SOMERSET, Lord Arthur John Henry (1780-1816), of Troy, Mon.

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



8 Nov. 1805 - 18 Apr. 1816

Family and Education

b. 12 Feb. 1780, 5th s. of Henry, 5th Duke of Beaufort, by. Elizabeth, da. of Adm. the Hon. Edward Boscawen bro. of Lords Charles Henry Somerset*, Fitzroy James Henry Somerset*, Henry Charles Somerset, Mq. of Worcester*, and Robert Edward Henry Somerset*. educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1797. m. 23 June 1808, Hon. Elizabeth Boscawen, da. of George Evelyn, 3rd Visct. Falmouth, 2s. 1da.

Offices Held

Maj. Mon. and Brec. militia 1803.


Lord Arthur was defeated in the Gloucester city by-election in August 1805, standing on the family interest against Robert Morris. A few months later, however, he was returned for Monmouthshire on the death of General Rooke, being the first of his family to represent the county since his grandfather, 1731-4. There was a token opposition, but he held the seat without difficulty. He followed his brother the Duke of Beaufort’s line in politics, opposing the Grenville administration, against which he voted on the repeal of the Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806, and the Hampshire election petition, 13 Feb. 1807, but supporting subsequent administrations. The Whigs listed him ‘against the Opposition’ in 1810: he voted steadily with government on the Scheldt expedition, 23, 26 Jan., 23 Feb. and 30 Mar. He was in the majorities against the release of the radical Gale Jones, 16 Apr., and against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810. He was in the government minorities on the Regency proposals, 1 Jan. 1811; the sinecures bill, 4 May 1812, and against Stuart Wortley’s motion for a stronger administration, Al May 1812. He voted against Catholic relief, 22 June 1812, 2 Mar., 11 and 24 May 1813, and was listed ‘Government’ at that time. No speech is known and his last recorded vote was with the majority on the civil list, 14 Apr. 1815. He died at Lisbon, where he had gone for the recovery of his health, 18 Apr. 1816.

R. D. Rees, ‘Parl. Rep. S. Wales 1790-1830’ (Reading Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1962), ii. 499.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne