BERKELEY, Maurice (c.1681-1717), of Pylle, nr. Wells, Som.
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Family and Education
b. c.1681, 1st surv. s. of Edward Berkeley*. educ. Wadham, Oxf. matric. 15 June 1697, aged 16. unm. suc. fa. 1707.1
Berkeley was returned for Wells on his father’s interest as a Tory in 1705 alongside his mother’s cousin Henry Portman. He was classed as a ‘Churchman’ in a list drawn up after the general election and he duly voted against the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct. It was perhaps due to his youth and inexperience that he featured not at all in proceedings, though his Tory sympathies were apparent to the compilers of two analyses of the House early in 1708. The death of his father in 1707 may have weakened his position and prevented him from standing in the 1708 election. He regained his seat in 1710, however, appearing as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’ of the new Parliament. He featured in the 1710–11 session as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who assisted in exposing the mismanagements of the Godolphin administration, and at about the same time became a member of the October Club. From 1710 the presence in the House of a second ‘Mr Berkeley’, his distant kinsman John Symes Berkeley, obscures from view any contributions he may have made to proceedings. He was classed as a Tory on the Worsley list of the 1713 Parliament. Contesting Wells successfully in 1715, he was unseated on petition in May 1716. His death probably occurred in the spring of 1717 (his will being proved in May), and the family estates passed to his younger brother William.2