Francis Negus

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Francis Negus (died 1732) was an English military officer, courtier, politician, and reputed inventor of the drink negus.

Life[edit]

Negus is a Norfolk family name. From 1685 to 1688 he was secretary to Henry Howard, 7th Duke of Norfolk, and in that capacity made the acquaintance of Elias Ashmole. He served in the French wars under John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the 25th Regiment of Foot.

He was in 1715 appointed joint commissioner, and on 27 June 1717 sole commissioner, for executing the office of master of the horse, an office he held until the death of George I. He was appointed avener and clerk marshal to George II on 20 June 1727, and master of his majesty's buckhounds on 19 July in the same year. He represented Ipswich in parliament from 1717 until his death, at his seat at Dallinghoo, Suffolk, on 9 September 1732. Negus was also a ranger of Swinley Chase, lieutenant and deputy warden of Windsor Forest, and one of the commissioners of the lieutenancy of Middlesex and liberty of Westminster.

The invention of negus[edit]

The anecdote runs that on one occasion, when the bottle was passing rather more rapidly than good fellowship seemed to warrant over a hot political discussion, in which a number of prominent Whigs and Tories were taking part, Negus recommended the dilution of the wine with hot water and sugar. Attention was diverted from the point at issue to a discussion of the merits of wine and water, which ended in the compound being nicknamed 'negus.' Edmond Malone in his Life of Dryden (1800) states that the mixture called negus was invented by Colonel Negus in Queen Anne's time. Other evidence is cited by Thomas Seccombe in the Dictionary of National Biography.

References[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Thompson
William Churchill
Member of Parliament for Ipswich
1717–1732
With: William Thompson 1717–1730
Philip Broke 1730–1732
Succeeded by
Philip Broke
William Wollaston
Political offices
Vacant
Title last held by
The Earl of Cardigan
Master of the Buckhounds
1727–1732
Succeeded by
The Earl of Tankerville