CRICKITT, Charles Alexander (1736-1803), of Smith's Hall, nr. Chipping Ongar, Essex.

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



25 June 1784 - 16 Jan. 1803

Family and Education

b. 12 Jan. 1736, nephew of Capt. Charles Alexander, whom he suc. at Smith’s Hall. educ. Merchant Taylors’ 1748-50. m. 24 Nov. 1767, Sarah Dolby of Brises, Kelvedon Hatch, 4s. 7da.

Offices Held

Proctor, Doctors’ Commons and dep. registrar, province of Canterbury by 1782-d.; recorder, Ipswich 1787-d.; receiver land tax, E. Suff. 1794-d.


Crickett, a Colchester banker, treated the prime minister Pitt in 1798 to the story of his political career. He was first introduced to George Rose* by his godfather Bamber Gascoyne and earmarked by the Treasury to contest Ipswich, failing an opening at Sudbury, in 1784. He was defeated, but secured a void election on petition and, although in the fresh election his opponent Robert Thornton* secured ministerial preference, he defeated him at the expense of over £5,000. He served Lord Hood in the Westminster by-election and Sir George Jackson in the Colchester by-election at great cost to himself. He was a supporter of Pitt in the House and reinforced his standing at Ipswich by founding a banking partnership there in 1786 and securing the recordership of the borough a year later. In 1790 he retained his seat after a contest, failing to carry his colleague William Middleton. They were both criticized for supporting the relief of dissenters from disqualifying statutes: which Crickett took to heart. Subsequently Crickitt vied with the new Member Sir John D’Oyly for the patronage of the borough, but he got the upper hand and secured for himself the receivership of the land tax. He regained his control of the corporation and, after refusing a Treasury proposal that he should ally with D’Oyly, offered to bring in another friend of theirs in 1796. He was as good as his word.

Crickitt seldom spoke in debate. On 28 Mar. 1792 he seconded his fellow banker Sir Benjamin Hammet’s motion for a bill to make bankers’ and traders’ estates liable for their debts after their decease. On 10 Apr. 1795 he came to Hammet’s rescue when he was accused of abusing the privilege of franking. Locally he supported the loyal associations, the raising of volunteers and the relief of wounded soldiers. His Ipswich bank (he had another at Chelmsford with a branch at Maldon) subscribed £10,000 to the loyalty loan for 1797 and he voted on 1 June 1797 for the bonus to subscribers. He supported Pitt’s assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798. On 25 June he applied to Pitt for his eldest son (one of nine surviving children) to become distributor of stamps for Essex and, when he was frustrated, wrote a long account of his services to government, 30 July. Despite a long illness he remained in Parliament until his death, 16 Jan. 1803. His heir was then a minor, but in 1807 restored the family interest at Ipswich.

PRO 30/8/127, ff. 101, 103, 111, 115; 173, f. 286; N. and Q. cxcvi. 402-5.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: Winifred Stokes / R. G. Thorne