DAMER, Hon. John (1744-76).
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Family and Education
b. 25 June 1744, 1st s. of Joseph, 1st Lord Milton and bro. of Hon. George and Hon. Lionel Damer. educ. Eton 1755-61; Trinity, Camb. 1762; Grand Tour. m. 11 June 1767, Anne, da. and h. of Hon. Henry Seymour Conway, s.p.
Damer voted with the Opposition in Parliament. There is no record of his having spoken in the House.
He is described as ‘of a turn rather too eccentric to be confined within the limits of any fortune’.1According to Gibbon, writing to Holroyd, 17 Aug. 1776, ‘by his own indolence rather than extravagance his circumstances were embarrassed, and he had frequently declared himself tired of life’. On 15 Aug. 1776 he committed suicide ‘in a most profligate and abandoned way’2—after having supped at a tavern in Covent Garden ‘with four common women and a blind fiddler’ till three o’clock in the morning. ‘We are persuaded lunacy, not distress, was the sole cause of his fate’, wrote Walpole to Mann, 20 Aug. 1776. ‘He has often ... hinted at such an exploit ... His brothers have gamed, he never did. He was grave, cool, reasonable, and reserved; but passed his life as he died with troops of women and the blind fiddler.’ Lord Milton insisted on selling Mrs. Damer’s jewels to help to pay her husband’s debts.