LEVESON GOWER, Hon. John (1740-92), of Bill Hill, nr. Wokingham, Berks.

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



1784 - 1790
1790 - 15 Aug. 1792

Family and Education

b. 11 July 1740, 6th s. of John, 1st Earl Gower, by 3rd w. Lady Mary Tufton, da. and coh. of Thomas Tufton, 6th Earl of Thanet, wid. of Anthony Grey, styled Earl of Harold. m. 5 July 1773, Frances, da. of Hon. Edward Boscawen of Hollands Park, Surr., 5s. 3da.

Offices Held

Lt. RN 1758, capt. 1760, r.-adm. 1787.

Ld. of Admiralty Jan.-Apr. 1783, Dec. 1783-Aug. 1789.


Leveson, described by Lord Sandwich in 1778 as ‘perhaps one of the most valuable officers in the King’s service’, resigned his place at the Admiralty Board in 1789 in consequence of Lord Chatham’s ‘incivility’, but continued to support administration.1 His kinsman Lord Thanet at first declined to return him a second time for Appleby but afterwards changed his mind—too late, for Leveson had already been offered an opening by his brother at Newcastle-under-Lyme, where he got in after a contest. There is no indication of political activity after 1790: Leveson was first captain to Lord Howe in the naval armament against Spain that year, until Howe displaced him in October. In 1791 he was listed among opponents of the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland. In January 1792 he was talked of as likely to succeed to the command on the Newfoundland station. He died of an apoplectic fit ‘while shaving himself’, 15 Aug. 1792.2

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Fortescue, Corresp. of George III, iv. 226; HMC Var. vi. 347.
  • 2. Kent AO, Sackville mss C195(118), Leveson Gower to Duke of Dorset, 24 Apr. 1790; PRO 30/8/367, ff. 191-7; Public Advertiser, 27 Jan. 1792; Gent. Mag. (1792), ii. 774.