BERTIE, Hon. Philip (c.1665-1728), of Hayfield, Lancs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



6 Dec. 1694 - 1698

Family and Education

b. c.1665, 3rd s. of Robert Bertie†, 3rd Earl of Lindsey by 2nd w.; bro. of Hon. Albemarle*, Hon. Peregrine II*, Robert Bertie*, Lord Willoughby de Eresby, and half-bro. of Hon. Charles II*.  educ. Trinity, Oxf. matric. 7 Feb. 1683, aged 18, BA 1685.  m. lic. 8 Aug. 1711, Lady Elizabeth, da. and coh. of William Brabazon, 3rd Earl of Meath [I], formerly w. of Sir Philips Coote of Mount Coote, co. Limerick, s.p.1

Offices Held

Capt. vol. ft. co. of scholars 1685; capt. Earl of Danby’s (Peregrine Osborne†) vol. regt. Drag. 1690; gent. usher of privy chamber to Queen Mary by 1691–4; auditor, duchy of Cornwall 1692–1704; commr. Million Act 1694, to inspect the drawing of lots 1694.2

Asst. Co. for making saltpetre 1692.3


During the Monmouth rebellion Bertie demonstrated his allegiance to James II by training a foot company of scholars from Trinity, Lincoln and Wadham Colleges in Oxford. At that time he appears to have had designs on a fellowship at All Souls, and although unsuccessful, was commended by his proud father for ‘his dutiful deportment and . . . his industrious endeavours to make himself considerable’. In January 1686, on the death of his uncle Richard Bertie†, Lord Lindsey contacted Lord Abingdon about the possibility of Philip standing at New Woodstock, but no by-election occurred. At the Revolution he was involved in the northern rising with his kinsman, the Earl of Danby (Sir Thomas Osborne†), who described him in a letter to William as one of the Prince’s own ‘domestic servants’. This may refer to the place of gentleman usher to Queen Mary, which by 1691 was held by ‘Philip Bertue’. In 1692 he was a contender for the office of vice-chamberlain to the Queen, but the post went to his brother Peregrine II. However, in the same year his loyalty to William was rewarded with the auditorship of the duchy of Cornwall. The standing of his brother, Lord Willoughby de Eresby, as chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, encouraged him to make interest for a by-election at Clitheroe in 1693, although he desisted through lack of support. The following year he resolved to stand at Stamford, on the advice of his uncle, Peregrine Bertie I*, who wrote to his father, Lindsey, on 26 Nov.:

I question not but your interest will help him to carry it, for my brother Charles [Bertie I*], though he has not declared yet, will be for him. It is a thing that if he carries, may be of great advantage to him, and make the court look upon him with better eyes . . . Pray be not shy in this affair, for it will be the greatest advantage to your son in the world, and to yourself a no little one to put so many sons into the House.

He was duly returned, though not before having spent some £250 on entertaining the electorate, and, in common with the four other Berties in the House, failed to make an impact in the last session of the 1695 Parliament. However, soon after entering the House he was identified by Henry Guy* as one of his likely supporters against an attack in the Lower House. After Queen Mary’s death Bertie’s salary of £200 p.a. as one of her gentlemen ushers was continued as a pension, and he received further preferment as one of the managers of the Million Act, worth an annual £100.4

Re-elected for Stamford in 1695, Bertie was classed as doubtful in a forecast of one of the divisions on the proposed council of trade in January 1696, but, like the other Leeds Tories, he signed the Association in February and voted with the Court in March on fixing the price of guineas at 22s. However, the following November he voted against the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. His attitude to the Court during the remainder of this Parliament is unclear, particularly as the presence of so many family members in the Commons obscures his parliamentary activity. Although the King showed his displeasure towards the Berties in 1697 by dismissing Bertie’s brother, Lord Willoughby, and his father’s half-brother, the 1st Earl of Abingdon, he himself retained office as auditor. He did not contest Stamford in 1698, when the Berties and the Cecils agreed to share the seats, but the auditorship may have prompted him to stand at Liskeard, where a Bertie finished fourth in the poll. Although outside Parliament, he was subsequently classed as a Court supporter by an analyst of the old and new Commons.5

In February 1699 Bertie was sued in King’s bench by Sir Philips Coote upon ‘an action of trespass for lying with his [Coote’s] wife; and the jury found for the plaintiff and gave him £300 damages’. Bertie subsequently married the lady. He successfully petitioned in May 1701 for the continuation of his pension, after a cancelling order had been issued the previous January. He tried to re-enter Parliament in December 1701 for Mitchell, but the auditorship did not give him sufficient interest to carry the election. In May 1704 he was replaced as auditor by his Whig brother, Hon. Albemarle Bertie*, and later found ‘difficulty’ in receiving his pension, which fell into arrears. In November 1711 he petitioned Lord Oxford (Robert Harley*) to set matters aright, hoping for ‘better things from your lordship’. In order to further his cause, he reminded the lord treasurer of his candidacy at a forthcoming by-election at Boston, remarking how ‘expense attends unpopularity’, but then lost the contest, and was forced to petition the House. His stepmother, the dowager Countess of Lindsey, subsequently begged Viscount Fermanagh [I] (John Verney*), to be present at the elections committee hearing and

to show him [Bertie] what kindness may be consistent with your own honour and justice. When his father was living, his principles were High Church, and he tells me he is so still . . . If your lordship takes notice that I speak knowingly of Philip in his father’s time, and only now say what he tells me of himself, the reason is, that the late differences between me and Lord Lindsey [Robert Bertie, Lord Willoughby de Eresby] made me, in kindness to him, advise him to compliment his brother so far, to keep at a distance with me, which was what I found he [Lindsey] expected from those who would be well with him, as it was necessary for his own younger brothers to be.

The committee decided in Bertie’s favour, but the House declared the election void because of the intervention of Bertie’s brother, Lindsey, lord lieutenant of the county. Bertie stood at the ensuing by-election, unsuccessfully, and again petitioned. The committee declared neither candidate elected, but the Commons disagreed and confirmed the return of the sitting Member, William Cotesworth.6

In November 1713 Bertie was still seeking the patronage of Lord Treasurer Oxford, enthusing: ‘I am so happy now to be more and more an ally; you will please not to let me suffer with my own family (for want of either post or pension) in the vindicating your lordship’s honour.’ The letter produced no result. In March 1714 he passed to Oxford a memorial detailing alleged abuses in the Mint, at the same time requesting to be considered for the wardenship if it should become vacant as a result of these disclosures. This plea was likewise fruitless. He did not sit in Parliament after 1715 and died on 15 Apr. 1728. Having produced no heir, he left his brother Albemarle an estate in Liverpool, and bequeathed to charity ‘a great interest’ in the abortive Bootle waterworks of Sir Cleave More, 2nd Bt.*, as well as lands in Lincolnshire and Somerset.7

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Perry Gauci


  • 1. Lodge, Peerage of Ire. i. 189; Mar. Lic. Fac. Off. (Brit. Rec. Soc. xxxiii), 263; PCC 139 Brook.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1817; x. 983, 1034; xvii. 727; xix. 239.
  • 3. Sel. Charters, 235.
  • 4. Wood, Life and Times, iii. 149; Bodl. Eng. Lett. e. 129, ff. 112, 118–19; HMC 14th Rep. IX, 453; Miege, State of Great Britain (1691), iii. 164; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 390; HMC Kenyon, 273, 274, 275; Lincs. AO, Ancaster mss 3 ANC 8/1/17, Stamford election expenses, 6 Dec. 1694; Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 1034; HMC 13th Rep. VI, 250.
  • 5. Carew mss at Antony House, BO/23/72/?, Liskeard poll 1698.
  • 6. Luttrell, iv. 483; Cal. Treas. Bks. xvi. 41, 70; xix. 239; Add. 70278, Bertie to Oxford, 18 Nov. 1711; Verney Letters 18th Cent. i. 309.
  • 7. Add. 70210, same to same, 17 Nov., 10 Dec. 1713, 27 Mar. 1714; Boyer, Pol. State, xxxv. 415; PCC 139 Brook.