KNIGHT, Robert, 1st Baron Luxborough [I] (1702-72), of Barrells, Warws. and Luxborough, Essex
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Family and Education
b. 17 Dec. 1702, 1st s. of Robert Knight of Barrells, cashier to the South Sea Co. (who fled to France in 1721 and became a banker in Paris). educ. I. Temple 1719. m. (1) 10 June 1727, Henrietta (d. 26 Mar. 1756), da. of Henry St. John, 1st Visct. St. John, half-sis. of Henry, 1st Visct. Bolingbroke, 1s. d.v.p. 1da.; (2) 18 June 1756, Mary, wid. of Sir John Le Quesne, alderman of London, s.p. suc. fa. 1744; cr. Baron Luxborough [I] 8 Aug. 1745; Earl of Catherlough [I] 14 May 1763; K.B. 18 May 1770.
Recorder, Grimsby Mar. 1761.
Luxborough had an interest at Grimsby which, wrote John Page in 1762,1 was ‘stronger there than any man’s because they have had more of his money than anybody’s, and he has always been punctual to all his engagements with them and they with him’. At the general election of 1761 Luxborough had his son returned for Grimsby, but after his sudden death in August 1762 he decided to stand for the borough himself, ‘as money can be no consideration in my unhappy situation, and as possibly hereafter it may be an amusement to be in Parliament’.2 Though at first threatened with an opposition, his disregard for expense appears to have daunted his opponent, and he was returned unopposed.
In Parliament he supported the Bute and Grenville Administrations, and was raised to the earldom of Catherlough shortly after Grenville took over. During the early part of 1765 he made a series of speeches opposing the bill to provide an additional salary for masters in Chancery, but otherwise scarcely spoke in the House. In Rockingham’s list of July 1765 he was classed as an opponent; he spoke and voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act, 22 Feb. 1766; voted with Opposition on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767; and was informed by Grenville of the outcome of the negotiations of July 1767.3
At the general election of 1768 Catherlough canvassed Grimshy but withdrew before the poll. On 22 May 1770 Whately wrote to Grenville: ‘You have lost the support of your old follower Lord Catherlough, who is a knight of the Bath, in consideration of which honour he is to pay £3,000 for a seat in Parliament, and support Administration’.4Catherlough is reported to have spoken several times on the Administration side, and he voted with them on the Spanish convention. He died 30 Mar. 1772.