HULSE, Sir Charles, 4th bt. (1771-1854), of Breamore, nr. Fordingbridge, Hants and 4 New Burlington Street, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 12 Oct. 1771, 1st surv. s. of Sir Edward Hulse, 3rd bt., of Breamore and Mary, da. of Charles Lethieullier, LLD, fellow of All Souls, Oxf. educ. Eton 1782-9; Christ Church, Oxf. 1790; L. Inn 1793. m. 5 July 1808, Maria, da of John Buller† of Morval, Cornw., 5s. 1da. suc. fa. as 4th bt. 30 Sept. 1816. d. 19 Oct. 1854.
Capt. Fordingbridge yeomanry 1798, 1803; lt.-col. commdt. S.E. Hants militia 1812.
Sheriff, Hants 1836-7.
Hulse’s great-grandfather Edward Hulse (c.1682-1759) became first physician to George II, was granted a baronetcy in 1739 and purchased Breamore in 1748. His father married the niece and heiress of the noted antiquary Smart Lethieullier, whose Huguenot family had made their fortune as London merchants. With the addition of property in Chigwell bequeathed by her aunt Elizabeth Goodere, she brought with her an Essex estate of over 1,500 acres centred on the mansion at Aldersbrook, as well as ‘other interests in the city of London’. Hulse became heir to the baronetcy on the death of his elder brother Edward, ‘of a putrid fever’, in 1789.1 Notwithstanding the sale of certain Essex properties, including Aldersbrook itself in 1786, his inheritance in 1816 consisted of land in Hampshire, Essex, Wiltshire, London and counties Cork and Tipperary. He derived no benefit as his father’s residuary legatee (the personalty, sworn under £6,000, was exhausted by bequests), but he had made an advantageous marriage into a Cornish landowning family with multiple borough interests.2 This family alliance was cemented when John Buller* married Hulse’s youngest sister Harriet in 1814, and returned him for West Looe two years later.
In 1820, when Hulse was again returned unopposed for West Looe, he offered his interest in Hampshire to the Whig Sir Thomas Baring*, on the strength of his attention to county business and ‘in preference to ... a second candidate whose political sentiments might perhaps be in general more in unison with my own’.3 He continued to give general but silent support to Lord Liverpool’s ministry, though he was prepared to oppose them on occasion. He voted in defence of their conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb. 1821. He divided against repeal of the additional malt duty, 3 Apr., reduction of the grant for the adjutant-general’s office, 11 Apr., and Hume’s economy and retrenchment motion, 27 June. He voted against parliamentary reform, 9 May. He was added to the select committee on poor returns, 31 May 1821, and reappointed to it in the next five sessions. He divided in the minority for the abolition of one the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar. 1822, his only recorded vote that session. He voted against the production of papers on the alleged plot to murder the Irish lord lieutenant, 24 Mar., but for inquiry into the prosecution of the perpetrators, 22 Apr. 1823. He divided against Scottish parliamentary reform, 2 June, and inquiry into the currency, 12 June 1823. He voted against repeal of the usury laws, 27 Feb., and abolition of flogging in the navy, 5 Mar. 1824. He presented an anti-slavery petition from the corporation of West Looe, 6 Apr.4 He was added to the select committee on county rates, 24 May, and reappointed in the next two sessions. He voted against inquiry into the prosecution of the Methodist missionary John Smith in Demerara, 11 June. He divided for the Irish insurrection bill, 14 June 1824, and the Irish unlawful societies bill, 25 Feb. 1825. Although he had voted in favour of Catholic relief in 1817, he divided against it, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May, and the Irish franchise bill, 26 Apr. He voted for the financial provision for the duke of Cumberland, 30 May, 2, 6, 10 June. In his only known parliamentary speech, 20 June 1825, he maintained that local opposition to the Berkshire and Hampshire Junction Canal bill was ‘not so general as some ... gentlemen seemed to think’.5 He voted to defend the salary of the president of the board of trade, 10 Apr., but was in the minority against empowering the government to admit foreign corn, 8 May 1826. He paired in favour of Russell’s resolutions against electoral bribery, 26 May 1826.
At the general election of 1826 Buller returned himself for West Looe, but apparently this was no more than a stopgap measure, as he made way for Hulse at a by-election in April 1827. Hulse divided for repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb., and, having apparently undergone another change of heart, for Catholic relief, 12 May 1828. He presented a St. Ives petition against restrictions on the circulation of small notes, 22 May. He voted with the duke of Wellington’s ministry against reduction of the salary of the lieutenant-general of the ordnance, 4 July 1828. In February 1829 Planta, the patronage secretary, predicted that he would side ‘with government’ for Catholic emancipation, and he voted accordingly, 6, 30 Mar. He divided in the minority against the grant for the sculpture of the marble arch, 25 May 1829. He voted against the enfranchisement of Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, 23 Feb., but in favour of transferring East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 5 Mar. 1830. He presented a Wigan petition against renewal of the East India Company’s charter, 17 Mar. He divided against Jewish emancipation, 5 Apr., 17 May 1830. He was in the minority for a reduction of the grant for public buildings, 3 May 1830. He was returned for West Looe as usual at the general election that summer.
The ministry regarded him as one of the ‘good doubtfuls’, with the optimistic endorsement ‘a friend’, but he was absent from the crucial civil list division, 15 Nov. 1830. He was granted a month’s leave ‘on account of the disturbed state of his neighbourhood’, 30 Nov. 1830. As chairman of the committee on the Londonderry election, appointed on 8 Mar. 1831, Thomas Gladstone judged him to be ‘a dull caller’.6 He divided against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. He was returned unopposed at the ensuing general election. Thereafter his parliamentary attendance appears to have declined. He voted against the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, to use the 1831 census to determine the disfranchisement schedules, 19 July, and against the bill’s passage, 21 Sept. 1831. He was absent from the divisions on the second and third readings of the revised bill, 17 Dec. 1831, 22 Mar., but divided against its entering committee, 20 Jan. 1832. He voted against ministers on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., and the abolition of slavery, 24 May 1832.
West Looe was disfranchised by the Reform Act and Hulse apparently made no attempt to return to the Commons. Despite criticisms in 1830 that he was absent from Hampshire too often to be an effective magistrate, he served as sheriff in 1836.7 A ‘keen forester’, he was responsible for the plantation of the Breamore estate, and he had Loxford Hall, near Ilford, Essex, rebuilt in 1830.8 He died in October 1854 and was succeeded by his eldest son Edward Hulse (1809-99).9
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Howard Spencer
- 1. Oxford DNB sub Smart Lethieullier; A. Light and I. Dampney, Short Hist. Breamore, 8; C. Chown, Lethieullier Fam. 2-3, 19-22, 34-38; VCH Hants, iv. 574; Gent. Mag. (1789), ii. 866.
- 2. Chown, 37; VCH Essex, v. 203, 212; PROB 11/1588/16; IR26/709/5.
- 3. Baring mss deposit 189, Hulse to Baring, 20 Feb. 1820, cited in R. Foster, Politics of County Power, 134.
- 4. The Times, 7 Apr. 1824.
- 5. Ibid. 21 June 1825.
- 6. St. Deiniol’s Lib. Glynne Gladstone mss 197, T. to J. Gladstone, 15 Mar. 1831.
- 7. Wellington mss WP4/2/1/3; 2/44.
- 8. Hist. Breamore and Hulse Fam. 19; Wellington mss WP4/4/2/3; VCH Essex, v. 207.
- 9. The Times, 21 Oct. 1854 confirms the date of death as the 19th; HP Commons, 1790-1820, iv. 261-2 incorrectly gives it as the 25th.