PROBY, John Joshua, 1st Earl of Carysfort [I] (1751-1828).

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



4 Feb. 1790 - 11 June 1790
1790 - 21 Jan. 1801

Family and Education

b. 12 Aug. 1751, o.s. of John, 1st Baron Carysfort.  educ. Westminster c.1764-7, Trinity, Camb. 1767.  m. (1) 19 Mar. 1774, Elizabeth (d. Nov. 1783), da. of Sir William Osborne, 8th Bt., of Newtown, co. Tipperary, 2s. 2da.; (2) 12 Apr. 1787, Elizabeth, da. of George Grenville, sis. of George, 1st Mq. of Buckingham and of W. W. Grenville and Thomas Grenville, 3da.  suc. fa. 18 Oct. 1772; cr. Earl of Carysfort [I] 20 Aug. 1789; Baron Carysfort [GB] 21 Jan. 1801; K.P. 5 Feb. 1784.

Offices Held

P.C. [I] 26 Sept. 1789; envoy to Berlin 1800-2; P.C. [GB] 12 Feb. 1806; jt. postmaster gen. and commr. of Board of Control 1806-7.


Carysfort intended to stand for Huntingdonshire in 1774, but soon gave up the contest against the joint Sandwich-Manchester interests. Sandwich wrote to the Duke of Manchester, 8 Feb. 1773:1

All the world treat Lord Carysfort’s attempt as a ridiculous measure, and I cannot help thinking that the daily discouragement he receives from his friends, and those to whom he has applied for their interest, must shortly induce him to give up the vain pursuit.

Among Carysfort’s few supporters Sandwich mentioned Sir Robert Bernard; and 15 years later, Carysfort, when he thought once more of standing for the county, wrote to William Pitt: ‘Sir Robert Bernard’s interest, certainly one of the best in the county, is entirely with me.’2 Their common advocacy of parliamentary and economical reform may have formed a link between them—see Carysfort’s letter to the Huntingdonshire Committee in February 1780.3 In 1779 Carysfort declared his candidature for Cambridge University.4 But again he soon gave up the attempt: Robinson’s electoral survey of July 1780 names six candidates, but not Carysfort.

During these years Carysfort was politically active in Ireland, where he at first supported the Opposition, but next rallied to the Government side under Rutland’s lord-lieutenancy, and still more under that of his brother-in-law, the Marquess of Buckingham, who on 27 Sept. 1787 wrote to Pitt:5

Upon another point I must detain you, and that is upon a request of Lord Carysfort to be considered as one of us, and to be allowed to come into Parliament upon the first vacancy paying the price: but as a preliminary to that he wishes to know the probable expense, in order that he may not engage himself too far: he is very warm and zealous, and has a certain degree of talent and application, and he will in all events buy himself into Parliament next general election, unless you can assist a view which he has for the county of Huntingdon.

He hoped at one time to detach the Sandwich from the Manchester interest, and that then Lord Ludlow would ‘go to the wall’; but although he had the support of Government, to which he attached much importance—‘Lord Carysfort is a decided friend of Government, and Lord Ludlow is a decided enemy’, wrote Pitt to Philip Yorke, 15 Oct. 17886—he had finally to give up the attempt. Also Buckingham’s scheme to make for Carysfort a vacancy in his borough of Buckingham did not come off,7 and Carysfort was only returned at the tail end of that Parliament on the Government interest at East Looe. No speech or vote of his is known during the short span of his British parliamentary career covered by this section.

He died 7 Apr. 1828.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Sandwich mss.
  • 2. 29 Sept. [1788], Chatham mss.
  • 3. Printed and distributed by the Society for Constitutional Information.
  • 4. HMC Rutland, iii. 17; Nichols, Lit. Anecs. vii. 648.
  • 5. Chatham mss.
  • 6. Add. 35641, f. 186.
  • 7. HMC Fortescue, i. 482.