BULL, Daniel (c.1727-91), of Calne, Wilts.

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



1761 - Dec. 1762

Family and Education

bap. 18 Dec. 1727, s. of John and Elizabeth Bull of Calne. unm. suc. fa. 1 Jan. 1768.

Offices Held

Commr. of taxes 1762- d.; commr. of appeals in the Excise 1766- d.; vendue master of the Leeward Islands.1


Daniel Bull’s father was steward to John and William Petty, Lords Shelburne, and apparently also to William Northey and Thomas Duckett. He managed elections at Calne, and on 7 Feb. 1763 boasted to Lord Shelburne that he and his friends ‘have carried every point for more than the last thirty years’.2 In Bute’s list of December 1761 Daniel Bull is described as ‘inclinable to Lord Shelburne but elected against his Lordship’s will by his father,—Bull who is steward to his Lordship and Mr. Northey’.

At first Daniel Bull made approaches to Newcastle. William Levinz wrote about him, 16 Dec. 1761:3I know he is perfectly well-inclined to your Grace, and that he is a most worthy man.’ On 7 Jan. 1762 he communicated a commission from Bull:4 ‘he ... has withstood ... strong solicitations from others, resolving from the first to make your Grace the only object of his attachment.’ On 6 Feb. 1762: Bull ‘is become very impatient: from a notion that he is not an object worthy of your consideration’.5 But on 19 Aug. Shelburne wrote to Henry Fox that Bute had been very obliging in assisting him essentially in regard to Calne:6obviously by appointing Bull to an office which would vacate his seat; his actual appointment as commissioner of taxes was deferred till the Christmas recess, presumably so as not to lose a vote for the peace preliminaries.

Bull’s father continued to act as Shelburne’s election manager for Calne, assisted and succeeded by Daniel, who was given further offices during Shelburne’s term as secretary of state, 1766-8. Between 1766 and 1769 Daniel Bull sold to Shelburne three farms near Calne for £11,134; and in 1789 his lands in Calne parish were still valued at nearly £9,000.

He died 29 Mar. 1791.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. He appears as holding it in a manuscript notebook of posts and sinecures in the colonies compiled in 1781, with the remark against it: ‘When the fees are regulated, it may be worth £500 p.a.’, Add. 22129, ff. 26-27.
  • 2. Lansdowne mss.
  • 3. Add. 32932, f. 210.
  • 4. Add. 32933, f. 94.
  • 5. Add. 32934, f. 215; for fuller excerpts from these letters see L. B. Namier, ‘Thomas Duckett and Daniel Bull, Members for Calne’, Wilts. Arch. Mag. xliv. 3-4.
  • 6. Ilchester, Letters to Hen. Fox, 157.