FETHERSTONHAUGH, Sir Henry, 2nd Bt. (1754-1846), of Uppark, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. 22 Dec. 1754, o.s. of Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh, 1st Bt.†, of Uppark by Sarah, da. of Christopher Lethieullier of Belmont, Mdx. educ. Eton 1766-71; Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1772; Grand Tour 1775-6. m. 12 Sept. 1825, Mary Ann Bullock of Orton, Essex, his head dairymaid, s.p. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 18 Mar. 1774.
Fetherstonhaugh was again returned for Portsmouth on the interest of Sir John Carter in 1790. A member of the Whig Club since 6 Dec. 1784 and a friend of the Prince of Wales, he led a life of fashionable and sporting dissipation and had to be pressed to attend Parliament.1 No speech by him is known and only one minority vote before 1793, against Pitt on the Oczakov question, 12 Apr. 1791, though the same month he was reckoned favourable to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland. On 7 May 1793 he was in the minority of 41 in favour of parliamentary reform and on 17 June he joined Fox in opposition to the war against France. He voted in the same sense on 30 May and again on 30 Dec. 1794, 26 Jan., 6 Feb., 27 May and 29 Oct. 1795. He also opposed the suspension of habeas corpus, 5, 23 Jan. 1795 and voted against the seditious meetings bill, 25 Nov.
The reassertion of the Admiralty interest at Portsmouth elbowed him out of his seat in 1796, when he wrote to one of his supporters:
The fact is that from the corruption of the times the House of Commons in its present degraded state is such a complete farce that I am quite disgusted with being one of the puppets; as long as there remained a dawn of hope that any good was to be done the prospect would have been too flattering to have retired from, and a sacrifice of time and other amusements have been not only a duty but a pleasure, but I am not sanguine enough to see a possibility of redress from the present complexion of things, and am indignant to the last degree at the insult offered to all people of common sense by that impudent display of love for the constitution in those who have left us only the shadow without the substance.2
In October 1809 there were rumours of his absconding (or even shooting himself) ‘in consequence of discoveries having been made relative to certain practices which are punishable by death as well as with the loss of all society in this country’.3 He survived until 24 Oct. 1846.