SCOTT, Hon. John (1774-1805).

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



23 Aug. 1799 - 24 Dec. 1805

Family and Education

b. 8 Mar. 1774, 1st s. of Sir John Scott*, afterwards 1st Earl of Eldon, by Elizabeth, da. of Aubone Surtees, banker, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb.; bro. of Hon. William Henry Scott*. educ. Charterhouse 1786-92; Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1792; L. Inn 1801. m. 22 Aug. 1804, Henrietta Elizabeth, da. of Sir Matthew White Ridley, 2nd Bt.*, of Blagdon, Northumb., 1s.

Offices Held

Vol. London and Westminster light horse 1798-1804.


Scott was idolized by his parents, having been a delicate only child until he was nearly ten years old. He suffered from asthma and his father ruled out a profession: ‘John, there must be some idle men in the world’. When his father entered the Lords as chief justice in 1799, he succeeded him as Member for Boroughbridge on the 4th Duke of Newcastle’s interest. In September 1801 it was suggested that he might offer for county Durham on Rowland Burdon’s retirement. His father dissented for fear of the expense, which would be ‘a gross injury to John’:

it would break up all that I have been projecting to render peerage to him a tolerable evil. Besides this, a man ought to have a certainly continuous income, very large indeed, who can have a son, in his lifetime, living as the Member of a county ... I pay now, to and for John, about £1,000 a year, that is £800 to himself, £80 for his income tax, and the rest for his chambers in Lincoln’s Inn.

In other respects, Scott never gave his father any uneasiness.

One of the most amiable young men of the age ... He had an unfortunate hesitation in his delivery which ... prevented him from shining in public; but his attainments and judgment made him truly dear to all who knew him.1

Before the election of 1802 Scott intended to relinquish his seat at the dissolution to go abroad. He made no mark in the House, though like his father, and uncle Sir William Scott*, he was reported by Canning in February 1802 to be ‘against the Doctor on the peace’. He changed his mind about relinquishing the seat, but went to France that year. No vote of his against Addington’s ministry is known, but on 6 Mar. 1804, on the volunteer consolidation bill, he ‘walked out of the House ... just as they began to divide’.2 He was subsequently listed an adherent of Pitt’s second ministry and confirmed it by his vote against the censure of Melville, 8 Apr. 1805.

Scott died v.p. 24 Dec. 1805, a fortnight after the birth of his son and heir and to the inexpressible grief of his parents. He had in February expressed a wish to be buried at Cheshunt.3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: Winifred Stokes / R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Twiss, Eldon, i. 350, 500-8; Add. 34455, f. 429; Gent. Mag. (1805), ii. 1182.
  • 2. Nottingham Univ. Lib. Newcastle mss NeC 6059; PRO 30/29/8/2, f. 210; Lonsdale mss, Ward to Lowther, 8 Mar. 1804.
  • 3. Twiss, i. 504.