CHAFFIN, George (1689-1766), of Chettle, Dorset.
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Family and Education
bap. 7 Jan. 1689, 5th s. of Thomas Chaffin, M.P., of Chettle by Anne, da. of Col. John Penruddock of Compton Chamberlayne, Wilts. educ. ?Winchester c.1702-6; Oriel, Oxf. 1707. m. (lic. 8 Feb. 1714) Elizabeth, da. of Sir Anthony Sturt, M.P., of Heckfield, Hants, 5s. 3da. suc. e. bro. 1711.
George Chaffin was descended from Thomas Chaffin of Folke, Dorset, who acquired the manor of Chettle about 1575.1 His father, who commanded a troop of horse against Monmouth at Sedgemoor in 1685 and died in 1691, was M.P. for Poole, Dorchester and Hindon. His eldest brother Thomas, whom he succeeded at Chettle in 1711, was M.P. for Shaftesbury 1699-1701 and Dorset 1702 till his death. He himself represented the county as a Tory for 41 years in 7 Parliaments, voting consistently against the Administration in all recorded divisions from 1715 onwards, except on the chairman of the elections committee in December 1741, when he was absent; but he was one of the Tories who withdrew on the motion for removing Walpole in February 1741. His name was sent to the Pretender in 1721 as a probable supporter in the event of a rising. In other lists, sent by English Jacobites to Louis XV in 1743, he is described as ‘très puissant en vasseaux et ... des sentiments très élevés’, and mentioned as having a ‘multitude presque inombrable d’ouvriers dans les manufactures de laine’, who might be expected to take the field.2 However, in 1748 and 1757 he was forced to obtain Acts of Parliament for selling part of his settled estates in order to pay his debts; and the 2nd Lord Egmont wrote of the Dorset Members in his electoral survey, c.1749-50: ‘Indeed one of them can not [stand again] being ruined in his affairs’. He declined nomination for the next election at a meeting at Dorchester in August 1753.3 He died 7 Sept. 1766.