BRODRICK, Hon. St. John (c.1685-1728).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



6 June 1721 - 1727

Family and Education

b. c.1685, 1st s. of Alan Brodrick by his 1st w. educ. Eton 1698; King’s Camb. 1700; M. Temple 1700. m. 20 Apr. 1710, Anne, da. of Rt. Hon. Michael Hill, sis. of Trevor Hill, 1st Visct. Hillsborough, 4da.

Offices Held

M.P. [I] 1713-14, 1715-27; P.C. [I] 25 June 1724.


Before entering English politics St. John Brodrick, like his father and his uncle Thomas, served in the Irish Parliament. Put up in 1721 for Bere Alston by Sir Francis Drake, he was defeated but was awarded the seat on petition.

Lord Carteret was pleased to embark and solicit against me, which made Mr. Walpole, who was at first zealously against me, quit his countryman, Sir John Hobart, and engage all his friends for me, so that I really believe, had they been so hardy as to stand a division, their numbers would hardly have exceeded forty, though both Lords Sunderland and Carleton said publicly at their levees, the morning before my election came on, that I should lose it by more than two to one.

Sunderland, however, succeeded in preventing him from being made solicitor-general of Ireland on Walpole’s recommendation.1

Returned for both Parliaments in 1722, Brodrick took the lead in the Irish House of Commons against Wood’s coinage patent (see Brodrick, Alan) ‘with several warm, virulent, and scurrilous speeches’. Coming to England for the 1724 session, he spoke for the Government on the army, 22 Jan.; tried in Feb. to dissuade his uncle from taking the lead in the malt tax controversy (see Brodrick, Thomas), for fear of giving rise to charges of obstructing the King’s measures; and when he failed, divided against his uncle. After sounding the leading ministers about his father’s proceedings in the Irish Parliament against the coinage patent, he reported:

From one side [Carteret], I meet with more civility and goodness than I can well express, and I am persuaded they are very sincere in their professions; other people [Walpole] talk always in general terms, but so as they would have me believe they are and were always very good friends to our family, and that, even at this time, they have not a thought of doing the least injury to any one of them.

However, in the event of an open rupture between the ministers, which was expected as soon as Parliament rose,

I can’t but think Walpole must prevail, and for that reason endeavour to be as well with him as I can. ’Tis certain his interest in our House is prodigious, and while that continues ’twill be pretty hard to withstand him.

At first he welcomed Carteret’s appointment to be lord lieutenant of Ireland, believing him to be ‘perfectly free from all suspicion of being concerned in, or wishing well to, that vile project’, Wood’s patent.2 Soon undeceived, he followed his father into opposition in the Irish Parliament. In England, he spoke for the Government on Pulteney’s motion for an account of last year’s vote of credit, 21 Feb. 1727, but against them on another vote of credit, 12 Apr. At the general election that year his seat was temporarily filled by Sir Francis Drake, who chose to sit for Tavistock. Brodrick was put up for the vacancy but died a week before the election, 21 Feb. 1728.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Coxe, Walpole, ii. 217-18, 412.
  • 2. Ibid. 276, 438-9, 386.