BOOTH, Hon. Langham (1684-1724), of Hawthorne, Cheshire
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Family and Education
b. 8 June 1684, 3rd s. of Henry Booth†, 2nd Baron Delamer and 1st Earl of Warrington, by Mary, da. of Sir James Langham, 2nd Bt.†, of Cottesbrooke, Northants. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1701. unm.
Burgess, Wigan 1708.1
Groom of the bedchamber to Prince of Wales 1718–d.
The brother of the 2nd Earl of Warrington, an influential but needy Whig peer, Booth was returned for Cheshire in 1705, his election being reckoned by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*) as a gain for the Whigs. He voted on 25 Oct. for the Court candidate for Speaker, and supported the Court in the following February on the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill. Sir George Warburton, 3rd Bt.*, Booth’s opponent in 1705, twice petitioned against the Cheshire return on the basis that Booth had been a minor at the time of the election, but on 30 Jan. 1707 the elections committee voted him duly elected and on 10 Feb. the House confirmed this decision. On 21 Oct. Booth moved that John Smith I be re-elected as Speaker in the first Parliament of Great Britain, ‘which was unanimously agreed to by the House’, and in early 1708 an analysis of the House classed him as a Whig. Booth was unopposed in Cheshire at the election later that year, and on 29 Jan. 1709 he told against a motion designed to prevent the Commons proceeding on a Whig petition against a Tory Member, adjourning the hearing of the Orford election case. In early 1709 Booth also supported the naturalization of the Palatines. The following session saw moves to introduce a bill for the navigation of the Weaver, and in early December 1709 Peter Shakerley* reported that Booth was hostile to such a measure, as Shakerley claimed Booth had been in the previous session, and had told him that ‘if he was in the House when the petition for leave to bring in the bill shall be offered he would oppose it’. Booth himself was slightly more equivocal when writing at the end of the month to an opponent of the bill, wondering ‘how I can refuse delivering the petition to the House if it comes up signed by the gentlemen of the country’, before stating that ‘in my opinion I am against it [the bill]’. Extra-parliamentary opposition to the projected navigation meant that no bill was brought before the House and Booth was spared having to make a public choice between his personal opposition to the scheme and his notions of the duty of a knight of the shire. It seems, however, that he had resolved this problem in favour of the former, as in February 1710 Shakerley wrote that ‘I attend each morning to watch and oppose the petition for this project, our knights of the shire will not do it, and I think ’twill look very oddly for any other to present it’. The early months of 1710 also saw Booth vote for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. Defeated for the county in 1710 and turned out of the commission of the peace when the Tory tide was running high, he returned to Parliament and to the Lancashire bench following the Hanoverian succession. He died at Bath on 7 May 1724, leaving the bulk of his estate to his brother Lord Warrington but reserving a small ‘part to Mrs Merryweather, a widow lady, of a considerable fortune’.2