ATTERSOLL, John (c.1784-1822), of 11 Devonshire Street, Portland Place and Hendon, Mdx.

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



14 Mar. 1812 - Mar. 1813

Family and Education

b. c.1784, 1st s. of Joseph Attersoll, corn merchant, of 66 Portland Place and Dorset Cottage, Crab Tree, Fulham ?by 2nd w. (m.1783), Martha née Webb of All Hallows, London. m. 9 Mar. 1820, Augusta, da. of Thomas Nevill, Jamaica planter, of The Lodge, Brighton, Suss., s.p. suc. fa. 1812.

Offices Held

Dir. Commercial Dock Co. 1811-c.1820.


Attersoll’s father established the malthouses at Crab Tree, Fulham about 1790 and this proved a more successful venture than his lime kilns, chalk wharf and vitriol manufactory (1783-1806) at the same place.1 By 1802 he had premises at 16 Mark Lane as a corn merchant, which is perhaps why he was described as a ‘Russia merchant’.2 His son seems to have been employed by the East India Company at least for a time, probably before he inherited the business in 1812 (he later sold it). At first he and his brother John took over his father’s banking partnership with Ebenezer May and John Somerset Smith.3

His first attempt to enter Parliament was at the Worcester by-election in February 1807 when, like his opponent, he stood as a supporter of the Grenville administration, but was defeated; a petition by his supporters against the return was unavailing. He declined to stand at the general election in May.4 In December 1807 it was thought he might contest Lincoln. In October 1810 he wrote to Sir John Sinclair on behalf of the London merchants asking him to authorize a French translation of his reply to the report of the bullion committee. His next venture at the Wootton Bassett by-election of May 1811 was also unsuccessful; but on another vacancy there the following year he came in on the interest of the patron James Kibblewhite*, evidently as a paying guest. He and Kibblewhite were alleged to have contemplated a bank partnership in the borough. He was returned also at the ensuing general election and was given an option on the other seat, but vacated in March 1813 when Kibblewhite sold his interest. He voted with ministers against sinecure reform, 4 May, and against a stronger administration, 21 May 1812. No speech or vote is otherwise known. He appeared on the Treasury list of supporters in 1812, though Canning had some hopes of him.5

Attersol l did not again try to enter Parliament. He died 24 Dec. 1822, in France, after a fall from his horse, having spent the last few years of his life as a resident of Oxford,

distinguished, during his stay in that city, by his ardent pursuit of every branch of physical science, by his soundness of intellect and variety of information, by the uniform suavity and urbanity of his manners, the general benevolence of his disposition, and his exemplary practice of every domestic and every Christian virtue.

In his will, dated 10 Dec. 1821 at Tours, he said he had already provided for his wife and left provision for his brother Joseph, auditor of the Commercial Dock Company of which he was a director, and for his unmarried sisters.6

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. T. Faulkner, Fulham and Hammersmith (1813), 439; C. J. Feret. Fulham Old and New, iii. 83, 84.
  • 2. W. R. Williams, Worcs. MPs, 107.
  • 3. C. H. Philips, E.I.Co. 340; London Gazette (1814), 1512.
  • 4. CJ, lxii. 203; Salopian Jnl. 13 May 1807.
  • 5. Rev. B. Carne, ‘James Kibblewhite’, report of the Friends of Lydiard Tregoze, 1973, p. 45; Bagot mss, Canning to Bagot, 9 Nov. 1812.
  • 6. Sinclair Corresp. i. 113; N. and Q. (ser. 6), xi. 509; xii. 53; Gent. Mag. (1823), i. 95; PCC 391 Richards.