CRADOCK HARTOPP, Sir Edmund, 1st Bt. (1749-1833), of Four Oaks Hall, nr. Atherstone, Warws. and Freathby, Leics.
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Family and Education
b. 21 Apr. 1749, o. surv. s. of Joseph Bunney, merchant, of Leicester, by Mary, da. of Edmund Cradock of Knytiton, Leics., sis. and h. of Joseph Cradock. educ. Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1767. m. 8 Aug. 1777,1 Anne, da. of Joseph Hurlock, gov. Bencoolen, by Sarah, da. and h. of Sir John Hartopp, 4th Bt., of Freathby, 5s. 6da. Changed name to Cradock Hartopp by Act of Parliament 1777; suc. fa. 1782; cr. Bt. 12 May 1796.
Sheriff, Leics. 1781-2; capt. Sutton Coldfield vols. 1797; lt.-col. W. Leics. vols. 1803-6.
Cradock Hartopp was a friend of William Windham*. After Windham gave up office in August 1783, Hartopp wrote expressing his keen disappointment, adding, ‘hoped I to be one of your satellites?’ When Windham joined Pitt, Hartopp wrote, on 20 July 1794, ‘To see you assume an important post in the ministry in concert with that political party, which from childhood I have been taught to revere, affords me more satisfaction than I will attempt to express’. It was Windham who in 1798 recommended Hartopp to Pitt to fill the vacancy for Leicestershire caused by Pochin’s death. Pitt secured for him the support of the Rutland interest ‘on the present occasion’.2
Hartopp generally supported administration. On 19 Feb. 1801 he voted, however, with opposition for an inquiry into the Ferrol expedition. On 3 Nov. of that year he moved the address on the signature to preliminaries of peace: he praised the conduct of Pitt’s ministry, but concluded that further contest with France was useless and welcomed the peace ‘with pleasure and with exultation’. James Hare* thus described the scene: ‘Sir Edmund Hartopp ... with the countenance and dimensions of a Leicestershire ram, moved the address at the rate of a word and a half in a minute ... Sheridan said he should advert to him by the name of the honourable "Tup".'3 On 9 Dec. he was appointed to the East Inda judicature committee: he was an East India Company stockholder.
Hartopp wrote to Addington from Bath, 25 Apr. 1802, regretting that he could not attend in support of the definitive peace treaty as his mother was dying. He requested ecclesiastical patronage and concluded by joining in 'the very general wish that our country may long enjoy your patriotic services'. He was nevertheless listed a supporter of Pitt's second ministry in September 1804, but welcomed Addington's reconciliation with Pitt in a letter to him of 13 Jan. 1805, being sure
that I may be found among the crowd of friends who will not fail to address to you their early and sincere congratulations on your return to a public station, and on the well-earned honours which his Majesty has so long been graciously disposed to confer, and which we must all rejoice that any happy change of circumstances should have induced you to accept. Tho' we cannot but feel some regret at your absence, we shall assume our impending attendance in Parliament, I do not hesitate to assert, with satisfaction from the refection that your lordship is again employed in the service of our country ... and from seeing some others of your former co-adjutors occupying again official benches in our own House.4
Although he appears to have voted against Pitt only in the minority for the continuation of the commission of naval inquiry, 1 Mar. 1805, he was listed 'doubtful Pitt' in July.
Hartopp opposed the Grenville ministry's repeal of Pitt's Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806, stating on 6 and 8 May that he thought it an injustice to his constituents, who had raised their full quota under the Act, to have no compensation, while the other counties who defaulted were released from all penalties. The 5th Duke of Rutland wished him to retire in favour of his brother at the ensuing general election, reminding him of a conversation of 1802 in which Hartopp was guaranteed his seat for one Parliament more. Hartopp was at first most reluctant to retire and interpreted the pledge of 1802 to suit his views, hinting that he should appeal to the sense of the county; but he ceded to force majeure and did not subsequently seek re-election.5 Hartopp died 10 June 1833.