James Dashwood

Sir James Dashwood, 2nd Baronet (1715–1779) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1740 to 1768.

Sir James Dashwood, 2nd Baronet
Sir James Dashwood, 1737 portrait by Enoch Seeman the Younger, from 1737 but with Dashwood's house in the background[1]

Early life

He was the son of Robert Dashwood, and his grandfather from whom he inherited the baronetcy was Sir Robert Dashwood, 1st Baronet; his mother was Dorothy Reade, daughter of Sir James Reade, 2nd Baronet. He was educated at John Roysse's Free School in Abingdon (now Abingdon School).[2] He was a Steward of the OA Club in 1746.[3]

Kirtlington Park

He inherited large estates in Oxfordshire, being on a Grand Tour when he came into them in 1734, and built an imposing house at Kirtlington.[4][5]

Kirklington Park was constructed in the years 1742 to 1746, by William Smith of Warwick and John Sanderson, starting from plans by James Gibbs; the grounds were laid out by Lancelot Brown. Dashwood also built up a significant library, and in 1747 was paying James Lovell, the sculptor and interior decorator.[6][7][8] In 1931 the rococo dining room was exported, and it is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Involved in it were Thomas Roberts (plasterwork), and either Henry Cheere or John Cheere (chimneypiece).[9]

Brown was at work on Kirtlington Park from the end of 1751 to 1757.[10] This was a second phase of work in which the old house, Northbrook House, was demolished in 1750, and previous garden work by Thomas Greening was altered.[11]


Dashwood in local politics represented what was called the "old interest",[12] and in national politics was a Jacobite, and someone prepared to work against Catholic disabilities.[13] Scottish fir trees at Kirtington demonstrated his politics.[14] He belonged to the Loyal Brotherhood, a Tory drinking club that also served as a London focus for party organisation, with other local MPs.[15] At the time of the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion he was one of a group of Oxfordshire Tories who refused to join the county association.[16]

In 1749 the Earl of Egmont made a survey of MPs for the Prince of Wales, finding Dashwood a "strongly tainted" Jacobite.[17] The Old Interest locally held drinking club sessions at which the Young Pretender was lauded, into the 1750s.[18] At this period Tory political planning was low key, in meetings that resembled social events: one such dinner was held at Dashwood's house on 29 February 1756, at which voting rights were discussed.[19] He was awarded an honorary D.C.L. by the University of Oxford, and the city made him High Steward.[1]

In politics

In 1738 Dashwood was High Sheriff of Oxfordshire.[1] He became Tory Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire, unopposed, in 1740 on the death of Sir William Stapleton, 4th Baronet, standing again in 1741.[4][20] He moved swiftly to call for the repeal of the Jewish Naturalization Act 1753 in October of the year of its passing (he had not previously made a speech on the House, and had not prepared the ground for this one);[21] he also at that period spoke against the Plantation Act 1740.[4]

The general election of 1754 saw confusion reign in Oxfordshire. Dashwood at this time faced serious political opposition, from Lady Susanna Keck at Great Tew as well as the Whig candidates.[22] In the end four members were returned for the two-man constituency. In the subsequent legal proceedings, Dashwood and his Tory colleague Viscount Wenman were ousted, despite advice from distinguished lawyers including Roger Newdigate and William Blackstone.[23]

In 1761 a Tory–Whig deal was struck locally with the Duke of Marlborough, and Dashwood returned to Parliament once more, unopposed. He was not an active member, though he took a serious interest in enclosure bills, and retired from politics in 1768.[24][25]


Dashwood married on 17 February 1739 Elizabeth Spencer, daughter of Edward Spencer of Rendlesham. They had three sons and three daughters.[24]

The eldest son, Henry Watkin, inherited the baronetcy.[26] Of the other children:

See also


  1. "Enoch Seeman the Younger: Sir James Dashwood (56.190), Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  2. Preston, Arthur Edwin (1929). St.Nicholas Abingdon and Other Papers, pre isbn. Oxford University Press. p. 350.
  3. "Object 13: Stewards of the OA Club". Abingdon School.
  4. "Dashwood, Sir James, 2nd Bt. (1715–79), of Kirtlington Park, Oxon., History of Parliament Online". Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  5. Preston Remington, A Mid-Georgian Interior from Kirtlington Park, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin New Series, Vol. 14, No. 7 (Mar. 1956), pp. 157–169, at p. 157. Published by: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3257682
  6. Andrew Bolton (1 January 2006). AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-58839-206-0.
  7. Christopher Buxton, III. Preserving – and Living in – Historic Houses, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts Vol. 129, No. 5296 (March 1981), pp. 245–258, at p. 248. Published by: Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41373280
  8. Michael McCarthy, James Lovell and His Sculptures at Stowe, The Burlington Magazine Vol. 115, No. 841 (Apr. 1973), pp. 220–232, at p. 222. Published by: The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/877332
  9. "The Kirtlington Park Room, Oxfordshire, Thematic Essay, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  10. Michael Cousins, Ditchley Park – A Follower of Fashion, Garden History Vol. 39, No. 2 (Winter 2011) , pp. 143–179. Published by: The Garden History Society. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41411807
  11. "Kirtlington Park, Parks & Gardens UK". Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  12. Abfr Beesley (1841). The History of Banbury: including copious historical and antiquarian notices of the neighbourhood. p. 522.
  13. Colin Haydon (1 January 1993). Anti-Catholicism in Eighteenth-century England, C. 1714–80: A Political and Social Study. Manchester University Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-7190-2859-5.
  14. Paul Kleber Monod (4 March 1993). Jacobitism and the English People, 1688–1788. Cambridge University Press. p. 289. ISBN 978-0-521-44793-5.
  15. Linda J. Colley, The Loyal Brotherhood and the Cocoa Tree: The London Organization of the Tory Party, 1727–1760, The Historical Journal Vol. 20, No. 1 (Mar. 1977) , pp. 77–95.Published by: Cambridge University Press. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2638590
  16. With Norreys Bertie, Roger Newdigate, Thomas Rowney, and Viscount Wenman. "V. The Tories, History of Parliament Online". Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  17. Ian R. Christie, The Tory Party, Jacobitism and the 'Forty-Five: A Note, The Historical Journal Vol. 30, No. 4 (Dec. 1987) , pp. 921–931, at pp. 926–7. Published by: Cambridge University Press. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2639125
  18. Robin Nicholson (2002). Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Making of a Myth: A Study in Portraiture, 1720–1892. Bucknell University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-8387-5495-5.
  19. Linda Colley (28 November 1985). In Defiance of Oligarchy: The Tory Party 1714–60. Cambridge University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-521-31311-7.
  20. "Oxfordshire 1715–1754, History of Parliament Online". Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  21. Thomas Whipple Perry (1962). Public Opinion, Propaganda, and Politics in Eighteenth-century England: A Study of the Jew Bill of 1753. Harvard University Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-674-72400-6.
  22. Chalus, E. H. "Keck, Lady Susanna". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/68355.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  23. Lewer, Andrew I. "Newdigate, Sir Roger,". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/20003.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  24. "Dashwood, Sir James, 2nd Bt. (1715–79), of Kirtlington Park, Oxon., History of Parliament Online". Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  25. W. E. Tate, Members of Parliament and Their Personal Relations to Enclosure: A Study with Special Reference to Oxfordshire Enclosures, 1757–1843, Agricultural History Vol. 23, No. 3 (Jul. 1949) , pp. 213–220, at p. 219. Published by: Agricultural History Society. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3740081
  26. University of Oxford (1851). A catalogue of all graduates: Oct. 10, 1659-Dec. 31, 1850; added, a list of chancellors, high-stewards, vice-chancellors, proctors, heads of colleges and halls and burgesses, with a statement of matriculations and regencies. Univ. press. p. 171.
  27. Sylvanus Urban (pseud. van Edward Cave.) (1843). Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle. Edward Cave. p. 89.
  28. John Burke (1833). A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. H. Colburn. p. 500.
  29. Edmund Burke (1824). Annual Register. p. 56.
  30. "Debrett's peerage, baronetage, knightage, and companionage, Page 234". Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  31. "John Zoffany, R.A. his life and works : 1735–1810". Internet Archive. pp. 189–90. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  32. "The Holburne Museum – Zoffany". Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  33. Oriental Club, London (1925). Annals of the Oriental Club, 1824–1858. Private Circulation. p. 48.
  34. The Marquis of Ruvigny and Ranieval (1 May 2013). The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: The Mortimer-Percy Volume. Heritage Books. p. 409. ISBN 978-0-7884-1872-3.
  35. A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. Henry Colburn. 1839. p. 1120.

Further reading

  • James Townsend (1922). The Oxfordshire Dashwoods. For private circulation.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir William Stapleton, Bt
Henry Perrot
Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire
With: Henry Perrot to February 1740
Viscount Quarendon February 1740 – 1743
Norreys Bertie 1743–54
Succeeded by
Viscount Parker
Sir Edward Turner, Bt
Preceded by
Viscount Parker
Sir Edward Turner, Bt
Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire
With: Lord Charles Spencer
Succeeded by
Lord Charles Spencer
The Viscount Wenman
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.