TUCKER, John (d.1779), of Weymouth, Dorset
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Family and Education
1st s. of Edward Tucker, M.P. for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis 1727-37. m. Martha, da. of George Gollop of Berwick, Dorset, s.p. suc. fa. 1739.
Cashier to the treasurer of the navy 1744-9; paymaster of the marines ?1757- d.; keeper of the King’s private roads 1770- d.
Mayor, Weymouth 1726, 1732, 1738, 1754, 1763, 1772.
John Tucker had a considerable interest at Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, in which he was associated with Bubb Dodington. Tucker managed the borough, and Dodington looked after their interests at Westminster. Under an arrangement made with Henry Pelham in 1744 two seats were always placed at the disposal of Government. Newcastle in 1760 described Tucker as a ‘creature’ of Dodington,1 and Dodington affected to treat him with a high hand. In May 1762, when a seat was required for George Grenville, Dodington undertook to persuade Tucker to vacate. ‘He says that gentleman has a nephew it may be necessary to provide for’, wrote Bute to Grenville on 25 May 1762.2‘That shall not produce any difficulty. He said 48 hours was necessary but he would lose no time.’ But Tucker took the proposition ‘mortally ill’. ‘Upon this’, wrote Bute, ‘I sent Dashwood to him in my own name, to tell him that I would look on this as an obligation done to myself.’
Mr. Tucker desires his best respects to Lord Bute [was the reply] and consents to give his Lordship this proof of his desire to oblige him, but hopes that when occasion shall offer he may be brought into Parliament at a small expense. Mr. Tucker is obliged to his Lordship for his kind intentions towards Mr. Tucker’s nephew.
‘I am glad ... you have taught him to behave’, wrote Dodington to Dashwood,3 ‘with the submission which becomes his rank and situation’—a poor presence which could not disguise the fact that Tucker was willing to oblige Bute but not to yield to Dodington. Two months later Dodington was dead, and Tucker in undisputed control at Weymouth.
He retained that control until his death, yielding two seats to Government at each general election. In the House he was a faithful Government supporter, and is never known to have voted with the Opposition. Only two interventions in debate are recorded (27 Feb. 1771 and 30 Apr. 1772), both slight and short.4
Tucker vacated his seat in June 1778 in favour of his nephew and heir, Gabriel Steward; and died 9 Oct. 1779.