PIERREPONT, Evelyn Henry Frederick (1775-1801).
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Family and Education
Capt. Notts. militia 1792.
Soon after he came of age Pierrepont entered Parliament on the Mount Edgcumbe interest. A few weeks later he succeeded his father as county Member. He at once showed himself to be an active supporter of Pitt’s ministry, several times acting as teller. His first known speech was against the Quaker relief bill, which he succeeded in obstructing, 6 Mar. 1797. He was an advocate of the strict enforcement of calls of the House, 17 Mar. On 28 Mar. he opposed Wood’s motion on military administration and on 19 May Combe’s motion against a ministry which, he maintained, was ‘unfortunate’ not ‘criminal’. He added that he would have supported their restrictions on civil liberty if he had been a Member when they were introduced. Opposing Fox’s motion for their repeal, he claimed they had saved the country, 23 May. He was teller against the admission of protestant dissenters to army commissions without taking the Test Act oaths, 27 June. He supported the triple tax assessment, 4 Dec. 1797, complaining only of the exemption of the royal family and their dependants from it. This was thought shocking because his father had recently obtained a peerage.1
Pierrepont could not swallow Pitt’s land tax redemption bill and opposed it throughout, April-May 1798. He also opposed English militia service against the Irish rebels, 19 June 1798, but stated that he would go with his militia if they volunteered. He was a teller against bids to abolish the slave trade, 7 June 1798, 12, 23 Apr. 1799. Henceforward he was a frequent speaker on a variety of subjects. He was in the chair of the committee that resolved in favour of compensation for John Palmer*, 31 May 1799, and was deputed to help prepare a new bill against trade unions, 30 June 1800. He was in the minority for Grey’s motion on the effects of the Irish union, 25 Apr., and again for the call of the House, 12 Nov. 1800, but on 18 Dec. expressed great enthusiasm for the bills to prevent sedition in the forces, which he suggested should expire in 1870, rather than 1807. He supported inquiry into the Ferrol expedition, 19 Feb. 1801, complained of the unreliability of the penny post, 4 Mar., and next day counted out the House on the mixed bread bill, deploring such thin attendance. This was the pretext for his motion of 18 Mar., defeated by 151 votes to 19, to make the quorum 60 instead of 40. He concluded sarcastically ‘if there are a set of men who can keep 40 Members in the House, it is the Treasury bench’. Next day he vehemently opposed the Irish master of the rolls bill and he voted for Grey’s and Tierney’s critical motions of 25 Mar. and 22 Apr. 1801.