Edward Digby, 6th Baron Digby

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Edward Digby, 6th Baron Digby (5 July 1730 – 30 November 1757) was a British peer and Member of Parliament.

Digby was the son of Hon. Edward Digby, son of William Digby, 5th Baron Digby. His mother was Charlotte Fox, daughter of Sir Stephen Fox and sister of Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland.

He was a close connection of the Foxes, and from 1744 on regularly attended their annual shooting-party in Wiltshire. On 13 June 1751, he was returned at Malmesbury on Henry Fox's interest after the death of James Douglas. Around this time, he was appointed a Groom of the Bedchamber to George, Prince of Wales.[1] On 27 November 1752, he succeeded his grandfather Edward as Baron Digby, an Irish peerage which did not oblige him to vacate his seat in the Commons. He resigned his bedchamber office in 1753 as a result of his succession.

Digby intended to contest Dorset, where he had large estates, in the next general election and asked for the support of the Duke of Newcastle, but when George Trenchard nominated him at the county meeting of gentlemen in August 1753, there was no enthusiasm for his candidacy and he dropped the plan. Instead, Fox had him returned for Wells at the 1754 election on a joint interest with Charles Tudway.[1][2]

As befitted a connection of Fox, Digby was a Whig, but took relatively little interest in politics. His health was poor, and he hoped to obtain a higher peerage, either a British title or an Irish earldom, an object left unfulfilled. In 1756, he was operated on for kidney stones by Dr. Adair Hawkins. He survived the surgery, but the wound was slow to heal, and he was left an invalid until he died on 30 November 1757.[2]

Digby was known for acts of great benevolence. In particular, he was known to visit the Marshalsea Debtors' prison at least twice annually, at Christmas and Easter, and each time secure the release of a number of prisoners by paying off their debts. He would then take the newly freed individuals to George Inn in Borough for dinner.[3]

Digby never married and was succeeded in the barony by his younger brother Henry Digby, who was created Earl Digby in 1790.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lea, R. S. (1970). "DIGBY, Edward (1730-57), of Coleshill, Warws. and Sherborne, Dorset.". In Sedgwick, Romney. The House of Commons 1715-1754. The History of Parliament Trust. 
  2. ^ a b Drummond, Mary M. (1964). "DIGBY, Edward, 6th Baron Digby [I] (1730-57).". In Namier, Sir Lewis; Brooke, John. The House of Commons 1754-1790. The History of Parliament Trust. 
  3. ^ The Penny Story-Teller, January 2, 1833.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
John Lee
James Douglas
Member of Parliament for Malmesbury
1751–1754
With: John Lee
Succeeded by
Lord George Bentinck
Brice Fisher
Preceded by
Francis Gwyn
George Hamilton
Member of Parliament for Wells
1754–1757
With: Charles Tudway
Succeeded by
Charles Tudway
Robert Digby
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
William Digby
Baron Digby
1752–1757
Succeeded by
Henry Digby