PYTCHES, John (1774-1829), of Groton House, nr. Sudbury, Suff.

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



1802 - 1807

Family and Education

b. 1774, 2nd s. of John Pytches (d.1803) of Alderton by w. Mary née Westrope of Saffron Walden, Essex. m. 1 June 1798, Catherine Anne, da. and h. of John Revett of Brandeston Hall, Suff., 1s. 1da.

Offices Held


Pytches was a somewhat eccentric character. ‘Bred a maltster’, he conceived in 1793 the idea of compiling a ‘New Copious English Dictionary’ intended to supersede Dr Johnson’s by purging the English language of ‘its grossness ... its distorted phraseology and lingering anomalies’.1 After an advantageous marriage he appeared at Sudbury in March 1802 as a contender for the seat intended to be vacated by Sir James Marriott at the dissolution. The latter described him as ‘a violent republican’. His address stressed municipal freedom and the inviolacy of the constitution. He treated the freemen lavishly at his rented house at Groton.2 Eventually he forced other candidates to withdraw and was returned unopposed, though he had to face a petition for treating.

In his maiden speech Pytches assailed the address, ‘a salmagundi ... replete with servile adulation’. He quoted Dr Johnson and deprecated the threat of resumed hostilities with France, 28 Nov. 1802. He ‘did not succeed’.3 On 5 Apr. 1803 he opposed the coroners bill as affording them too much luxury in the way of travelling expenses. He voted with opposition on 24 May 1803, when war was imminent. On 10 and 13 Apr. 1804 he denounced the Irish militia offer bill and was in all the known divisions against Addington’s ministry between 10 and 25 Apr. Listed ‘Fox’ in May and ‘Fox and Grenville’ in September, he was an opponent of Pitt’s additional force bill in June, voting for its repeal on 6 Mar. 1805. He also opposed war with Spain, 12 Feb. 1805, and spoke against the suspension of habeas corpus in Ireland, 14 Feb., as it treated the Irish like ‘froward children’. He was in the majority against Melville, 8 Apr., advocated criminal proceedings against him ‘with some warmth’, 29 Apr., and reproached Wilberforce for his panegyric on Melville’s successor at the Admiralty, 10 May. On 11 June, supporting Whitbread’s motion for impeachment, he r