NEALE, John (1687-1746), of Allesley Park, Warws. and Cherington, Glos.
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Family and Education
bap. 11 July 1687, 1st s. of Henry Neale, M.P., of Allesley Park by Anna Maria, da. and h. of John Hanbury of Freckenham, Suff. educ. Pembroke, Oxf. 1705, M. Temple 1705. m. Frances, da. of Roger Pope of Oswestry, Salop, 3da. suc. fa. 1730.
Neale’s grandfather, John Neale, M.P., of Dean in Bedfordshire, distinguished himself in the parliamentary cause during the civil war and married the cousin and ward of Oliver Cromwell. His father bought Allesley, two miles from Coventry, in 1692 and contested the city in 1701. Returned as a Whig for Chipping Wycombe at a by-election in 1722, he was elected for Coventry at the general election of that year, standing jointly with Sir Adolphus Oughton on the corporation interest. On petition the election was declared void, but he was returned at a new election a month later, and was unopposed in 1727. Absent from the divisions on the Hessians in 1730 and on the army in 1732, he voted for the excise bill on 14 Mar. 1733, when he was described as ‘husband to one of the Queen’s bedchamber women’.1 He made his maiden speech on the committee stage of the bill two days later, declaring that his constituents supported the bill, but when, on 11 Apr. a petition from Coventry against the bill was presented by William Bromley, it was
seconded by Mr. Neale, who had voted against the London one the day before, and who at the same time he seconded it assured the House it did not import the sense of the city.2
On 8 May he supported an address of thanks on the Princess Royal’s marriage to the Prince of Orange. On 12 Feb. 1734, in a debate on how ‘to prevent the running of wool both from England and Ireland’, he said that there was ‘a sure method’ of doing this ‘namely, for the Parliament to buy all the wool and yarn of both kingdoms and sell it again at a proper price’. Seven days later he opposed a new bill to oblige Members to produce their qualification to the House of Commons and to swear to it.3
Before the 1734 election Neale wrote to Walpole:
I have no ways agreed to join with anybody at Coventry yet, but my friends tell me I may bring in whomsoever I have a mind to, if I have a mind to, if I insist on it, and I can say I think my interest as good there as ever, but if you are sure of Sir Adolphus [Oughton] for the future I should be 10th to turn him out, but if not, I will be ready to obey your commands.
Defeated by John Bird, a local merchant who stood on the anti-excise platform, he recovered his seat when Walpole gave Bird an office incompatible with a seat in the House, Neale being returned for the vacancy at a by-election in April 1737. He wrote to Walpole, 27 Dec. 1737:
I am honoured with your letter, and if able, will be at the meeting of the Parliament, though I must beg leave to consult my friends at Coventry upon all occasions, having spent too much money and stood too much fire in supporting your cause, to be not only opposed by your friends, but in conjunction with your enemies to support a tool of theirs for one [Oughton] and for the other, one [Bird] founded his popularity upon his virulence against the excise and opposition to the bulwark of the Whig interest at Coventry, being almost totally supported by the Tories. If I should do anything to incur the displeasure of my friends at Coventry, can I any more expect the support of your friends next time than last?4
He was absent from the division on the Spanish convention in 1739 and voted for the place bill in 1740. Defeated in 1741, he sold the advowson of Allesley to pay for his electioneering debts.5 He died 19 Dec. 1746.