BETHELL, Slingsby (1695-1758), of Tower Hill, London

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



1747 - 1 Nov. 1758

Family and Education

bap. 16 Mar. 1695, 3rd s. of William Bethell of Swindon, Yorks. (nephew of Slingsby Bethell, republican1) by Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Brooke, 1st Bt., M.P., of York, and a distant cos. of Hugh Bethell. unm. suc. bro. Hugh Bethell, M.P., 7 Feb. 1747.

Offices Held

Alderman of London 1749, sheriff 1751-2, ld. mayor 1755-6; pres. of British white herring fishery 1750- d.


Bethell as a young man went out to the West Indies, and c. 1720 was ‘chief agent and manager’ of all the Antigua plantations of his brother-in-law, Sir William Codrington.2 He returned to England c.1730, and set up as a London merchant. Some information about his trade appears in the evidence he gave before the House of Commons on 16 Feb. 1736: he was sending ‘great quantities’ of English woollens to the Guinea coast, purchasing there negroes for the British plantations, and receiving in exchange ‘the produce of the said islands, and particularly cotton’.3

In 1754 Bethell stood for London on a joint interest with William Beckford, and came out second on the poll, receiving only six votes less than Sir John Barnard. He was classed in Dupplin’s lists as an Opposition Whig.

Bethell died 1 Nov. 1758, leaving most of his fortune, including his real estate in Antigua, to his Codrington nephews.4

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. About him see DNB.
  • 2. See C11/703/15, N. Barnardiston v. W. Codrington, 21 Jan. 1723.
  • 3. CJ, xxii. 566.
  • 4. V. L. Oliver, Antigua. 43.