BERNARD, Scrope (1758-1830), of Lower Winchendon, Bucks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



16 Feb. 1789 - 1802
1806 - Apr. 1808
28 Feb. 1809 - 18 Apr. 1830

Family and Education

b. 1 Oct. 1758, 3rd s. of Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Bt., gov. of Massachusetts Bay 1760-71, by Amelia, da. of Stephen Offley of Norton Hall, Derbys. educ. Harrow 1774-5; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1775-81. m. 26 July 1785, Hannah, da. and h. of William Morland, M.P., of Lee, Kent, banker, 5s. 2da. suc. bro. as 4th Bt. 1 July 1818. Took add. name of Morland 1811.

Offices Held

Private sec. to ld. lt. [I] Sept. 1782-Apr. 1783 and 1787-9; usher of the black rod [I] 1787-9; under-sec. of state for Home affairs 1789-92; adv. Doctors’ Commons 1789; judge of episcopal court of Durham 1795- d.


At Oxford, Bernard formed a close friendship with W. W. Grenville, brother of Lord Temple, which was the foundation of his political career. He had intended to study medicine, but accepted Temple’s offer to become his private secretary when he was appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland. After returning to England, he made two visits to France. In 1784 he canvassed Lincoln, where his family had an estate. Next Pitt, through Grenville, offered Bernard the secretaryship of a commission on public offices, on which he served 1785-6.

In 1787 he again served as private secretary to Lord Buckingham (as Temple now was) for his second viceroyalty; it had, however, been agreed with Buckingham that he should stand for Aylesbury when opportunity offered, and he successfully contested the borough in February 1789. In Ireland when the result was announced, he wrote: ‘I think I ought to behave in the handsomest manner both in regard to personal attendance and expense to the borough as well as with a view to my next election, as for the general benefit of the party in that quarter.’1 He proposed to spend £5,000 (of which Lord Buckingham was to provide £1,000) to consolidate his position.

After returning to England he accepted for financial reasons an under-secretaryship at the Home Office under Grenville, though this kept him more in London than he wished. He spoke, 23 Apr. 1790, against the proposal to lay before the House part of the report of the commission on public offices.2

He died 18 Apr. 1830.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: M. H. Port


  • 1. HMC Fortescue, i. 417.
  • 2. Debrett, xxvii. 484.