VANE, William Harry, Visct. Barnard (1766-1842), of Raby Castle, co. Dur.

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



8 Feb. 1788 - 1790
1790 - 8 Sept. 1792

Family and Education

b. 27 July 1766, o.s. of Henry Vane, 2nd Earl of Darlington, by Margaret, da. of Robert Lowther of Mauds Meaburn, Westmld. educ. privately by William Lipscomb; Christ Church, Oxf. 1783. m. (1) 17 Sept. 1787, his cos. Lady Catherine Margaret Powlett (d. 16 June 1807), da. and coh. of Harry Powlett, 6th Duke of Bolton, 3s. 5da.; (2) 27 July 1813, Elizabeth, da. of Robert Russell of Newton House, Burmiston, Yorks., s.p. suc. fa. as 3rd Earl of Darlington 8 Sept. 1792; cr. Mq. of Cleveland 5 Oct. 1827; Duke of Cleveland 29 Jan. 1833; KG 17 Apr. 1839.

Offices Held

Ld. lt. co. Dur. 1793-d.

Col. co. Dur. militia 1792; brevet col. 1794; lt.-col. commdt. co. Dur. fencible cav. 1794.


Barnard was returned unopposed in 1790 for the Winchelsea seat recently bought by his father. He had joined Brooks’s in 1788 (he resigned in 1802, but was re-elected in 1816) and initially acted with opposition, but he supported Pitt in the new Parliament.1 He voted for abolition of the slave trade, 18 Apr. 1791, but was listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland that month. He is not known to have spoken in the Commons, from which he was removed by his father’s death in 1792.

As a peer, he became alienated from Pitt, probably because the minister was unable or unwilling to promote him in the peerage. He gravitated to the Whigs, via the Carlton House party, though he turned Tory for a brief period in 1830.2 Extensive borough influence rather than political talent aided his eventual rise in the peerage, and according to his obituary his ‘first and chief ambition was to shine as a sportsman’.3

He died, immensely wealthy, 29 Jan. 1842.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: J. M. Collinge


  • 1. PRO 30/5/195, f. 94.
  • 2. Prince of Wales Corresp. v. 2023; PRO 30/8/195, f. 114.
  • 3. Gent. Mag. (1842), i. 545.