PELHAM CLINTON, Lord John (1755-81).

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



24 Feb. 1778 - 10 Nov. 1781

Family and Education

b. 13 Sept. 1755, 3rd s. of Henry, 2nd Duke of Newcastle, and bro. of Henry Fiennes, Earl of Lincoln, and Lord Thomas Pelham Clinton.  educ. Eton 1763-70; King’s, Camb. 1772; Grand Tour 1776-8.  unm.

Offices Held

Gentleman of the bedchamber to Prince of Wales 1780- d.


In 1778 Newcastle opened for his son the family seat at East Retford by transferring William Hanger to Aldborough, and spent lavishly to ensure an unopposed election. Clinton, then at Vienna, wrote to his father, 10 Mar. 1778:1 ‘Permit me to offer you my sincerest thanks for placing me so young in the only field where an Englishman can distinguish himself.’ But he seems never to have spoken in the House.

In 1780, Newcastle being ill and Lincoln abroad, it fell to Clinton to present to North the family’s demands—a place for himself and military promotion for his brother—which he did with great self-confidence. ‘You may [be] assured’, he wrote to Newcastle, 5 Nov. 1780, ‘that in my conversation with Lord North I shall talk very openly to him, and at the same time I shall take care of your honour by not behaving as if we meant to make a bargain with them.’

In October 1781 he went to Portugal for his health, and died at Lisbon 10 Nov. 1781. ‘Lord John Clinton has left a will’, wrote George Selwyn to Lord Carlisle, 13 Dec.,2 ‘which the Duke of Newcastle knew nothing of, it seems; and he leaves £16,000 to his niece, the late Lord Lincoln’s daughter ... His Grace had quarrelled with Lord John before he went to Lisbon.’

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: I. R. Christie


  • 1. Newcastle (Clumber) mss.
  • 2. HMC Carlisle, 551.