of this work. For a total of almost 23 years between 1807 and his retirement from public life in 1830 he was a competent cabinet minister, serving under four prime ministers. In the 1820s his annual emoluments from active and nominal offices exceeded £10,000 and he proved adept at securing provision from public funds for his kith and kin. After his death, 27 July 1834, Charles Greville, once his private secretary, wrote of him:
He was a very amiable man and with a good understanding, though his talents were far from brilliant, a High Churchman and a High Tory, but a cool politician, a bad speaker, a good writer, greatly averse to changes but unwillingly acquiescing in many. He was nervous and reserved with a good deal of humour, and habitually a jester ... From what I have learnt from others I am disposed to rate his abilities more highly than the world has done.2