FREDERICK, Sir John, 5th Bt. (1750-1825), of Burwood Park, Walton-on-Thames, Surr.

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



30 Dec. 1774 - 1780
29 Jan. 1781 - 1790
7 Nov. 1794 - 1807

Family and Education

b. 18 Mar. 1750, 2nd but o. surv. s. of Sir John Frederick, 4th Bt., by Susanna, da. of Sir Roger Hudson of Sunbury, Mdx. educ. Westminster 1760-5; Trinity, Oxf. 1767; Grand Tour 1769-72. m. 15 Oct. 1778, Mary, da. and coh. of Richard Garth of Morden, Surr., 6s. 5da. suc. fa. as 5th Bt. 9 Apr. 1783.

Offices Held

Lt.-col. 2 Surr. militia 1797.


In March 1789 it was reported that there was no question of Frederick’s being returned again for Christchurch. He had acted with opposition in that Parliament and joined the Whig Club on 15 Apr. 1788. So in 1790 he cast about for a seat. Sir John Morshead* thought of him for Tregony, where the price would be £3,250—Frederick had objected to another proposition, asking for ‘easier terms’—but this scheme was abandoned and he was left out of Parliament.1 He had previously been thought of for Surrey and it was as county Member that he reentered the House on a vacancy in 1794 at the expense of £1,750. He had meanwhile seceded from the Whig Club and stood on a platform of support for the war against revolutionary France. Because of this, Pitt asked the Duke of Portland to persuade him to move the address in December 1794, adding ‘The circumstance of his being to take his seat does not seem to be any real objection, especially as I believe he has been in Parliament before’.2 Frederick, who had been no speaker before 1790, did not move the address. He contented himself with introducing a bill to prevent body snatching, which was counted out, 17, 31 Mar. 1795, and concurring with those of his constituents who favoured ministerial measures against sedition, 27 Nov., 3 Dec. 1795. On 15 Mar. 1796 he voted against the abolition of the slave trade.

Frederick made no mark in the Parliament of 1796, except for his vote for Pitt’s triple tax assessment, 4 Jan. 1798. He left copious notes of the evidence before the Southwark election committee, of which he was a member. Lady Holland, who met him in the course of his militia duties, described him in 1799 as ‘a mild, gentlemanlike man; he has the manners of a man of the world, pleasant conversation, and a fair portion of information’.3 He was well disposed to Addington’s ministry, being appointed to the committees on the Indian judicature, 9 Dec. 1801, and on the civil list, 2 Feb. 1804. On 11 June 1804 he joined the opposition to Pitt’s additional force bill.4 In September the Treasury listed him ‘doubtful Addington’. He voted with ministers on Melville’s question, 8 Apr. 1805, and was listed in July ‘doubtful Pitt’. On 30 Apr. 1806 he voted for the Grenville ministry’s repeal of Pitt’s Additional Force Act. He did not oppose them, but was lucky to retain his seat at the ensuing election when a ‘push’ against him led to his trailing Samuel Thornton* on the poll.5 Thornton had no wish to oust him and ceded the return to him. Frederick was subsequently listed a ‘staunch friend’ of the abolition of the slave trade, an object which Thornton had very much at heart. Since 1804 his only speeches had been on behalf of Surrey improvement bills, the last on the Vauxhall bridge bill in March 1807 when, having served on the Weymouth election committee, he took leave of absence. He relinquished his seat to Thornton in 1807.6 In 1812 he seconded the nomination of Sir Thomas Sutton for the county. Frederick died 16 Jan. 1825.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: Brian Murphy / R. G. Thorne


  • 1. NLS mss 11047, ff. 181, 188; Ginter, Whig Organization, 176, 183.
  • 2. Surr. RO, Frederick mss 183/35/39; Portland mss PwF2050, 7710.
  • 3. Frederick mss 183/35/40; Jnl. of Lady Holland, ii. 20.
  • 4. Morning Chron. 13 June 1804.
  • 5. Blair Adam mss, Loch to Adam, 5 Nov. 1806.
  • 6. Spencer mss, Russell to Spencer, 28 Apr. 1807.