MAINWARING, George Boulton (b. ?1773).

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



9 Aug. 1804 - 5 Mar. 1805
10 Feb. 1806 - 1806

Family and Education

b. ?1773, s. of William Mainwaring*. educ. ?Tonbridge 1789-90; St. John’s, Camb. 1790, aged 17; L. Inn 1795, called 1815. m. 9 June 1804, Letitia, da. of Rev. Philip Wodehouse, rector of Hingham, Norf., 2s. 2da.

Offices Held

County treasurer, Mdx. 1804-22; magistrate at Worship Street police court 1816-20, at Great Marlborough Street 1820-2.


Contemporary gossip points to some irregularity in the circumstances of Mainwaring’s birth. George III told Glenbervie that

young Manwaring is not a son of Manwaring ... but a natural son of Mrs Manwaring to whom she had given the name of Manwaring to disguise this circumstance, and that she is said to use him particularly ill lest she should be suspected to be more partial to him than to her real children by Manwaring.

Lord Minto’s version was that ‘he was born before his father had married his mother, and although he married her afterwards, young Mainwaring continues illegitimate by the law of England’.1

Whatever the truth may be, he became a partner in his father’s London banking concern in 1799 and owed his appointment as treasurer of Middlesex, 5 July 1804, to his father’s influence as chairman of the county bench. Four days later the election of 1802 for the county seat from which William Mainwaring had been ousted by Sir Francis Burdett was declared void. Only after obtaining a guarantee of indemnity from all personal expense did George Mainwaring accept the invitation of the leaders of the establishment and City interests who had supported his father to contest the issue again with Burdett. He was returned by five votes after a bitter and sordid contest, but the King confided to Glenbervie that

he had told Pitt that [as] this election must have been very expensive and Manwaring a man of no fortune or consequence, he would probably find it necessary on a future occasion to substitute in his place some man of family and importance, and that he would have to provide for Manwaring at one of the boards, which he would remind him of when the occasion happens.2

In the government list of September 1804 he was classed as a supporter of Pitt but, after taking his seat, 15 Jan. 1805, he had little chance to make a mark in the House before he was unseated on Burdett’s petition, 5 Mar. He challenged the decision, was reinstated, 10 Feb. 1806, and resumed his seat three days later. He was hostile to the ‘Talents’, and voted against them on the question of Ellenborough’s seat in the cabinet, 3 Mar. 1806. Although he ‘reluctantly’ supported the repeal of the Additional Force Act, 30 Apr., he made it clear, in a maiden speech, that his vote was determined by his own and his constituents’ objections to its oppressive effects on populous parishes and not by any enthusiasm for the government’s proposed alternatives. He voted against the second reading of the American intercourse bill, 17 June, and, opposing the third reading, 8 July, described the attitude of ministers on that and previous occasions as ‘an insult to the House’. He did not seek re-election at the general election of 1806. In 1807 he investigated the possibilities at Chichester but found nothing to encourage him to persevere.3

Mainwaring remained a powerful ally of his father in the conduct of county business. As well as the treasurership, he held responsibility for militia business and by 1816 was in receipt of £500 a year. The failure of the family bank in 1814 revealed that he owed the county £9,177. His brother-in-law Edmund Wodehouse* stood surety of £10,000 for payment of the debt and combined with others to provide the £13,000 required as security for Mainwaring’s continued execution of the office. In April 1815 George Byng, the county Member, tried to force his dismissal, but the proposal was defeated by 40 votes to 4. Mainwaring gave evidence before the select committee on criminal law reform in 1819 and in 1821 published Observations on the present state of the police in the metropolis, which enjoyed some small success. A fresh scandal over financial irregularities in the management of the county funds broke late in the same year and inquiries revealed a further debt to the county of over £18,000. Mainwaring failed to find adequate securities, evidence of blatant misappropriation came to light and he resigned in March 1822, alluding penitently to ‘transactions which have finally involved me in my present melancholy situation’. Byng promoted a bill to regulate the office of county treasurer, which was hurried through Parliament before the end of the session.4

Mainwaring probably went to live on the Continent. In 1840 his eldest daughter was married at the British embassy in Berne.5 His widow died in 1864, but the date of his own death has not been ascertained.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: Richard Brown / David R. Fisher


  • 1. Glenbervie Diaries, i. 394; NLS mss 11058, f. 19.
  • 2. See MIDDLESEX: Glenbervie Diaries, i. 394.
  • 3. NLI, Richmond mss 69/1226, 1234.
  • 4. Greater London RO, Mdx. sessions recs. MJ/OC, orders of court bks., 5 July 1804, 1 Dec. 1814, 6 Apr. 1815, 7, 21, 27 Mar., 18 Apr. 1822; S. and B. Webb, English Local Govt. i. 562-6; L. Radzinowicz, Hist. English Criminal Law, i. 543, 588; iii. 377, 412.
  • 5. Gent. Mag. (1840), ii. 649.