BERKELEY, Hon. George (?1692-1746), of Marble Hill, Twickenham, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. ?1692, 4th s. of Charles Berkeley, M.P., 2nd Earl of Berkeley, and bro. of Hon. Henry Berkeley. educ. Westminster 1708; Trinity, Camb. 31 May 1711, aged 18. m. 1 July 1735, Henrietta, da. of Sir Henry Hobart, 4th Bt., wid. of Charles Howard, 9th Earl of Suffolk, s.p.
Clerk of the Privy Council 1716-26; master of St. Katherine’s Hospital for life 1723.
Berkeley owed his return for Dover to his brother, Lord Berkeley, then first lord of the Admiralty, and to the influence of his sister, Lady Betty Germain, with the Duke of Dorset. On his brother’s dismissal at the accession of George II, he went over to the Opposition, thenceforth representing Hedon on the interest of Pulteney, with whom he long ‘lived in the most seeming intimacy’, though ‘mortally hated’ by him for having made love to Mrs Pulteney.
The announcement of Berkeley’s marriage in 1735 to Lady Suffolk created some surprise. The bridegroom, Hervey writes, ‘was neither young, handsome, healthy, nor rich, which made many people wonder what induced Lady Suffolk’s prudence to deviate into this unaccountable piece of folly’. George II, learning of ‘la disposition ... que ma vieille maîtresse a fait de son corps en mariage à ce vieux goutteux, George Berkeley’, observed:
Je ne voudrois pas faire de tels présens a mes amis; et quand mes enemis me volent, plut à Dieu que ce soit toujours de cette façon.1
In 1741 both of Pulteney’s candidates, including Berkeley, were defeated at Hedon. The ensuing petition was expected to prove a trial of strength between the Government and the Opposition: Lady Betty Germain was enlisted to secure the support of the Sackville family for her brother;2 but after Walpole’s fall Berkeley recovered his seat without difficulty.
After Pulteney joined the Government, Berkeley remained in opposition, voting against the Hanoverians in 1742 and 1744. When in 1746 Pulteney (then Lord Bath) went back into opposition, Berkeley voted with the Administration on the Hanoverians, classed as ‘doubtful’.
He died 20 Oct. 1746.