MOORE, Charles (1771-1826), of Lambeth Palace, Surr. and Charles Street, Berkeley Square, Mdx.
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Family and Education
bap. 23 Dec. 1771, 2nd s. of Rt. Rev. John Moore, abp. of Canterbury 1783-1805, by 2nd w. Catherine, da. of Sir Robert Eden, 3rd Bt., of West Auckland, co. Dur., sis. of William Eden*, 1st Baron Auckland. educ. Eton 1781-8; Christ Church, Oxf. 1788; L. Inn 1792. unm.
Jt. registrar PCC and registrar, faculty office 1800-d.; commr. of audit Oct. 1806-10.
Ensign, Inns of Court vols. 1803; capt. Lambeth Loyal vols. 1803.
A fellow member of the Christ Church set wrote of Moore in 1809:
Charles Moore is designated under the character of Narcissus in one of the numbers of the Microcosm; his appearance and manners are highly effeminate, he is nevertheless pleasant in society, has good natural parts and is a good scholar.1
He was, we also learn, extremely short-sighted. It did not matter: his father the archbishop of Canterbury, prompted apparently by his uncle Lord Auckland, provided him with sinecures. He also found his way into Parliament. His father had been tutor to the younger brothers of the 4th Duke of Marlborough, who was also a close friend of Auckland’s, and in 1799 he was returned for Woodstock on the duke’s interest, until Lord Francis Spencer was of age or until the dissolution.2 The dissolution came first. In the ensuing Parliament, though not as first choice, the duke brought him in for Heytesbury, and the same thing happened in the next, when the duke maintained that he was not popular at Woodstock and it was the Speaker’s double election that was ‘the means of prolonging Charles Moore’s senatorial rank’.3 Indeed he retained it in the Parliament of 1807, during which the duke’s disposal of his interest at Heytesbury set a term to his prospects.
Moore was an inconspicuous Member. No speech of his is known; nor is any vote against government. He was rallied by the Duke of Portland on Pitt’s return to power in June 1804, listed ‘Pitt’ (with a query) in September 1804 and again in July following, after voting with ministers against the censure of Melville, 8 Apr. On 23 May 1806 Auckland wrote to Lord Grenville:
It just occurs to me (though I suppose too late) that Charles Moore would have been well suited to the new commission of military accounts. He is independent in fortune, of the fairest moral character, and highly esteemed by Mr Canning and his contemporaries. His late father had a sort of promise to some appointment for him from Lord Sidmouth. I know nothing of his views, nor how far he now looks to any office of this description, but I should not be sorry to see him out of Parliament; and he is aware, I believe, that his seat at Heytesbury will, at the next election, go to my son, who is zealously attached to your government and to all its connections.
Moore became a commissioner of audit in October. He was ‘friendly’ to the Grenville ministry’s abolition of the slave trade, but his inclusion in the minority of 9 Apr. 1807 against their successors in office was a mistake. In 1810 Lord Francis Spencer, leader of his father’s parliamentary squad, was expected to go into opposition; Moore was accordingly listed ‘hopeful’ by the Whigs during the Walcheren debates. But nothing came of it and on 28 Mar. his cousin George Eden wrote: ‘Charles Moore is in doubt as to the first question whether he shall vote at all, but intends to vote upon the second with opposition’.4 Lord Francis Spencer abstained and so probably did Moore. He did vote against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810, and rallied to ministers on the Regency, 1 Jan. 1811, but no further activity is known. He died 14 Dec. 1826.
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. Add. 48244, f. 52.
- 2. Glenbervie Diaries, ii. 300; Add. 34455, f. 112; PRO 30/9/32/568, Marlborough to Burton, 18 Nov. 1800.
- 3. Add. 34457, f. 81; 34460, f. 346.
- 4. PRO 30/8/168, f. 160; HMC Fortescue, viii. 153; Harewood mss, Canning to his wife, 6 Mar.; Fortescue mss, Fremantle to Grenville, 11 o’clock [27 Mar. 1810]; Add. 34458, f. 62.