FORD, Sir Francis, 1st Bt. (1758-1801), of Ember Court, Thames Ditton, Surr. and Lears, Barbados.
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Family and Education
b. 15 Nov. 1758, o.s. of Francis Ford of Lears, member of the Barbados assembly, by Elizabeth, da. of John Birch (or Burch) Hothersall of The Cliff, Barbados, wid. of Samuel Osborne of Barbados. educ. Winchester 1767-9; St. John’s, Camb. 1774-8; L. Inn 1774. m. 22 Jan. 1785, Mary, da. of George Anson (formerly Adams†) of Shugborough, Staffs., 3s. 5da. suc. fa. 1772; cr. Bt. 22 Feb. 1793.
Member of council, Barbados.
Ford was the heir of a Barbados planter of the third generation, the family originating in Devon. He was educated in England and acquired property in Surrey in 1791. The year before, he had canvassed Evesham but did not go to the poll. In 1793, through his wife’s family, he found an opening at Newcastle-under-Lyme, where he was the 1st Marquess of Stafford’s nominee. He succeeded after a contest costing him £2,000 and was consoled with a baronetcy on the day of his election. Soon afterwards he sold his Surrey property.1
In Parliament Ford was expected to support Pitt’s administration. Any support he gave was unobtrusive, as he is known to have spoken only thrice, in extenuation of his absence from an election committee and (as ‘Mr Ford’) in favour of procrastinating the abolition of the slave trade, 18 Mar., 14 May 1793. He twice appeared in minorities: on Wilberforce’s amendment favouring peace negotiations, 26 Jan. 1795,2 and against the imperial loan, 5 Feb. 1795. After this, nothing: not even a vote on the slave trade question, 15 Mar. 1796. He did not seek re-election that year.
Ford died in Barbados, 7 June 1801. He left his heir estates there and at Essequibo, where he had made a codicil to his will in March 1801.3