FANE, Francis (1752-1813), of Spetisbury, Dorset.

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



11 June 1777 - 1780
1790 - 1807

Family and Education

b. 5 Dec. 1752, 3rd s. of Henry Fane of Wormsley, Bucks. by 3rd w. Charlotte, da. of Richard Luther of Myles’s, Ongar, Essex, sis. and coh. of John Luther; bro. of John Fane*. educ. Corpus Christi, Camb. 1768. m. Ann Cooke, s.p. suc. fa. to Som. and Dorset estates 1777.

Offices Held


Fane, who had succeeded to his father’s seat for Lyme, gave it up in 1780 to his kinsman Henry Fane*. He was then out of Parliament until 1790 when, encouraged by Lord Westmorland and through him by Pitt, he successfully contested Dorchester on ‘the independent interest’. Despite expectations to the contrary, he held this seat unopposed until 1806, when he again survived a contest. He was a silent supporter of administration in Parliament. In April 1791 he was listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland. After writing twice in vain to Pitt that year for places for constituents, he became disgruntled, and threatened to resign, but Westmorland pacified him.1 He voted for the assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798. On 31 Mar. 1802 he voted for Manners Sutton’s motion for a committee on the duchy of Cornwall revenues due to the Prince of Wales.

Fane did not otherwise oppose Addington’s administration. On 1 Mar. 1803 he was granted six weeks’ leave of absence for health reasons. On the return of Pitt to power, he was at first listed Addingtonian (May 1804), then Pittite (September 1804 and July 1805). He voted against censure of Melville, 8 Apr. 1805. He voted against the repeal of the Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806. His only known utterance at Westminster was to move the discharge of the sheriffs of London from Newgate with a reprimand, 10 May 1805. He did not contest Dorchester in 1807, or subsequently seek to return to Parliament. In 1809 he sold his Spetisbury estate and moved to Studland, where he died 10 Nov. 1813 and where his epitaph stated that ‘he served his country in Parliament independently during 30 years’.2

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. PRO 30/8/134, ff. 90, 92; 331, ff. 7, 9, 20, 45, 82.
  • 2. Hutchins, Dorset, i. 654.