BLACKETT, Sir Edward, 4th Bt. (1719-1804), of Matfen, Northumb. and Thorpe Lea, Surr.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
bap. 9 Apr. 1719, 1st s. of John Blackett of Newby, Yorks. (3rd s. of Sir Edward, 2nd Bt.), by Patience, da. of Henry Wise of Brompton Park, Mdx. educ. Trinity, Oxf. 1737; L. Inn 1740. m. Sept. 1751, Anne, da. and h. of Oley Douglas of Matfen, 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 1750, and his uncle as 4th Bt. 1 Mar. 1756.
In 1768 Blackett was proposed for Northumberland by Lord Percy and Sir Walter Blackett and returned unopposed. In 1769 he voted with Administration over Wilkes and the Middlesex election, but in the division of 25 Jan. 1770 with Opposition. However, he had no sympathy with the radicalism of the City of London, and in the debate on its remonstrance, 19 Mar. 1770, he seconded a motion ‘that to deny the validity of proceedings in Parliament was unwarrantable and tended to disturb the peace of the kingdom’.1 He spoke at least a dozen times on various subjects between 1771 and 1773, and both in March 1772 and September 1774 was classed by Robinson as a Government supporter. He did not stand in 1774, declaring that his health would not permit him ‘to give that due attendance which so great a trust demands’. But to his brother Henry he wrote on 15 Aug.:2
I assure you I am as well pleased to be out, as any one can be to have me so. I shall be my own master, and accountable to nobody; why I do this, or why I do that: indeed I don’t think that any prudent man should wish to represent a county who has not some private view of his own: I came in against my own inclinations, purely to preserve the peace of the county, having no private interests of my own to carry; no title, no place to accept of; and so no court would I pay to great people; I assure you I shall like my own country much better when I am a private man in it, and not accountable for my conduct to any one: and indeed I have not been so well as I could wish this twelvemonth. If the attendance in Parliament is not quite so agreeable, the attendance that I must give to all the public meetings when I am in the county is still more disagreeable: all these things determined me not to incur any fresh obligations, and not to give my friends any more trouble on my account.
He died 3 Feb. 1804.