HANDASYDE, Roger (c.1684-1763), of Gaines Park, Great Staughton, Hunts.

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



1722 - 1741
1747 - 1754

Family and Education

b. c.1684, 1st s. of Maj.-Gen. Thomas Handasyde of Gaines Park, gov. of Jamaica, by his 1st w. (d.1704). educ. Westminster. m. (lic. 21 Jan. 1710) Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Thornycroft, 1st Bt., of Milcombe, Oxon., s.p. suc. fa. 1729.

Offices Held

Ensign 28 Ft. 1696; exchanged to 22 Ft. c.1702; capt. 1703; lt.-col. c.1709; col. 22 Ft. 1712-30; col. 16 Ft. 1730-d.; brig.-gen. 1735; lt. gov. Fort St. Philip, Minorca, 1737-?47; maj.-gen. 1739; lt.-gen. 1743; gov. Berwick-upon-Tweed 1745; c.-in-c. Scotland Oct.-Dec. 1745.


In an army career of 67 years General Handasyde, of a Northumberland family,1 appears to have seen little active service. During Marlborough’s wars he was in Jamaica with his father, whom he succeeded as colonel of the 22nd Foot in 1712. ‘A bitter Whig’,2 he was brought in unopposed by Lord Hinchingbrooke at Huntingdon in 1722, voting with the Administration in all recorded divisions until 1740. His only two known speeches were on army matters: in a debate on the land forces on 14 Feb. 1735 he defended the part played by his regiment in Edinburgh during the recent election of representative peers; and on the mutiny bill of January 1741 he opposed a proposal to cut down the private soldier’s daily allowance of beer. He lost his seat in 1741 to the nominees of the young Lord Sandwich, then in opposition.

In the Forty-five, as commander-in-chief in Scotland in succession to Sir John Cope, Handasyde occupied Edinburgh on 14 Nov., while Prince Charles Edward was marching into England. In February 1747 he complained to Newcastle that the command in Scotland had once more been given to his inferior in rank.3 By this time he had joined the Prince of Wales in opposition.4 Lord Sandwich learned that

his Royal Highness has persuaded my old antagonist Handasyde to endeavour to give me what trouble he could in Huntingdonshire, and I believe it is as represented because I can no other way account for his forgetting the most formal and public promises he has made me without any kind of condition to support my interest both in town and county. He now talks of opposing me in both, but it is absolutely out of his power to do me the least hurt in either, except hurting my pocket.5

At the general election of 1747 Handasyde did not stand for Huntingdonshire but was returned for Scarborough by Lord Carlisle as a Leicester House candidate. On 22 Jan. 1751, described as ‘a blundering commander on the Prince’s side’, he spoke strongly against a libellous attack on the Duke of Cumberland.6 Though reported in September 1752 to have been nominated for Huntingdonshire ‘by a majority of the gentlemen of the greatest property in this county as candidate ... at the next general election’,7 he did not stand again. His approaches to Newcastle for a ‘better regiment’ in 1752, and for the colonelcy of a troop of Horse Grenadier Guards in 1760,8 met with no success. He died 4 Jan. 1763, aged 78.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. F. Cundall, Govs. of Jamaica in first half of the 18th Cent. 27; Arch. Aeliana (ser. 3), iv. 142-5; VCH Hunts. ii. 362.
  • 2. Nathaniel Mist to James Edgar, 7 Aug. 1733, Stuart mss 163/183.
  • 3. Newcastle to Handasyde, 28 Nov. 1745, Add. 32705, f. 389; Handasyde to Newcastle, 19 Feb. 1747, Add. 32710, f. 219; W. B. Blaikie, Origins of the Forty-five (Sc. Hist. Soc. ser. 2), ii. 345.
  • 4. HMC Fortescue, i. 108.
  • 5. Sandwich to Newcastle, 21 Mar. (N.S.) 1747, Add. 32807, f.209.
  • 6. Walpole, Mems. Geo II, i. 10.
  • 7. Manchester to Devonshire, 24 Sept. 1752, Devonshire mss.
  • 8. Handasyde to Newcastle, 5 May 1752, 17 Mar. 1760, Add. 32727, f. 86; 32903, f. 342.