COLEBROOKE, Robert (1718-84), of Chilham, Kent.

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



1741 - 1761

Family and Education

b. 24 June 1718, 1st s. of James Colebrooke of Colebrooke and Lightfoot, bankers, behind the Royal Exchange, by his w. Mary née Hudson; bro. of James Colebrooke and Sir George Colebrooke, M.P. m. (1) 12 July 1741, Henrietta (d. 22 Dec. 1753), da. of Lord Harry Powlett, s.p.; (2) 4 Aug. 1756, Anne, da. and h. of John Thresher of Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts., s.p. suc. fa. 1752.

Offices Held

Minister to Switzerland 1762-4; appointed ambassador to Turkey 1765 but never went out.


On Colebrooke’s marriage his father, a London banker, made over to him the Chilham estate in 1741.1 Returned for Waldon that year, he voted with the Government on the election of a chairman of the elections committee, 16 Dec. 1741, and was on the list of those invited to the Cockpit at the opening of Parliament in December 1742. But he was absent from the division on the Hanoverians on 10 Dec. that year; voted on 6 Dec. 1743 in favour of discontinuing their service in the pay of Great Britain; and was again absent from the division on them on 18 Jan. 1744. By 1746 he had returned to the ministerial fold, voting for the Hanoverians on 11 Apr. 1746 and in 1747 classed by Newcastle as a supporter. His conversion seems to have been connected with his financial difficulties. In a letter of 29 Nov. 1748 his father wrote to Lord Winchilsea:

As to my son’s affair, he can acquaint your Lordship with what has already been done for him. And likewise of a promise he has lately obtained from us of paying his tradesmen’s bills when I get to London. What I request of your Lordship (now my son is with you) is to show him the folly of seeking for a place and to persuade him to live as an honest country gentleman.2

He did not learn his lesson but continued to hunt for places to extricate him from his financial difficulties, which eventually forced him to live abroad. He died in France 10 May 1784.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. PCC 294 Bettesworth.
  • 2. Finch mss.