DARLING, Sir Robert (d.1770), of Bethnal Green, London
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Family and Education
unm. Kntd. 8 Oct. 1766.
Sheriff, London and Mdx. 1766-7.
Darling, according to a local antiquary,1 was
born at Chellington [Beds.] of humble parentage, where when a boy he used to keep cows on the hill on which the church stands. When of proper age, as we have been informed, he put himself apprentice to a lapidary, after which by great diligence and other means he acquired a large fortune.
In the London directories he appears as a merchant trading at Mile End; and in a list of the House of Commons, published in the Gentleman’s Magazine for 1769,2 as a ‘contractor for cartouch boxes for the army’. His will3 shows that he had property in London, the home counties, and Cumberland; and also at Wendover.
Darling was returned at Wendover with the support of Robert Atkins, a lace maker in the town, who led an opposition to Lord Verney, patron of the borough; according to Oldfield4‘no opposition [to Verney] was expected until the day of election’.
In the House, Darling supported Administration over Wilkes and the Middlesex election. There is no record of his having spoken. He died 4 Aug. 1770.