TENNYSON, George (1750-1835), of Bayon's Manor, Lincs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1818 - Feb. 1819

Family and Education

b. 7 Feb. 1750, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Michael Tennyson, surgeon, of Preston, Yorks. and Stainton, Lincs. by Elizabeth, da. and event. h. of George Clayton of Grimsby. m. 1775, Mary, da. and event. h. of John Turner of Caistor, 2s. 2da. suc. uncle Christopher Clayton of Grimsby 1794; fa. 1796.

Offices Held

Maj. 1 regt. N. Lincs. vols. 1803.


Tennyson, articled to a Hedon attorney William Iveson in 1767, became a bustling and prosperous attorney who in 1794 inherited his uncle Christopher Clayton’s property and interest at Grimsby. This involved the leadership of the Red party there, eclipsed since 1774 by Charles Anderson Pelham*, Lord Yarborough, and the Blues. During his uncle’s lifetime Tennyson was obliged to act against the Yarborough interest, but subsequently feeling neglected by government he came to an agreement with the peer and from 1796 they returned the Members in coalition, their alliance being reinforced by their joint interest in the Grimsby Haven Company. They did not always see eye to eye, however: in 1802, when Tennyson, who had no ambition for a seat in Parliament for himself, seems to have contemplated bringing in his son Charles in future and failed in the project, he was piqued and was reported as saying ‘he did not care a damn for Lord Yarborough, that his object in joining him was to get an inclosure at Scartho and the haven at Grimsby, but that his heart was as much Red as ever’. Despite this, and to the dissatisfaction of his son Charles, he acquiesced in the Yarborough arrangements for Grimsby in 1806 and 1807, though Charles tried to persuade him in the latter year that, as Yarborough was then in opposition, government would ‘jump at’ an agreement with Tennyson. It was not until 1818 that Charles came in for Grimsby.1

In case Charles lost Grimsby on petition, Tennyson himself came in for his son-in-law Matthew Russell’s* borough of Bletchingley in 1818, acting merely as a locum tenens to suit family convenience. Early in February 1819 he resigned it, his son-in-law having disposed of the seat to the Marquess of Titchfield. He was not expected to attend: when he received a circular, Matthew Russell informed him, 31 Dec. 1818, that he did not believe Castlereagh would ‘either know or care’ whether Tennyson attended, and if he did so, he was to be ‘at full liberty to vote ... without any reference to party’. When he received ‘a pressing letter’ to attend on 2 Feb. 1819, he explained that his wife’s health prevented it. Russell then promised to relieve him of the threat of ‘the clutches of the serjeant-at-arms’.2 Tennyson took no further part in public life. He died 4 July 1835.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. See GREAT GRIMSBY; Grimsby Pub. Lib. Tennyson mss, Tennyson to Boucherett, 9 Oct. 1795, to Yarborough, 19 Mar. 1796; G. Jackson, ‘Grimsby and the Haven Co. 1796-1846’, Lincs. Historian, i. 359; Scunthorpe mss, diary of Rev. Parkinson, 8 Sept. 1802; Lincs. AO, Tennyson d’Eyncourt mss H64/14-22.
  • 2. Tennyson mss, Tennyson to Crosbie, 8 Nov. 1818; Tennyson d’Eyncourt mss 2 Td’E H8/50; Td’E H78/83; H83/17, 18, 20, 22.