DUNCOMBE, Anthony (c.1695-1763), of Barford, nr. Downton, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1695, o. surv. s. of Anthony Duncombe, M.P. (yr. bro. of Sir Charles Duncombe, M.P., ld. mayor of London), by Jane, 1st da. and coh. of Hon. Frederick Cornwallis. educ. Westminster bef. 1711; travelled till 1721. m. (1) c.1716, Margaret (d. 9 Oct. 1755), o. da. of George Verney, 12th Lord Willoughby de Broke, 3s. d.v.p.; (2) 3 Nov. 1756, Frances (d. 21 Nov. 1757), 5th da. of Peter Bathurst of Clarendon Park, Wilts., 1da.; (3) 10 Aug. 1758, Anne, 3rd da. of Sir Thomas Hales, 3rd Bt., of Bekesbourne, Kent, 1da. suc. fa. 1708 and to Wilts. estates of his uncle Sir Charles Duncombe 1711; cr. Lord Feversham, Baron of Downton, 23 June 1747.
Anthony Duncombe inherited Barford as a minor from his uncle Sir Charles Duncombe, M.P., a wealthy London goldsmith, together with a number of burgages in the neighbouring borough of Downton, which he increased by further purchases till he had gained complete control of the borough. On returning from his travels in 1721 he entered Parliament for Salisbury, where he also maintained an interest, continuing to represent it till 1734, when he transferred to Downton. In Parliament he steadily supported Walpole. On 12 Feb. 1730, recording a conversation with him about the forthcoming critical debate on Dunkirk, the 1st Lord Egmont observed: ‘I knew his attachment to the ministry and believed it probable that Mr. [Horace] Walpole had sent him to sound me’.1 After Walpole’s fall Duncombe and his nominees for Downton continued to support the Government, his only known deviation being to vote on 23 Oct. 1745, with a number of other government supporters, for an opposition motion calling for the return of the British forces in Flanders to deal with the rebellion.2 He was rewarded with a peerage in 1747 but seems to have been dissatisfied, for in 1756, in recommending one of his Members, James Hayes, for a Welsh judgeship, he wrote to Hardwicke (2 Oct.):
I think I have a claim if having chose, I believe I may say without vanity, ... more Members at my own expense than almost any private man without advantage either to myself or them, nor have I shown from perhaps the greatest neglects, which is difficult to divest oneself from, any resentment to the measures either by their or my own behaviour.3
He died 18 June 1763.