Edward Harrison (British administrator)
Edward Harrison was a naval officer and official of the East India Company and British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1717 to 1726. He served as the President of Madras from 11 July 1711 to 8 January 1717. Edward Harrison was born in England to Richard Harrison and Audrey Villiers daughter of George Villiers, 4th Viscount Grandison, he went to India as a purser, became a captain of ships trading with China. He was Captain of the East Indiaman Gosfright in 1701, of the Kent in 1709. Sometime before 1708 he married Frances Bray, daughter of Reginald Bray of Great Barrington, Gloucestershire, her brothers Edmund and William Bray were Members of Parliament. Harrison was appointed Governor and Commander in Chief of the Madras Presidency in 1711. During his time in office he undertook a major rebuilding of the settlement, he dealt including the putting down of a minor revolt. The East India Company presented him with a sword of honour. Since its occupation by the Mughals in 1698, Gingee had been ruled by Swaroop Singh, the Rajput Governor of the Mughal province who had declared his independence and assumed the title of Raja.
The English at Fort St David failed to pay their rents to the Raja. On one such occasion when Swaroops Singh did not receive any rent for the villages, he responded by capturing two English officers from Fort St David and imprisoning them. Matters came to standstill in February 1711, when open hostilities broke out between the kingdom of Gingee and the British settlement at Fort St David. Three Muslim officers in the service of Gingee and one officer of the British East India Company were killed in the ensuing hostilities. Harrison sent Richard Raworth, a member of the Council of Fort St George along with three ships to the scene of action to settle the matter. Raworth arrived in Fort St David with three ships as Fort St David was blockaded by Swaroop Singh from land. Raworth's troops ran into a contingent of 400 cavalry and 1,000-foot commanded by Mahobat Khan on 11 August 1711 and managed to hold their ground. However, two top officers in the army, Captain Coventry and Ensign Somerville both lost their lives along with around 140 to 150 men of the Company's army.
With matters reaching a standstill, Edward Harrison tried to enthuse the Nawab of Carnatic to come to the Company's aid but failed miserably. In the meantime, Richard Raworth was made the deputy Governor at Fort St David. On assumption of office, Raworth negotiated terms of peace with the Raja of Gingee; the Raja demanded a war indemnity of 16,000 pagodas in return for which he promised to cede three villages whose names have been mentioned as Trevandrun, Padre Copang and Coronuttum. However as the matter was under consideration, hostilities broke out once more when the Company troops attacked the forces of Gingee at Crimambakkam on 25 January 1712; the war was, brought to a conclusion in April 1712 through the mediation of M. Hebert, the French Governor of Pondicherry. Swaroop Singh agreed to a settlement on payment of a war indemnity of 12,000 pagodas. On 15 November 1714, Gingee fell to the forces of the Carnatic bringing Rajput rule to an end, it was during Edward Harrison's time that a postal service was established between the factories at Madras and Calcutta.
This was the first postal system established by the British East India Company in India. Mail was carried by runners or Tappy peons who travelled all the way to Ganjam where they exchanged mails with runners from Calcutta; the Armenian church was constructed in Armenian Street in 1712 to cater to the religious needs of the powerful Armenian community of Madras. In October 1713, Richard Raworth, Deputy Governor of Fort St David broke into rebellion and shook off his allegiance to Fort St George. Harrison deputed a small force commanded by Henry Davenport to invade Fort St David and remove Raworth. Henry Davenport was commissioned as the provisional Deputy Governor of Fort St David on 10 October 1713; the force reached Fort St David on 18 October 1713 after passing through Mangadu and Cuddalore. Condapah Choultry was taken and a strong ultimatum was issued to Raworth. Besieged and starved for the want of provisions, Raworth agreed to a settlement on 10 December 1713 and with the mediation of the French of Pondicherry, Raworth was pardoned and allowed to seek asylum in France.
In late 1716, caste disturbances broke out in Madras city which affected life and commerce in the city to a great extent. These disturbances started when a man belonging to the Komati caste, regarded as a right-hand caste worshipped the idol of a God woprshipped by the Chetties who formed a left-handed caste; the problem was solved in a few days. The continuous caste-wars forced the painters of Triplicane to leave the area. With the dispute remaining unresolved and continuing to threaten the functioning of Madras city, Harrison's was recalled and replaced with Joseph Collett. On his return to England, Harrison was returned as Member of Parliament for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis at a by-election on 2 March 1717, he became a Director of the East India Company in 1718 and remained until 1731. At the 1722 general election, he switched seats to his home area of Hertford and was elected top of the poll for Hertford, he was deputy chairman of the East India Company in 1723. In 1726, his father died and he inherited Balls Park.
He vacated his seat at Hertford in favour of his brother George on 10 August 1726, when he was appointed Postmaster-General. He was deputy chairman of the EIC in 1728, chairman in 1729 and deputy again in 1731. Harrison died on 28 November 1732. Through his marriage with Frances Bray, he
John Willes (judge)
Sir John Willes was an English lawyer and judge, the longest-serving Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas since the 15th century. He was a Member of Parliament, he was born at Bishop's Itchington in Warwickshire. Dr. Edward Willes, Bishop of Bath and Wells, was his brother, their mother was Anne Walker, daughter of Sir William Walker, three times Mayor of Oxford between 1674 and 1685. Willes was educated at Lichfield Grammar School and Trinity College and was elected a fellow of All Souls. While he was a student at Oxford he got into serious trouble for publishing pamphlets about the Government which were arguably seditious, was threatened with prosecution as a result, his career was saved by the intervention of his fellow student John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville, who pleaded for clemency. Granville said in years that he had made Willes a judge by saving him from the pillory. Willes joined Lincoln's Inn, was called to the bar in 1713, he had meanwhile entered Parliament as MP for Launceston in 1722, subsequently represented Weymouth and Melcombe Regis and West Looe.
In 1734 he was appointed Attorney General, knighted. In 1735 he purchased the manor of Astrop, Kings Sutton, Northamptonshire where he built a new mansion Astrop House. In 1737 he was elevated to become Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, the third most senior judge in the English legal system as it existed, held this post until his death in 1761. By his wife Margaret Brewster he had four daughters, he is reputed to have had numerous illegitimate children, none of whom he acknowledged or made any provision for. Of his legitimate children John inherited Astrop Park and became a Member of Parliament and Edward followed his father to the Bar and in due course became Solicitor General and a judge of the Court of King's Bench. Sir John encouraged his younger cousin Edward of Newbold Comyn to become a barrister: Edward went on to have a distinguished career, ending as Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer. Sir John was described by Horace Walpole as a man of open character, sharp intelligence and "strong passions which could not be concealed", He was notorious for gambling and womanising, was said to have several illegitimate children.
When objections were made to his promotion on the grounds of his debauched lifestyle, Sir Robert Walpole joked that he had always understood that such conduct was an essential qualification for high judicial office. William Hogarth portrayed him unflaterringly in a number of cartoons, he was notably severe towards all legal practitioners attorneys, who appeared in his court. Concise Dictionary of National Biography Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
John Baker (Royal Navy officer)
John Baker was an officer of the Royal Navy and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1713 and 1716. He rose to the rank of vice-admiral after service in the Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession. Baker was appointed a lieutenant by George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth on 14 November 1688. Early in 1701, during the War of the Spanish Succession he was appointed to HMS Pembroke, a year to the 66-gun HMS Monmouth, in which he continued for nearly six years, serving in the grand fleet under Sir George Rooke or Sir Cloudesley Shovell, at the Battles of Cadiz and Vigo Bay in 1702, at the Capture of Gibraltar and the Battle of Málaga in 1704, at the Siege of Barcelona in 1705, the Battle of Toulon in 1707. Baker returned to England with the squadron of which so many of the ships were lost in the Scilly naval disaster on 22 October 1707, resulting in the deaths of nearly 2,000 men and Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, having arrived at the Nore, was ordered to refit and keep the men on board with a view to their being sent to other ships.
Baker remonstrated. It does not appear that any good came of the application, which the admiralty considered a bit of maudlin and absurd sentimentality. On 26 January 1708 Baker was promoted to be rear-admiral of the white, commanded in the second post under Sir George Byng on the coast of Scotland, he afterwards conducted Maria Anna of Austria, the daughter of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, betrothed to John V of Portugal, from Holland to Spithead, with Sir George Byng escorted her to Lisbon. On 12 November 1709 he was advanced to be vice-admiral of the blue, hoisted his flag in HMS Stirling Castle as second in command in the Mediterranean under Sir John Norris and afterwards Sir John Jennings. Towards the end of 1711 Baker was detached by Jennings to Lisbon and the Azores, to protect the Portuguese, East India, Brazil trade from René Duguay-Trouin and Jacques Cassard. In the course of a cruise from Lisbon in February 1712 he drove a large Spanish ship ashore near Cape St. Mary's, but the weather was rough, before he could approach, the wreck was gutted and destroyed by the Portuguese.
Afterwards he captured a richly laden French ship for Martinique, returned to Lisbon by the beginning of March. At the Azores he remained till the following September, having intelligence that the Brazil fleet was near, he put to sea on the 11th, escorted it to the Tagus. Baker returned to England at the peace, was elected MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis at the 1713 general election but was unseated on petition on 3 June 1714, he die the following year. He followed his patron Byng in parliamentary matters and therefore supported the whigs and the Admiralty administration of Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford. Soon after the accession of George I in August 1714, Baker was again sent out as commander-in-chief Mediterranean Fleet to negotiate with or restrain the corsairs of North Africa, He concluded a treaty with Tripoli and Tunis, inflicted punishment on some of the Sallee cruisers, he had just been relieved by Rear-Admiral Charles Cornewall, when he died at Port Mahon on 10 November 1716.
Baker was buried in Westminster Abbey, where a monument to his memory was erected, though his is not one of the great historic names of the navy, he was, in the words of his epitaph,'a brave and experienced officer, a sincere friend, a true lover of his country.' His nephew, Hercules Baker, a captain in the navy, and, serving in the Mediterranean at the time of the vice-admiral's death, became, in 1736, treasurer of Greenwich Hospital, held that office till his death in 1744. Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Baker, John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened
1710 British general election
The 1710 British general election produced a landslide victory for the Tories in the wake of the prosecution of Henry Sacheverell and the collapse of the previous Whig government led by Godolphin and the Whig Junto. In November 1709 the clergyman Henry Sacheverell had delivered a sermon fiercely criticising the government's policy of toleration for Protestant dissenters and attacking the personal conduct of the ministers; the government had Sacherevell impeached, he was narrowly found guilty but received only a light sentence, making the government appear weak and vindictive. The government's unpopularity was further increased by its enthusiasm for the war with France, as peace talks with the French king Louis XIV had broken down over the government's insistence that the Bourbons hand over the Spanish throne to the Habsburgs; the Tories' policy of pursuing peace appealed to a country worn out by constant war. Queen Anne, disliking the Junto and sensing that the government could not survive long replaced it with a Tory ministry throughout the summer of 1710.
The overwhelming Tory victory surprised few, following the election most remaining Whigs resigned from office. The new government was led by the moderate Tory Robert Harley, unpopular among the more partisan Tories, his ministry faced increasing pressure from the extremists whose position in Parliament had been enormously strengthened by the result. Contests occurred around half the total. See British general election, 1796 for details; the constituencies used were the same throughout the existence of the Parliament of Great Britain. The general election was held between 2 October 1710 and 16 November 1710. At this period elections did not take place at the same time in every constituency; the returning officer in each county or parliamentary borough fixed the precise date. 3rd Parliament of Great Britain List of MPs elected in the British general election, 1710 List of Parliaments of Great Britain British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher.. History of Parliament: Members 1690–1715 History of Parliament: Constituencies 1690–1715
1727 British general election
The 1727 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 7th Parliament of Great Britain to be summoned, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. The election was triggered by the death of King George I; the Tories, led in the House of Commons by William Wyndham, under the direction of Bolingbroke, who had returned to the country in 1723 after being pardoned for his role in the Jacobite rising of 1715, lost further ground to the Whigs, rendering them ineffectual and irrelevant to practical politics. A group known as the Patriot Whigs, led by William Pulteney, who were disenchanted with Walpole's government and believed he was betraying Whig principles, had been formed prior to the election. Bolingbroke and Pulteney had not expected the next election to occur until 1729, were caught unprepared and failed to make any gains against the government party. See British general election, 1796 for details; the constituencies used were the same throughout the existence of the Parliament of Great Britain.
The general election was held between 14 August 1727 and 17 October 1727. At this period, elections did not take place at the same time in every constituency; the returning officer in each county or parliamentary borough fixed the precise date. List of Parliaments of Great Britain British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher
1722 British general election
The 1722 British general election elected members to serve in the House of Commons of the 6th Parliament of Great Britain. This was the fifth such election since the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. Thanks to the Septennial Act of 1715, which swept away the maximum three-year life of a parliament created by the Meeting of Parliament Act 1694, it followed some seven years after the previous election, that of 1715; the election was fiercely fought, with contests taking place in more than half of the constituencies, unusual for the time. Despite the level of public involvement, with the Whigs having consolidated their control over every branch of government, Walpole's party commanded a monopoly of electoral patronage, was therefore able to increase its majority in Parliament as its popular support fell. In the midst of the election, word came from France of a Jacobite plot aimed at an imminent coup d'état. Led by Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, Lord North and Grey, other Tory opponents of Walpole, this was known as the "Atterbury Plot".
Election results had broadly reflected the opinion of at least the minority of adult males who had the vote, although the system had always been subject to the influence of corruption and patronage. However, now that one-party government had been established, those influences could be used systematically to ensure the governing party's victory; this election set the pattern for much of the rest of the eighteenth century. See British general election, 1796 for details; the constituencies used were the same throughout the existence of the Parliament of Great Britain. The general election was held between 19 March 1722 and 9 May 1722. At this period elections did not take place at the same time in every constituency; the returning officer in each county or parliamentary borough fixed the precise date. List of MPs elected in the British general election, 1722 List of Parliaments of Great Britain British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher