BURRELL, Peter I (1692-1756), of Langley Park, Beckenham, Kent

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



1722 - 1754
19 Apr. 1755 - 16 Apr. 1756

Family and Education

b. 6 Aug. 1692, 1st s. of Peter Burrell of Beckenham by Isabella, da. of John Merrick of Stubbers, North Ockenden, Essex; bro. of Merrick Burrell. educ. Merchant Taylors’ 1704-7. m. 14 Mar. 1723, Amy, da. of Hugh Raymond of Langley, Beckenham (a director of the South Sea Co. involved in the ‘Bubble’), 4s. 2da. suc. fa. 1718.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Kent 1732-3; director, South Sea Co. 1724-33, sub-governor 1736- d.; director R. Exchange Ass. 1726-38.


Burrell, a steady supporter of Administration, held Haslemere for 32 years jointly with General James Oglethorpe, a Tory suspected of Jacobitism; never altogether secure, they were defeated in 1754. Hardwicke, who favoured Burrell’s opponent, P. C. Webb, wrote disparagingly about him to Newcastle, 23 Nov. 1754: ‘... considering the little consequence of Mr. Burrell, otherwise than as sub-governor of the South Sea Company, and that he has brought this upon himself ...’1

But in fact Burrell was a considerable merchant who, in partnership with John Bristow, held important Government contracts for remittances and the victualling of troops;2 and after the Lisbon earthquake of November 1755, in which they themselves suffered severely, for provisions and remittances to relieve ‘those distressed in Portugal’.3

In April 1755 Burrell was returned for Dover on Newcastle’s recommendation.4 He died 16 Apr. 1756; two hours after his death, his son Peter wrote to Newcastle to claim the seat and contracts of his father who had served the Government for over 30 years ‘in the most trying times;’ was always ready to serve the public; ‘and in assisting the distressed inhabitants of Lisbon, in whose calamities he has borne as large a share as any house in London, he has lost his life’5—which must not be taken literally, as he died at Beckenham.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Add. 32737, f. 385.
  • 2. See BRISTOW, John.
  • 3. T52/47.
  • 4. Add. 32854, f. 194.
  • 5. Add. 32864, ff. 298-9, 320-1.