ANSON, Hon. George (1797-1857), of St. James's Square, Westminster.

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



11 Feb. 1819 - 1834
15 Feb. 1836 - 1837
1837 - Aug. 1853

Family and Education

b. 13 Oct. 1797, 2nd s. of Thomas Anson*, 1st Visct. Anson, by Anne Margaret, da. of Thomas William Coke I* of Holkham, Norf; bro. of Hon. Thomas William Anson*. educ. Eton 1811. m. 30 Nov. 1830, Isabella Elizabeth Annabella, da. of Cecil Weld Forester*, 1st Baron Forester, 3da.

Offices Held

Ensign and 2nd lt. 3 Ft. Gds. 1814, lt. and capt. 1820; maj. 7 Drag. Gds. 1824, lt.-col. 1825 (half-pay), col. 1838, maj.-gen. 1851; c.-in-c. Madras 1854, Bengal 1856-d.

Principal storekeeper of Ordnance Apr. 1835-1841, clerk of Ordnance 1846-52.


Anson, who served at Waterloo, succeeded his elder brother unopposed as Member for Yarmouth on the family interest. He was admitted to Brooks’s Club, 7 Feb. 1817. That he supported the Whig opposition he made clear at his election, when he called for government economy. He voted with the minority on the Windsor establishment 22, 25 Feb. 1819 and on the Admiralty establishment and royal household bill, 18 and 19 Mar. He then took three weeks’ leave of absence. On 6 May he voted for burgh reform and on 18 May for Tierney’s censure motion. Thereafter he was steadily in the minority. He supported Burdett’s motion for parliamentary reform on 1 July. His maiden speech, 14 Dec. 1819, was against the seizure of arms bill; in it he expressed his abhorrence of repressive legislation designed ‘to make his Majesty’s ministers as independent of the people, as in his opinion they already were of this House’. He appears to have gone out of town by the date of the third reading of the bill (16 Dec.).

He was, it seems, the perfect beau: another parliamentary novice Agar Ellis wrote, 1 Mar. 1819: ‘George Anson is to have all the married women of good character in London this year. And so he ought, for he is the best-looking man I know’.1 Edward John Littleton recalled that he was

the finest illustration of the fascination of perfect manner known in his time. With the most pleasing exterior and perfection of dress he seemed to be thinking only of those he was with, and seemed naturally anxious to please everybody. With strong good sense he seldom obtruded his opinions, never if he thought they might not be acceptable; was always cheerful and gracious and winning. Accordingly, while men of far more experience and power and higher claims failed in their objects, he seemed to do what he liked and to have what he liked. Every step in his extraordinary career was due to his irresistible personal address—not in the sense of dexterity and craft, which he never employed, but to his natural appearance and manner.2

Anson died in India, 27 May 1857.3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Keele Univ. Lib. Sneyd mss, Agar Ellis to Sneyd, 1 Mar. 1819.
  • 2. Staffs. RO, Hatherton diary, 22 Feb. 1858.
  • 3. DNB.