BELLOT, Sir Thomas, 3rd Bt. (1679-1709), of Moreton, Cheshire
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Family and Education
bap. 18 July 1679, 1st surv. s. of Sir Thomas Bellot, 2nd Bt.* educ. Chester sch.; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1699. unm. suc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 28 Nov. 1699.1
Freeman, Newcastle-under-Lyme 1704.2
Having succeeded to his father’s political interest at Newcastle, Bellot did not find it easy to capture one of the borough’s parliamentary seats. The reason was not any obvious personal incapacity, for he followed his father into the Cheshire lieutenancy, but rather the strength of the opposition. Furthermore, he may have been distracted from a parliamentary career by financial problems, caused by his father having acted as a surety for Morgan Whitley, the defaulting receiver-general of taxes for Cheshire and North Wales. Whitley’s debts fell on to his sureties and in the case of Bellot led to a decision by the Treasury to proceed against his father’s executors in October 1703.3
Bellot first stood as a candidate at Newcastle in the by-election of November 1703 caused by the elevation to the peerage of Sir John Leveson Gower, 5th Bt.* Following his defeat Bellot petitioned against the return of John Crewe Offley* and on 1 Feb. 1704 the election was declared void. At the ensuing by-election, held in November 1704, he was again defeated by Offley, but chose not to petition, and at the general election of 1705 was elected in partnership with his fellow Tory, Rowland Cotton, after reportedly assuring the electorate of both men’s ‘adhesion to the Church’. His political allegiance was clear to contemporaries: on one analysis of the 1705 Parliament he was classed as a ‘Churchman’; while the Earl of Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*) considered his return a loss for the Whigs. Bellot proved Sunderland right at the very beginning of the opening session by voting on 25 Oct. against the Court candidate for Speaker. His seat in the Commons was not secure, however, for he faced a challenge in the form of a petition against his return from Offley and John Lawton*. The need to prepare his defence may explain why he was granted leave to go into the country on 14 Dec. 1705. If so, it proved unavailing, for on 27 Feb. 1706 he was unseated by the House. Undeterred, Bellot was again returned at the 1708 election, whereupon Sunderland repeated his earlier calculation and marked the election a loss for the Whigs. However, Bellot did not remain in the Commons for long, being reported dead on 22 Jan. 1709, a few days before he and Cotton were again unseated on petition. Bellot was succeeded by his brother Sir John, 4th Bt., the last of the line.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Stuart Handley
- 1. Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 44; Staffs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxiii), 21.
- 2. T. Pape, Newcastle-under-Lyme from Restoration to 1760, p. 50.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1700–2, p. 257; Cal. Treas. Bks. xvii. 285; xviii. 412; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1702–7, p. 194.
- 4. Dyer’s newsletter 15 May 1705 (Speck trans.); Bagot mss at Levens Hall, Ld. Gower to [?James Grahme*], 22 Jan. 1708[–9].