Sir Stephen Lushington, 1st Baronet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Stephen Lushington, see Stephen Lushington (disambiguation).

Sir Stephen Lushington, 1st Baronet (17 June 1744 – 12 January 1807), of South Hill Park in Easthampstead, Berkshire, was an English Member of Parliament and Chairman of the East India Company.

Lushington was the third son of the Reverend Henry Lushington, vicar of Eastbourne.

From 1782 he was a director of the East India Company, and supported the reforms of the company being proposed by Charles James Fox; these would have brought the company under the control of a board of commissioners appointed by Parliament, and it was intended that Lushington should be one of the assistant commissioners. In 1783, as Fox prepared to introduce his India Bill in the House of Commons, Christopher Atkinson, one of the MPs for Hedon in Yorkshire, was convicted of fraud and would therefore be expelled from the House. Hedon was a rotten borough where the Foxites could expect their candidate to be elected, and Lushington's name was put forward by Prime Minister Portland to fill the vacancy.

Atkinson was formally expelled from the Commons on 4 December 1783, and a writ for the by-election was issued. However, the following day the Commons amended the East India Bill to make the assistant commissioners ineligible to sit in Parliament. This forced Lushington to choose between an assistant commissionership and a seat in Parliament and, knowing that the majority of the East India directors opposed Fox's bill he decided the latter was preferable. On 15 December he was elected unopposed for Hedon, but on the same day the House of Lords unexpectedly defeated Fox's India bill and the government fell.

Lushington spoke in opposition to the East India bill proposed by the new government under Pitt the Younger, which placed control of the Company in the hands of a board appointed by the Crown rather than by Parliament. In the general election of 1784 he was a candidate at Hastings, rather than defending his seat at Hedon, but was defeated.

He was deputy chairman of the East India Company in 1789-1790, and its chairman for three terms - 1790-1791, 1795–1796 and 1799-1800. He was created a baronet on 26 April 1791.

He returned to Parliament in 1790 as member for Helston, and was an MP for the rest of his life, subsequently also representing Mitchell, Penryn and Plympton Erle.

In 1771 he married Hester Boldero (d. 1830), whose father settled the manors of Aspenden and Berkesdon in Hertfordshire on the couple. Their children included:

References[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Chaytor
Christopher Atkinson
Member of Parliament for Hedon
1783–1784
With: William Chaytor
Succeeded by
William Chaytor
Lionel Darell
Preceded by
James Bland Burges
Roger Wilbraham
Member of Parliament for Helston
1790–1796
With: Gilbert Elliot 1790-95
Charles Abbot 1795-96
Succeeded by
Charles Abbot
Richard Richards
Preceded by
Sir Christopher Hawkins
David Howell
Member of Parliament for Mitchell
1796–1800
With: Sir Christopher Hawkins 1796-99
John Simpson 1799-1800
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Mitchell
1801–1802
With: John Simpson
Succeeded by
Robert Dallas
Robert Sharpe Ainslie
Preceded by
Thomas Wallace
William Meeke
Member of Parliament for Penryn
1802–1806
With: Sir John Nicholl
Succeeded by
Henry Swann
Sir Christopher Hawkins
Preceded by
Edward Golding
Philip Metcalfe
Member of Parliament for Plympton Erle
1806–1807
With: The Viscount Castlereagh
Succeeded by
The Viscount Castlereagh
William Assheton Harbord
Baronetage of Great Britain
New creation Baronet
(of Hill Park)
1791–1807
Succeeded by
Henry Lushington