CHALONER, Robert (1776-1842), of Guisborough, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



16 Feb. 1810 - 1818
28 June 1820 - 1826

Family and Education

b. 23 Sept. 1776, 3rd s. of William Chaloner of Guisborough by Emma, da. of William Harvey of Chigwell, Essex, sis. of Eliab Harvey*. educ. Harrow 1785. m. 24 Jan. 1805, Hon. Frances Laura Dundas, da. of Sir Thomas Dundas, 2nd Bt.*, 1st Baron Dundas, 3s. 3da. suc. e. bro. Thomas 1796.

Offices Held

Ld. mayor, York 1817.

Cornet N. W. Riding yeomanry, capt. 1798; maj. Cleveland vols. 1803, N. Riding militia 1808.


The Chaloners were neighbours of the Dundas family, whose principal residence was at Aske, but who had a second house at Upleatham, only two miles from Guisborough. Chaloner’s cousin Harriot Hale married Lord Dundas’s eldest son Lawrence Dundas* in 1794. Chaloner himself married Dundas’s daughter in 1805 and was returned for his borough in 1810. He had been proposed for Brooks’s in 1805 by Earl Fitzwilliam and was classed ‘present Opposition’ by the Whigs in 1810, but his attendance was relatively infrequent and no speech is known. His first recorded vote with opposition was on Lord Chatham’s conduct over the Scheldt expedition, 5 Mar. 1810. He re-emerged to oppose Perceval’s motion for a fortnight’s adjournment, 15 Nov. 1810, and was in the minority on the Regency, 21 Jan. 1811. He did not appear again in the division lists until Morpeth’s motion on Ireland, 4 Feb. 1812, after Lord Milton had written to Lawrence Dundas urging attendance.1 He voted six more times during the 1812 session, including a vote for Catholic relief, which he invariably supported, two votes for sinecure reform and his vote for Stuart Wortley’s motion for a more efficient administration. Thereafter he appeared in under a quarter of the extant minority divisions, attending steadily only in 1815 and 1816. In January 1817 Tierney listed him among Fitzwilliam’s friends who ‘will not I am afraid stir without a letter from him or Lord Milton’.2 But unlike Fitzwilliam’s Members he voted against the expulsion of Lord Cochrane, 5 July 1814, and, with the Dundas family, against the Regent’s address on the renewal of war, 25 May 1815, and the suspension of habeas corpus, 26 and 28 Feb. 1817, the latter being his last known vote before the general election of 1818, when he made way for Dundas’s grandson.

Chaloner returned to the House in 1820 as Member for York, where in 1818 he had acted on behalf of Fitzwilliam and Lawrence Dundas and had shown interest in extending the Whig representation to both seats.3 A partner with Godfrey Wentworth Wentworth* in the York banking house of Wentworth, Chaloner and Rishworth, which was said to have made profits of £249,000 in 12 years, he chaired the Yorkshire bankers’ meeting of 27 Apr. 1818 to oppose the proposed legislation on bank-note issue. He was bankrupted in the financial crisis of 1825-6, when Fitzwilliam helped to save his Yorkshire property and appointed him steward of his Irish estates.4 Chaloner died 7 Oct. 1842.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: J. M. Collinge


  • 1. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. F51/35.
  • 2. Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 4 Jan. 1817.
  • 3. See YORK.
  • 4. Add. 38271, f. 271; The Times, 13, 19 Dec. 1825, 20 Mar. 1826; Wentworth Woodhouse mun. F132/12, 22-24.