TEMPLER, George (?1755-1819), of Shapwick, Som.
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Family and Education
b. ?1755, 3rd s. of James Templer of Stover Lodge, Newton Abbot, Devon by Mary, da. of Thomas Parlby of Gravesend, Kent. educ. Westminster 1768; L. Inn 1770. m. 5 Mar. 1781, Jane, da. of Henry Paul of West Monckton, Som., 3s. 1da.
Writer, E.I. Co. (Bengal) 1773; asst. dep. commissary-gen. 1774; factor and contractor for elephants 1779; factor 1780, jun. merchant 1782; commr. for regulating price of grain, 1783; sen. merchant 1784; res. 1784; sheriff, Calcutta 1818; commercial resident, Jungapore 1818-d.
Capt. Kingsbridge vol. inf. 1803, capt. commdt. Loyal Stover vols. 1803.
Templer prospered in India, where he was one of Hastings’s most trusted associates. He returned to England in 1785 and bought Shapwick from the Rolle family. In 1792 he joined Gerard Noel Edwards*, Samuel Smith II*, Richard Johnson*, Nathaniel Middleton and John Wedgwood in founding the London and Middlesex Bank, with premises at 18 Stratford Place, Oxford Street, and later at 34 Pall Mall.1 He invested in East India Company stock.
At the general election of 1790 he stood for Honiton with the support of Sir George Yonge, the secretary at war, and Lord Courtenay, who had influence in the borough, though money was the real key to success. Returned with Yonge after a contest, he survived a petition charging him with bribery. He presumably supported government, being listed among opponents of repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791, and marked ‘pro’ in their survey drawn up for the 1796 general election. In his only known speech in the House, 28 Feb. 1791, he refuted ‘with much warmth’ allegations that the Sedgemore enclosure bill had been ‘smuggled’ into Parliament. By July 1795 he had told Yonge that he did ‘not mean to be in Parliament more’ and duly retired at the dissolution of 1796.2
The bank failed in 1816, apparently as a result of Johnson’s improvident speculations. Templer, so he told Hastings, was left virtually destitute and forced, at the age of 61, to seek permission from the East India Company to return to Bengal. His request was granted in January 1817 when, thanking Hastings for his support, he reflected that ‘necessity tells me it is my duty to depend on my own exertions [rather] than eat the bread of idleness’.3 He sold Shapwick, returned to India and in 1818 was appointed commercial resident at Jungapore, where he died 20 July 1819.