EDWARDES, Hon. Edward Henry (1798-1829), of 16 Great Ryder Street, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 5 Nov. 1798, 1st s. of William Edwardes†, 2nd Bar. Kensington [I], and Dorothy Patricia, da. of Richard Thomas. educ. Eton c. 1810-15; Christ Church, Oxf. 1817; St. John’s, Camb. 1825. unm. d.v.p. 16 Aug. 1829.
Edwardes’s father, Lord Kensington, looking forward in 1819 to the commencement of his eldest son’s political career, remarked that ‘whatever his views are I shall support them, but at present I think he is very much of my opinion’.1 Kensington had latterly inclined towards the Canningite wing of Lord Liverpool’s ministry, and it was this connection which secured Edwardes’s unopposed return for Bletchingley in 1820 on the Russell interest. He apparently joined Brooks’s Club, 21 May 1820. However, his parliamentary career was a singularly uneventful one: nearly three years elapsed without a trace of any activity, prompting a radical publication to denounce him as ‘a truant’.2 The likely reason for this absenteeism was illustrated by the reaction to his first recorded vote, 22 Apr. 1823, for Burdett’s motion for inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, which resulted in a government defeat. His father’s profession of political tolerance was tested and found wanting, as Thomas Creevey* recounted:
[Kensington] has been down to Canning at Gloucester Lodge ... to tender his son’s resignation of his seat ... the said son having voted with Burdett on Tuesday, although his seat was given him by Canning. The latter said he had observed Edwardes go out in the division, but behaved very handsomely indeed about it; said he was a young one and might think differently in the future, and, in short, desired that he might have his head and do as he liked for some time longer. But ... [Kensington] observed there was no chance of his mending, for ... his mother was in his confidence and he had entrusted to her his decided opinion against the government.3
Thereafter Edwardes confined his activities to the issue of Catholic relief, on which he was in agreement with his father: he voted for it, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., and paired for it, 10 May 1825. He relinquished his seat at the dissolution in 1826.
He had been admitted to St. John’s College, Cambridge as a fellow commoner in December 1825, though as at Oxford earlier, he did not take a degree. He died unmarried and v.p. at Brighton in August 1829, ‘of a rapid decline’. His address was then given as Llandawke, Carmarthenshire, and administration of his effects, valued at £200, was granted to his father.4