John Calcraft (the younger)

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John Calcraft the Younger

John Calcraft the younger (16 October 1765 – 11 September 1831), of Rempstone in Dorset and Ingress in Kent, was an English landowner and Member of Parliament.

The illegitimate son and principal heir of John Calcraft the elder, a politician who had made a fortune as an army contractor, Calcraft inherited his father's estates while still a child. The property included control of the pocket borough of Wareham in Dorset, and while still three months short of coming of age he was returned as its Member of Parliament (MP) in 1786. He is not recorded as having spoken in the House during his first Parliament, and did not stand for re-election in 1790, but subsequently re-entered the House, representing Wareham again (1800–1806 and 1818–1831), Rochester (1806–1818) and Dorset (1831).

From 1800 until 1828, Calcraft was a Whig, and served briefly as a clerk of the ordnance (1806–1807) when the party held power under Lord Grenville. However, in 1828 he accepted office as Paymaster of the Forces in the Duke of Wellington's Tory administration, and was raised to the Privy Council; but he broke with the Tories over parliamentary reform and returned to the Whigs in March 1831, voting for the Reform Bill in the crucial division on the second reading when it passed by a single vote. He was elected as a reformer for the county in the election that followed shortly afterwards, but becoming convinced that both sides in the Commons despised him he became mentally unstable, and later the same year he committed suicide.

Calcraft married Elizabeth Hales, daughter of Sir Thomas Pym Hales, in 1790, and they had five children.

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Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Thomas Farrer
Charles Lefebure
Member of Parliament for Wareham
1786–1790
With: Thomas Farrer
Succeeded by
Richard Smith
Lord Robert Spencer
Preceded by
Sir Godfrey Vassall
Joseph Chaplin Hankey
Member of Parliament for Wareham
1800–1801
With: Joseph Chaplin Hankey
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Wareham
1801–1806
With: Joseph Chaplin Hankey 1801–1802
Andrew Strahan 1802–1806
Succeeded by
Andrew Strahan
Jonathan Raine
Preceded by
Captain Sir Sidney Smith
James Hulkes
Member of Parliament for Rochester
1806–1818
With: James Barnett 1806–1807
Sir Thomas Boulden Thompson 1807–1816
James Barnett 1816–1818
Succeeded by
James Barnett
Lord Binning
Preceded by
Robert Gordon
Theodore Henry Broadhead
Member of Parliament for Wareham
1818–1831
With: Thomas Denman 1818–1820
John Hales Calcraft 1820–1826
Charles Baring Wall 1826–1830
James Ewing 1830–1831
Succeeded by
Granby Hales Calcraft
Charles Wood
Preceded by
Edward Portman
Henry Bankes
Member of Parliament for Dorset
1831
With: Edward Portman
Succeeded by
Edward Portman
Lord Ashley
Political offices
Preceded by
Hon. William Wellesley-Pole
Clerk of the Ordnance
1806–1807
Succeeded by
Hon. William Wellesley-Pole
Preceded by
Hon. William Vesey-FitzGerald
Paymaster of the Forces
1828–1830
Succeeded by
Lord John Russell