CUST, Hon. Peregrine Francis (1791-1873), of 8 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 13 Aug. 1791, 5th s. of Brownlow Cust†, 1st Bar. Brownlow (d. 1807), and 2nd w. Frances, da. and h. of Sir Henry Bankes of Wimbledon, Surr.; bro. of Hon. Edward Cust* and Hon. William Cust*. m. (1) 9 Oct. 1823, Lady Isabella Mary Montagu Scott (d. 9 Oct. 1829), da. of Charles William Montagu Scott†, 4th duke of Buccleuch [S], 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 2da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 15 Jan. 1833, Hon. Sophia Mary Townshend (d. 6 Dec. 1852), da. of John Thomas Townshend†, 2nd Visct. Sydney, s.p.; (3) 20 Aug. 1860, Frances, da. of Charles Steer of Chichester, Suss., wid. of Augustus Frederick Keppel*, 5th earl of Albermarle, s.p. d. 15 Sept. 1873.
Cornet 3 Drag. Gds. 1808, lt. 1810; capt. 60 Ft. 1811; capt. 3 Drag. Gds. 1812, half-pay 1814-15; capt. 3 Drag. Gds. 1815, half-pay 1816; lt.-col. (ret.) 1846.
Cust, a veteran of Waterloo, had represented the venal borough of Honiton as a treasury nominee since 1818, and came in there unopposed at the general election of 1820 after the home secretary Lord Sidmouth intervened in his favour.1 As a radical publication of 1825 observed, he ‘attended very seldom and voted with the ministers’.2 He divided with his relations against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 30 Apr. 1822, 1 Mar., 10 May 1825, and parliamentary reform, 2 June 1823. He voted against censuring ministers’ handling of Queen Caroline’s case, 6 Feb. 1821, and with government on the revenue, 6 Mar., the additional malt duty repeal bill, 3 Apr., civil ordnance officers’ voting rights, 12 Apr., retrenchment, 27 June 1821, and the lord advocate’s treatment of the Scottish press, 25 June 1822. The 1823 Black Book complained that ‘when this Member attends he votes with the treasury’ and that in these brothers of a peer, the ministry had ‘three dead votes on every infamous measure’.3 For reasons which are unclear Cust did not stand again for Honiton at the general election of 1826, but came in for Clitheroe on the family interest.4 He voted against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, 12 May 1828, and repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb. 1828. His brother Lord Brownlow informed the duke of Wellington in May 1828 that ‘the more any system of government is formed on anti-Catholic and Tory principles the more cordial will be the support given it by my connections and myself’.5 As the patronage secretary Planta had anticipated, he divided against Catholic emancipation, 6, 18, 30 Mar., having presented a hostile petition from Whalley on the 3rd. He or his brother brought up another, 13 Mar. 1829. He voted against transferring East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 11 Feb. 1830, in the minority against the Galway franchise bill, 25 May, and to limit on-consumption under the sale of beer bill, 21 June 1830.
He declined a requisition to contest Grantham and was unopposed at Clitheroe at the 1830 general election.6 Ministers naturally listed him among their ‘friends’, and he divided with them when they were brought down on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. He voted against the Grey ministry’s reform bill, which proposed taking a seat from Clitheroe, at its second reading, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. It was probably he who presented a petition against slavery from Whalley, 28 Mar. Returned for Clitheroe at the 1831 general election, he divided against the reintroduced reform bill at its second reading, 6 July, for adjournment, 12 July, and to postpone consideration of Chippenham’s inclusion in schedule B, 27 July. When Clitheroe’s case was considered next day, he argued that it deserved two seats on population grounds. He voted to preserve freemen’s voting rights, 27 Aug., and against the bill’s passage, 21 Sept. He divided against the revised reform bill at its second reading, 17 Dec. 1831, the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the third reading, 22 Mar., and against the second reading of the Irish reform bill, 25 May 1832. He was a Tory nominee on the 1831 Dublin election committee, divided against government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12 July, and was a regular guest at opposition dinners that session.7 On 10 Aug. 1832 he defended the ‘honourable and independent’ magistrates who earlier that month had called out troops to deal with an electioneering riot at Clitheroe, adding that ‘the neighbourhood ... abounds with individuals connected with manufactures, who are, I am sorry to say, at all times ready to join in any popular disturbance’.
Cust left Parliament at the dissolution in 1832 and apparently did not seek another seat. He remained on army half-pay until 1846. Thrice married, on the last occasion at the age of 69, he died in September 1873. By his will, dated 6 Apr. 1872 and proved, 17 Oct. 1873, he bequeathed £4,000 each to his two surviving children, left his real estate to his son John Francis (1825-1903), a former lieutenant-colonel in the Grenadier Guards, and his personal effects to his daughter. Another son Horace (1829-1854), was killed in the battle of Alma in the Crimea.8
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Authors: Stephen Bairstow / Margaret Escott
- 1. HP Commons, 1790-1820, iii. 555-6; Devon RO, Sidmouth mss, Sidmouth to Flood, 29 Feb. 1820.
- 2. Session of Parl. 1825, p. 459.
- 3. Black Bk. (1823), 150.
- 4. Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post, 15 June 1826.
- 5. Wellington mss WP1/934/12.
- 6. Lincs. AO, Ancaster mss xiii/B/5a.a, 5x; The Times, 10, 23 July 1830.
- 7. Freeman’s Jnl. 26 Sept. 1831; NLW, Ormathwaite mss FG1/6, p. 19.
- 8. Jackson’s Oxford Jnl. 14 Oct. 1854; The Times, 17, 18 Sept. 1873.