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BERTIE, Peregrine, Lord Willoughby de Eresby (1686-1742).
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Family and Education
b. 29 Apr. 1686, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Robert Bertie*, Lord Willoughby de Eresby (subsequently 4th Earl of Lindsey), by 1st w.; half-bro. of Lord Robert† and Lord Vere†. m. June 1711, Jane (with £40,000), da. and coh. of Sir John Brownlow, 3rd Bt.*, 3s. 4da. summ. to Lords in his fa.’s barony of Willoughby de Eresby 16 Mar. 1715; suc. fa. as 2nd Duke of Ancaster 26 July 1723.1
Ld. of bedchamber to George I 1719–27; ld. great chamberlain 1723–d.; receiver, duchy of Lancaster rents, Lincs. 1728–d.; ld. warden and c.j. in eyre north of Trent 1734–d.2
Ld. lt. Lincs. 1724–d.
Bertie did not become heir apparent to the earldom of Lindsey until 1704, on the death of his elder brother Robert. Quick to take advantage of his father’s influence in Lincolnshire, at the age of 22 he successfully contested the county alongside the Whig George Whichcot. By 1708 his father (now Marquess of Lindsey) had switched allegiances to become a Whig supporter, but Bertie’s subsequent parliamentary career suggests strong Tory loyalties. His activity in the first session reflected his party’s principles, since he was appointed to the drafting committee on the Boston church bill, and to the committee of inquiry into the laws excluding placemen. In addition, he acted as a teller on two occasions, on 20 Jan. 1709 against the return of the Whig William Hucks* at Abingdon, and on 9 Mar. in favour of the House going into committee on the bill on the tobacco trade. In the second session he was nominated to the committee to examine the arrangements for the trial of Dr Sacheverell, and later voted against the impeachment.
Bertie’s victory at the Lincolnshire election of 1710 clearly owed much to High Church support, and he was subsequently classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’. Furthermore, he was included among the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the first session detected the mismanagements of the previous administration, and was identified as a ‘Tory patriot’ for opposing the continuance of the war in 1711. He was also a member of the October Club. Remaining a fairly active Member, he told on 20 Dec. 1710 against an amendment to a supply bill. His concern to advance local issues is evident in his appointment to drafting committees for bills to erect a waterworks near Boston and to aid the drainage of Ancholme Level. On 13 June 1712 he delivered to the Commons a message from his father, the lord great chamberlain, concerning extra rooms to be fitted up for the service of the House.
Having gained an unopposed victory at the Lincolnshire election of 1713, Bertie made little contribution to Commons’ business in the new Parliament. However, he appears to have joined with the Hanoverian Tories, voting in March 1714 against the expulsion of Richard Steele. Such a stance probably explains why the Worsley list bracketed him with the Whigs. He did not stand for the county at the general election of 1715, but on 16 Mar. 1715 was called to the Lords in his father’s barony of Willoughby de Eresby. On the death of his father eight years later he became Duke of Ancaster, assumed the hereditary title of lord great chamberlain, and thereafter proved a steady supporter of the administration. From his ancestral seats at Grimsthorpe and Eresby he maintained extensive influence in Lincolnshire until his death on 1 Jan. 1742, and one of his younger sons subsequently sat for the county under George III.3