ORCHARD, Paul (1739-1812), of Hartland, Devon

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



1784 - 1806

Family and Education

b. 26 June 1739, o.s. of Paul Orchard, M.P., of Aldercombe, Cornw. and Hartland, Devon by his 3rd w. Rebecca, da. of Charles Smith of Isleworth, Mdx.  educ. Exeter, Oxf. 1757.  m. 17 July 1764, Bettina, da. of Sir Robert Lawley, 4th Bt., of Canwell, Staffs., sis. of Sir Robert Lawley, 5th Bt., s.p.  suc. fa. 6 June 1740.

Offices Held


John Arscott, of Tetcott, North Devon, wrote in his hunting book on 13 Oct. 1774:1 ‘Took the field this day ... the hounds set off ... they had the honour to be passed in review before Col. Orchard, as good a judge and follower of hounds as this county affords. He was returning from the election at Callington.’ Orchard obviously had some connexion with the borough, though his name does not appear in the Callington poll-sheets of 1768 and 1771; nor is it clear on what interest he was returned in 1784.

He was colonel of the Northern Regiment of the Devon militia, and his only reported intervention in debate in the Parliament of 1784 was on 10 Mar. 1786 to defend the militia when it was charged with ‘injuring the morals of the people’.2 In 1784 he was classed by William Adam as ‘doubtful’; he voted for Pitt’s parliamentary reform proposals, 18 Apr. 1785; does not appear in the two division lists on the Regency but in the consolidated list is classed as supporting Pitt.

Orchard died 1 Mar. 1812.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. In possession of Sir John Molesworth-St. Aubyn, Bt., at Pencarrow, Cornw.
  • 2. Stockdale, vii. 398; Debrett, xix. 375.