LAMB, Peniston (1745-1828), of Brocket Hall, Herts. and Melbourne Hall, Derbys.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1768 - 1784
1784 - 1790
1790 - Feb. 1793

Family and Education

b. 29 Jan. 1745, o.s. of Matthew Lamb.  educ. Eton 1755-62; L. Inn 1769.  m. 13 Apr. 1769, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Ralph Milbanke, 5th Bt., 4s. 2da.  suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 6 Nov. 1768; cr. Baron Melbourne [I] 8 June 1770; Visct. Melbourne [I] 11 Jan. 1781; Baron Melbourne [GB] 11 Aug. 1815.

Offices Held

Gent. of bedchamber to Prince of Wales 1783-96; ld. of bedchamber 1812- d.


In 1768 Lamb was returned by George Selwyn for Ludgershall at the recommendation of the Duke of Grafton. In Parliament he supported the Grafton and North Administrations, and when he voted with Opposition on the naval captains’ petition, 9 Feb. 1773, he was marked in the King’s list as a friend. In 1774 and 1780 Melbourne, as he had become, was again returned by Selwyn as a Government supporter. He continued to vote with North till March 1782 when he was induced by the Prince of Wales to abstain from voting on Rous’s motion of no confidence, 15 Mar.1—‘In this he acted contrary to his engagements’, wrote Selwyn to Lord Carlisle, 18 Mar., adding: ‘He says he purchased his seat at Ludgershall. It is a falsehood. If he did, he has not paid the money he ought for it.’2 Melbourne voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783; for Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783, and was classed by Robinson in January 1784 as an opponent of Pitt. On 16 Jan. 1784, when it was suggested in debate that the Prince of Wales, while in the House, could by looks and gesture influence the votes of Members, Melbourne,

who [writes Wraxall] never, I believe, uttered a word in his place either before or after that evening, starting up, broke silence. Occupying as he did the place of a gentleman of the bedchamber to the Prince of Wales, and indignant at the charge, he declared that the words spoken amounted to a direct attack on his Royal Highness, and therefore he should demand proof of the alleged fact.3

At the general election of 1784, Melbourne was returned unopposed for Malmesbury, and continued to vote with Opposition throughout this Parliament.

Wraxall writes that Melbourne was ‘principally known by the distinguished place that he occupies in the annals of meretricious pleasure, the memoirs of Mrs. Bellamy or Mrs. Baddeley, the sirens and courtesans of a former age’.4  He died 22 July 1828.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Walpole, Last Jnls. ii. 420.
  • 2. HMC Carlisle, 597.
  • 3. Mems. iii. 266.
  • 4. Ibid. v. 371.