BATHURST, Peter (1687-1748), of Clarendon Park, nr. Salisbury, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. 3 May 1687, 2nd s. of Sir Benjamin Bathurst, M.P., of Paulerspury, Northants. by Frances, da. of Sir Allen Apsley, M.P., of Apsley, Suss.; bro. of Benjamin Bathurst. educ. Eton c.1700, Trinity, Oxf. 1703. m. (1) 1709, Leonora-Maria (d. Jan. 1720), da. and h. of Charles How of Greatworth, Northants. 2da.; (2) 24 Oct. 1720, Lady Selina Shirley, da. of Robert, 1st Earl Ferrers, 5s. 10da.
The son of a wealthy Spanish merchant and brother of Allen, Lord Bathurst, one of the 12 Tory peers created in 1712, Peter Bathurst, a member of the October Club, was returned on petition for Wilton, near his estate, in 1711. Except for an unsuccessful attempt at Salisbury in 1722, he did not stand again till 1727, when his eldest brother, Lord Bathurst, who was then hoping to obtain an earldom from the new King, substituted him for his other brother Benjamin at Cirencester where the family controlled one seat. In Lord Bathurst’s words:
As whoever came in there would be said to be my member, and that I should in some measure be answerable for him, I had an inclination to bring in my second brother rather than my third; for as he had not been in Parliament all the late reign, he was quite free from party zeal.1
Politically he followed Lord Bathurst, voting against the Government in every recorded division. In 1734, when the Cirencester seat was not available, he was returned for Salisbury, again voting against the Government, except on the motion for Walpole’s dismissal in 1741, when he was one of the Tories who withdrew. His only recorded speech was in 1736, on a bill to prevent clandestine marriages, which he opposed strongly, ‘and at the same time with wit’.2 He did not stand in 1741, was defeated at Salisbury in 1747, and died 6 May 1748.