PARKER, George, Visct. Parker (1755-1842), of Shirburn Castle, Oxon.
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Family and Education
b. 24 Feb. 1755, 1st s. of Thomas Parker†, 3rd Earl of Macclesfield, by his cos. Mary, da. of Sir William Heathcote†, 1st Bt., of Hursley, Hants. educ. Eton 1765-9; Exeter, Oxf. 1773. m. 25 May 1780, Mary Frances, da. and coh. of Rev. Thomas Drake, DD, rector of Amersham, Bucks., 1s. d.v.p. 1da. suc. fa. as 4th Earl of Macclesfield 9 Feb. 1795.
Gent. of bedchamber to Prince of Wales Dec. 1780-1786, May 1787-Oct. 1789; PC 21 Apr. 1791; comptroller of Household 1791-7; ld. of bedchamber 1797-1804; capt. yeomen of the gd. 1804-30; capt. Watlington yeoman cav. 1798.
High steward, Henley 1795-d; ld. lt. Oxon. 1817-d.
Pres. board of agriculture 1816-18.
Viscount Parker was left without a seat in 1784 when, as a member of the Prince of Wales’s household, he opposed Pitt. In 1789 the Prince finally dismissed him after his father had supported Pitt on the Regency. Macclesfield sought compensation and, writing to Pitt, 18 May 1790, suggested the vacancy at the Treasury board for him: ‘an appointment before his election would avoid the trouble and difficulty of a re-election, at a borough where there is such an opposition as he now has to contend with’. The borough was Sandwich, and Parker, the ministerial second string, was defeated. He came in instead for Minehead on the interest of John Fownes Luttrell I*, assisted by £2,000 from the secret service fund.1
Parker was listed among opponents of repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in April 1791. Appointed comptroller of the King’s household the same month, his only parliamentary function, until he succeeded to the title in 1795, was to convey to the House messages from the King. He assured Pitt that his peerage did not disqualify him from remaining in office and saw ‘no reason for my not continuing in it, till I get a better’ (14 Feb. 1795). In 1797 Pitt requested him to surrender it in simple exchange for the bedchamber, despite his pleas for some compensatory place. He was made captain of the yeomen of the guard, on the King’s recommendation, on Pitt’s return to power in 1804.2
He died 20 May 1842: ‘the course of his existence presented little more than the customary routine natural in his class of society’.3