DERING, Sir Edward Cholmeley, 8th bt. (1807-1896), of Surrenden Dering, nr. Ashford , Kent
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Family and Education
b. 19 Nov. 1807, o.s. of Edward Dering of Barham, Kent and Henrietta, da. and coh. of Richard Nevill† of Furness, co. Kildare. educ. Harrow 1821-4; Christ Church, Oxf. 1827. m. 10 Apr. 1832, Hon. Jane Edwardes, da. of William Edwardes, 2nd Bar. Kensington [I]†, 6s. (3 d.v.p.) 1da. suc. fa. 1808; grandfa. Sir Edward Dering, 7th bt., of Surrenden Dering as 8th bt. 30 June 1811. d. 1 Apr. 1896.
Maj. E. Kent yeoman cav. 1830, lt.-col. 1861-3.
Dering’s father, the eldest son of Sir Edward Dering, 7th bt., died, aged 25, in 1808, leaving the infant as heir apparent to the baronetcy and the Kent estates, which had been in the family for about 400 years. His mother remarried in 1810 another Kent landowner, Sir William Geary, 2nd bt. (1756-1825), of Oxenhoath, Member for the county, 1796-1806, 1812-1818. Dering came into his inheritance on the sudden death of his grandfather in 1811. (In a codicil to his will, dated 24 Apr. 1809, the baronet had provided £1,265 to clear his late son’s outstanding debts.) During his minority Dering’s affairs were managed by his great-uncle Cholmeley Dering† (1766-1836) of Regency Place, Brighton.1
He had a conventional education and came of age in November 1828. Seven months later his mother put him up in absentia for Wexford, where her father Richard Nevill had alternated the nomination until his death in 1822 with the 2nd marquess of Ely. Lady Geary and her distant kinsman Henry Evans*, Nevill’s nominee, quarrelled with Ely who, denying the continued validity of the electoral pact, started his relative Sir Robert Wigram*. Dering was beaten at the poll, but his mother financed a petition. The committee, having decided that non-resident voters were ineligible, declared Dering duly elected on 15 Mar. 1830, and he took the oaths and his seat two days later.2 He divided, with other disaffected Tories, for abolition of the Irish viceroyalty, 11 May 1830. On 17 May he opposed Jewish emancipation as a measure, inspired by the current ‘rage for innovation’, which was ‘pregnant with danger to the best interests of the country’. He presented a Wexford petition against any increase in the duty on Irish spirits, 18 June, and on 21 June supported Knatchbull’s unsuccessful attempt to amend the sale of beer bill, which he said would encourage ‘intemperance and depravity’. He stood again for Wexford at the general election of 1830 (when he was falsely rumoured as a candidate for Kent) but was beaten by Wigram’s brother, whose success the Wellington ministry reckoned a gain.3 At this election he returned two Ultra Tories for New Romney, which his family had controlled for 70 years. He was seated for Wexford on petition, 21 Feb. 1831. He voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. Reforming enthusiasm forced him to abandon Wexford at the ensuing general election and he fell back on New Romney.4
Dering spoke at length against the reintroduced reform bill, 5 July. He claimed to be willing to consider any plan of practical improvement, but denounced the measure as ‘the forerunner of still greater changes’ and a ‘remedy’ which was ‘ten thousand times worse than any theoretical defects’. He voted against the second reading the following day and was in at least three of the obstructive minorities on the adjournment, 12 July. He made an unsuccessful plea for New Romney to be allowed to retain one seat by uniting it with Lydd and Old Romney, 26 July, and voted against the partial disfranchisement of Chippenham, 27 July. Thereafter his attendance seems to have fallen away. He was in the minority in favour of printing the Waterford petition for disarming the Irish yeomanry, 11 Aug. He voted against the passage of the reform bill, 21 Sept., and the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept., paired against the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, divided against government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., and, with his last known vote in this period, opposed the third reading of the reform bill, 22 Mar. 1832.
Nothing came of speculation that he would stand for East Kent in 1832.5 On Peel’s accession to power in December 1834 he solicited a peerage, both as compensation for his loss of three seats by the Reform Act and as the ‘readiest means’ of enabling him to support a Conservative ministry. He was disappointed.6 He re-entered the Commons as a Peelite county Member in 1852 and subsequently gravitated to the Liberals. He died in April 1896.
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: David R. Fisher
- 1. Gent. Mag. (1811), i. 683; PROB 11/1525/371; F. Haslewood, Mem. Dering Fam. 23-24.
- 2. The Times, 23 May, 9 June 1829, 8-12, 15, 16 Mar. 1830.
- 3. Add. 40401, f. 132.
- 4. The Times, 3, 9 May 1831; O’Connell Corresp. iv. 1800.
- 5. Wellington mss, Gleig to Wellington, 29 June 1831.
- 6. Add. 40405, f. 43; 40406, f. 53.