BURTON, Robert (?1738-1810), of Gray's Inn.

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



1784 - 1790

Family and Education

b. ?1738, yngst. s. of David Burton of Yarm, nr. Stockton, Yorks. educ. G. Inn 1757, called 1763, bencher 1781, treasurer 1781-2, 1800-1. unm. Kntd. 19 June 1800, on presenting an address from Gray’s Inn congratulating the King on his escape from assassination.

Offices Held


Burton contested Wendover in 1784 with John Ord against Lord Verney’s interest; their election is said to have cost them £6000. Burton was classed by William Adam as a supporter of Opposition, and voted with them over Richmond’s fortifications plan, 27 Feb. 1786, and the Regency.

All the same he opposed the impeachment of Warren Hastings, in which all the prominent Opposition leaders took part; and voted against the impeachment of Impey, 9 May 1788. Four out of the eight speeches he is known to have made in the House were in defence of Hastings. On 26 Mar. 17861

he reprobated the sort of evidence which had been received in the course of the prosecution, and which, he said, the lowest courts of law would not have suffered to have been entertained a moment. He censured Mr. Burke for the intemperate manner in which throughout the prosecution he had talked of Mr. Hastings; a style of description, he said, which could only be justifiably held to convicts.

For this he was attacked by both Fox and Burke.

He did not stand in 1790, and died 2 Mar. 1810, aged 71.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Stockdale, viii. 462.