Lord Henry Seymour (politician)

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Lord Henry Seymour (15 December 1746 – 5 February 1830) was a British politician, the second son of Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford. He was known as Hon. Henry Seymour-Conway until 1793, when his father was created a marquess; he then became Lord Henry Seymour-Conway, but dropped the surname of Conway after his father's death in 1794.

Seymour-Conway was educated at Eton and Hertford College, Oxford, and took his MA from Merton College in 1767. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1766 as Member for Coventry. He generally, though not always, voted with his uncle and namesake Henry Seymour Conway. After the 1768 election, when he and Andrew Archer defeated a challenge by Walter Waring, he was a consistent supporter of the Grafton and then the North governments.[1]

Due to a falling-out between his father, the Earl of Hertford, and the Corporation of Coventry,[2] Seymour-Conway did not stand as a candidate there at the 1774 election. He was instead returned by the North administration at Midhurst, which was a Treasury borough that year. In 1776, he was also returned to the Parliament of Ireland for Antrim County, which he represented until 1783. As his re-election in Midhurst did not appear to be sustainable in the 1780 election, he stood successfully at Downton. In the 1784 election, Seymour-Conway and Robert Shafto faced off against Hon. Edward Bouverie and William Scott, and, a double return being made, the case came before the House of Commons. Seymour-Conway chose not to stand in the ensuing by-election; his brother William took his place and won the by-election.[1] During this period, he was for some time a captain in the Warwickshire Militia,[3] and befriended the poet George Crabbe while quartered at Aldeburgh.[4] On 11 February 1793, he was promoted major.[5]

The election of 1784 marked Henry's retirement from politics. In 1790, he and his brother Robert were jointly granted, for life, the sinecures of joint prothonotary, clerk of the crown, filazer, and keeper of the declarations of the King's Bench in Ireland. By 1816, these offices brought an income of more than £10,000 a year (£667,881 as of 2014),[6]. He spent the rest of his life in the improvement of his estate at Norris Castle, in the Isle of Wight. He had a reputation for both eccentricity and benevolence when he died, unmarried, in 1830.[7]

There is a memorial to him in St. Mildred's Church, Whippingham.


  1. ^ a b Sir Lewis Namier, John Brooke, ed. (2002). The House of Commons, 1754-1790. vol. II. London: Secker & Warburg. pp. 424–425. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  2. ^ Whitley, T.W. (1894). The Parilamentary representation of the city of Coventry. Coventry: Curtis & Beamish. p. 171. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  3. ^ "Militia Musters". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  4. ^ Houchon, René Louis; Frederick Clarke (1907). George Crabbe and his times, 1754-1832. London: John Murray. p. 69. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 13516. p. 270. 1793-04-02. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
  6. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2014), "What Were the British Earnings and Prices Then? (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  7. ^ Gentleman's Magazine: 363. April 1830 http://books.google.com/books?id=3ioVp2JRpPwC&pg=PA363 |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Viscount Dunluce
Viscount Beauchamp
Member of Parliament for Antrim County
With: James Willson
Succeeded by
James O'Neill
Hon. Hercules Rowley
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
James Hewitt
Hon. Andrew Archer
Member of Parliament for Coventry
With: Hon. Andrew Archer 1766–1768
Sir Richard Glyn 1768–1773
Walter Waring 1773–1774
Succeeded by
Walter Waring
Edward Roe Yeo
Preceded by
Herbert Mackworth
Clement Tudway
Member of Parliament for Midhurst
With: John Ord
Succeeded by
Hon. John St John
Hon. Henry Drummond
Preceded by
Sir Philip Hales
Robert Shafto
Member of Parliament for Downton
With: Robert Shafto
Succeeded by
Robert Shafto
Hon. William Seymour-Conway