GLOVER, Richard (c.1750-1822), of St. James's, Westminster.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1790 - 1796

Family and Education

b. c.1750, 2nd s. of Richard Glover of Exchange Alley, London by 1st w. Hannah Nunn (whom he div. in 1756). unm. suc. bro. Capt. Glover c.1794.

Offices Held


Dicky Glover, a son of ‘Leonidas’ Glover the poet politician,1 provided Horace Walpole with an anecdote in February 1777, when he reported that ‘Dayrolles’ daughter has eloped to Leonidas Glover’s youngest son who is a friend of Lord Carmarthen: Lady Carmarthen has harboured, and the countess her mother has forbidden her daughter her court’.2 The elopement does not seem to have led to marriage, while Lady Carmarthen herself eloped in the following year, which led to a divorce. Carmarthen, who succeeded his father as Duke of Leeds in 1789, returned Glover on his interest at Penryn in 1790, ‘in the most liberal and handsome manner’.3

Writing to the duke on 17 Mar. 17984 and referring to their friendship of 30 years, then on the rocks, Glover recalled that apart from being brought into Parliament his great expectations from their association had invariably been disappointed: in 1782, when he was about to set out for Portugal, having decided to go ‘again upon the Continent’, the duke had persuaded him to stay nearer home so as to be available for employment: so he had confined himself to Brussels and Spa. Just when disillusion had driven him to Nancy, the duke was appointed ambassador at Paris and invited Glover to join him. He had hopes of becoming his secretary, but another was appointed before the project collapsed. Even when the duke became secretary of state under Pitt, he still

obtained no employment ... and yet your Grace seemed to wish to keep up my hopes, by often throwing out not merely insinuations, but something ... amounting to an assurance, that when Mr Pottinger should leave the world, I might expect to succeed to his place: that event did take place, and instead of me, somebody else succeeded and no explanation ever has taken place.

When the duke disagreed with Pitt and went out of office, Glover was still ‘in a very limited state with regard to my circumstances’ and ‘being perpetually asked why my friend the duke had done nothing for me’, had ‘no reply to make’.

Being returned to Parliament by the duke and coming into an inheritance inclined him ‘to forget all’ and he claimed that he no longer wished for emolument and only wanted employment:

By my constant attendance in Parliament I did make that my employment, and it did fortunately so happen that your Grace and myself agreed throughout the whole Parliament, except upon one subject (the sedition bills), and we came to a compromise upon that business, that I should not vote upon the question.

(Charles Abbot reported that Glover voted for the bills, 10 Nov. 1795) He went on to say that while he was complimented in the House for his assiduity, he was unable to attend near the close of the Parliament owing to ‘a long and severe illness’, and also mentioned the duke’s conduct over Grey’s peace motion, which he had requested him to support. Glover, who had nothing to say in debate but had twice voted with Fox and Grey in favour of peace, 26 Jan., 29 Oct. 1795, although his health was breaking down, had stayed until three o’clock in the morning on purpose to give his vote (this would probably be 15 Feb. 1796), only to find that his patron had not stayed to vote on the motion in the Lords. After this he stayed away and in any case became so ill that he had to reside out of town to restore his health, ‘which by great care I recovered, and I think the dissolution soon after took place’.

The point of Glover’s remonstrative letter to the duke was that he expected to be ‘again brought into Parliament’ in 1796, having frequently expressed his ‘satisfaction in being so placed’, not because he had ‘the smallest idea of interested views by being in Parliament’, but considering a seat ‘besides being an occupation to me, as a situation which makes a man of some consequence in the state, if he conducts himself honourably, which I flatter myself I have done’. He admitted that the duke had given up Penryn, but noted that he had brought in two ‘strangers’ for Helston. He wondered whether the duke had discarded him because he was ‘rather too much biased in favour of the present administration, for the world in general seem to think you seem inclined to the other side’; yet he found that the duke’s nominees for Helston ‘vote on the side of government’.

In his reply5 the duke claimed that the ‘termination of our friendship’ was Glover’s ‘own act’: he was surprised to discover what expectations he had formed and denied that he had had the opportunity to serve him: employing him ‘in the foreign line’ had never entered his mind and there was no ‘great desire of mutual accommodation between ministers in my time’ which would have enabled him to find him employment in another department, such as ‘a place in the privy seal office after Mr Pottery’s [sic] death’. The duke went on to say that had he gone lord lieutenant to Ireland (‘with which I was once threatened’), he intended to make Glover Black Rod, and he had tried in vain to place him in the Household. As to the seat in Parliament, he would have been happy to return him for Penryn, had his connexion with that borough continued, but had not returned him for Helston because of ‘a hope expressed by some of the leading people that the Duke of Leeds would not recommend Mr Glover to them at the general election’. He concluded by offering Glover ‘many congratulations on your late acquisitions, and heartily wishing you better health and spirits to enjoy them’.

Glover subsequently met the duke ‘by accident in Hertford Street’ and a ‘short conversation’ ensued, during which he claimed that the duke’s agent at Helston had fabricated the story of the electors’ objection to him as their representative: he made ‘strict and careful inquiries’ and obtained ‘proofs’ of this, so he informed the duke, 3 Dec. 1798. The duke replied next day that he was sorry ‘the Helston business’ still haunted Glover’s memory as he had had no intention of returning him there. Had he known of any iniquity on the part of his agent, he should probably discharge him ‘without being instructed so to do’. He had heard that Glover was ‘about to take a wife’ and hoped he would be happy, being ‘ever, dear Glover, whether in or out of favour with you’ at his service. The duke died in the following year and Glover was never again in Parliament, though he had attempted to be of service to the duke’s heir in 1798 when the latter sought to be summoned to the Lords as Baron Conyers in his mother’s right.6

Deprived of ‘a situation which makes a man of some consequence in the state’, Glover became ‘a prosing boring old bachelor’ and had to content himself with smaller satisfactions; in January 1811, during the King’s illness, he came to Lady Hampden’s, according to Lord Glenbervie

and told us he had seen a letter from Dr Heberden to Lord—written last week in which he mentioned that the King had asked him that day if he knew whether the army and navy had been paid. That he had said he understood that Mr Perceval had issued the money for that purpose on his responsibility and that the King then said he hoped the ministers had acquainted Parliament with this.

Glover died 20 Aug. 1822. His will, with 102 codicils, bestowed legacies of £50 and upwards on a galaxy of lords and ladies, including the Duke of Leeds’s family, and referred to a journal which he left to Sir Richard Carr Glyn*.7

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Glenbervie Diaries, ii. 120.
  • 2. Corresp. (Yale ed.), xxviii. 288.
  • 3. Add. 28067, ff. 180-7.
  • 4. Ibid.; PRO 30/9/31.
  • 5. Add. 28067, f. 188.
  • 6. Ibid. ff. 196, 198.
  • 7. Warrenne Blake, Irish Beauty, 49; Glenbervie Diaries, ii. 120; Gent. Mag. (1822), ii. 284; PCC 588 Herschell.