CHETWODE, Sir John, 4th Bt. (1764-1845), of Oakley, Staffs.
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Family and Education
b. 11 May 1764, o. surv. s. of Sir John Chetwode, 3rd Bt., of Chetwode, Bucks. by Dorothy, da. and coh. of Tobias Bretland of Thorncliffe, Cheshire. educ. at Exeter; St. John’s Camb. 1782-5. m. (1) 26 Oct. 1785, Lady Henrietta Grey (d. 12 July 1826), da. of George Harry Grey†, 5th Earl of Stamford, 8s. 7da.; (2) 16 May 1827, Elizabeth, da. of John Bristow of Lincs., 2da. suc. fa. as 4th Bt. 25 May 1779.
Sheriff, Cheshire 1789-90.
Capt. Staffs. yeomanry 1794.
The scion of an ancient Buckinghamshire family, Chetwode was at a loss for a seat in Parliament. He was an admirer of Pitt and in 1790 sent him proposals for improving the tontine; in 1817 he was listed a Pitt Club member. He seems to have been in the running as a candidate for Denbigh in 1807, doubtless on the strength of his Cheshire connexions, but nothing came of it.1 His best chance was in Staffordshire where there was some support for his candidature in the by-election of 1812; and on 4 Aug. 1814 he asked the end Marquess of Stafford for his interest at Newcastle-under-Lyme if Lord Gower vacated to sit for the county, promising that he would not attempt to create an interest of his own there. Next day, hearing that Lord Gower was not going to offer for the county, he wrote again, aspiring to that honour. Stafford concurred, provided that John William Ward* did not offer. In the next two weeks Chetwode sounded his prospects and found them uncertain; so he announced that he would proceed no further without more assurances of support. He was displeased to hear that Lord Gower was likely to offer after all and threatened to persevere, but on 26 Oct. 1814 announced (to the marquess) that he abandoned his pretensions to either seat at present, but looked to the county in future.2
Within a year, Chetwode was Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme, under other auspices. His son-in-law Sir John Fenton Boughey was a Member for the borough, and when Lord Gower transferred to the county in 1815 Chetwode was induced by Boughey to offer on the independent interest there. His narrow victory in the ensuing contest deprived Lord Stafford of any say in the borough and provoked his revenge at the general election of 1818, when Chetwode stood down and his son-in-law was defeated by Stafford’s nominees.3
In Parliament Chetwode is not known to have spoken. On 18 Mar. 1816 he was in the majority against the property tax. On 22 Mar. he took two weeks’ leave. He was in the government majorities on the civil list, 6 and 24 May 1816. He voted against Catholic relief that month and a year later. After leave of absence from 22 May, he joined opposition on the public revenue bill, 14, 17, 20 June 1816. In the session of 1817 he voted with government on the finance committee and Admiralty salaries, 7 and 17 Feb., against them for the reduction of the Admiralty Board, 25 Feb., and in favour of the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 May. He further voted with ministers on the conduct of the Scottish law officers, 10 Feb. 1818. He appeared in a government dining list that session, but his duties as a magistrate seem to have limited his attendance. On 29 May he dined with the Pitt Club. He was in the House on 1 June and next day requested his son’s future brother-in-law Edward John Littleton* to lobby Lord Liverpool and Charles Arbuthnot on his behalf for a seat in the next Parliament.4 Nothing came of it and he did not return to Westminster until 1841, then making his second bid at Buckingham. Chetwode died 17 Dec. 1845.