HARTLEY, Winchcombe Henry (1740-94), of Bucklebury, Berks. and Little Sodbury, Glos.

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



21 Feb. 1776 - 1784
1790 - 12 Aug. 1794

Family and Education

b. 20 May 1740,1 2nd s. of David Hartley, physician and philosopher, of Bath, Som. by 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Robert Packer of Shellingford and Donnington, Berks. by Mary, da. and coh. of Sir Henry Winchcombe, 2nd Bt., of Bucklebury. educ. L. Inn 1756; Christ Church, Oxf. 1757. m. ?(1) Harriet;2 (2) 30 Aug. 1777, Mary Jenkinson, wid. of St. Anne’s, Soho (d. 15 Apr. 1786),3 s.p.; (3) 25 Aug. 1787,4 Anne, da. of Samuel Blackwell of Williamstrip Park, Glos., 1s. suc. uncle Henry John Packer to Bucklebury estates 1746.

Offices Held

Lt.-col. N. Glos. militia 1793-4.


Hartley, who joined the Whig Club shortly after his defeat at the polls in 1784, regained the Berkshire seat in 1790, when he was returned unopposed on the interest dominated by Lord Craven. A ministerial newspaper trusted that he had ‘read his recantation of the errors of the Blue and Buff party’,5 but initially he continued in opposition, condemning the war against Tipu, 2 Mar., and the armament against Spain, 28 Mar. 1791, and voting against government on the Oczakov question, 12 Apr. 1791 and 1 Mar. 1792. He was also listed a supporter of repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791.

In response to events in France, however, Hartley, who stated his hostility to parliamentary reform, 30 Apr. 1792, took an alarmist line. On the address, 13 Dec. 1792, he voted with ministers, after making a declaration of general confidence in them, which he repeated when supporting the aliens bill, 31 Dec. 1792, with the rider that they would be expected to justify the measure once the crisis was over. Listed among Members ‘supposed attached’ to Portland at the end of 1792, he was deleted from Windham’s provisional list of potential recruits for the ‘third party’, but attended their meeting of 17 Feb. 1793 by invitation. He made a further pronouncement against reform, 21 Feb. 1793.

By the following June Hartley’s health was in ruins,6 and he died 12 Aug. 1794.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. MIs St. Anne’s, Soho ed. Hughes, 52.
  • 2. According to Hartley-Russell mss (Brks. RO D/EHy).
  • 3. St. Anne’s par. reg.; MI in A. L. Humphreys, Bucklebury, 176.
  • 4. Gent. Mag. (1787), ii. 836.
  • 5. Public Advertiser, 2 July 1790.
  • 6. Berks. RO, Preston mss, Loveden to Sellwood, 13 June 1793.