Robert Sutton (diplomat)

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Sir Robert Sutton CB PC (1671 – 13 August 1746) was an English diplomat and later a politician.

Early life[edit]

He was the elder son of Robert Sutton of Averham, Nottinghamshire, and his wife, Katherine, the daughter of the Revd William Sherborne of Pembridge, Herefordshire. He was admitted to Trinity College, Oxford in 1688 and went on the Middle Temple in 1691.

Diplomat[edit]

He was ordained a deacon and became chaplain to his cousin Robert Sutton, 2nd Baron Lexinton, English Envoy in Vienna in 1694. In 1697, he was appointed as secretary to the British legation there, and upon the departure of bis cousin became the English resident there. Lexinton then secured for him the nomination for English ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople on 5 December 1700, and he arrived in Adrianople on 7 January 1702.

He asked to be recalled on 6 May 1715. He remained there until summer 1717, when he travelled to Vienna, arriving on 17 September. Afterwards he served with Abraham Stanyan as joint mediator at the Austro-Turkish peace congress at Passarowitz in 1718. His final diplomatic posting was as ambassador to France in 1720, but was superseded the following year. Following his return to England, he bought estates in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, worth nearly £5000 a year, with a house at Broughton, Lincolnshire.

In Constantinople in 1704 Sutton acquired the Arabian grey horse Alcock's Arabian with some other Arabians, and had him shipped to England. The horse is considered to be the ancestor of all grey Thoroughbreds.[1]

Politician and financier[edit]

Having become rich in diplomatic service, he was elected Whig MP Nottinghamshire in 1722. He became a member of the committee of Charitable Corporation in 1725, and made money by insider trading in its shares.[2] He was expelled from the House of Commons 4 May 1732 for a false statement that the company's authorized capital had been exhausted, allowing it to issue more (and so finance the corrupt speculation of other directors).[3] He was also sub-governor of the Royal Africa Company from 1726. However, he was elected unopposed in 1734 for Great Grimsby.[2]

He was appointed a member of the Privy Council on 9 May 1722 [4]

He was great-nephew of the 1st Baron Lexinton. He married Judith Tichborne, daughter of Benjamin Tichborne. Their children included Sir Richard Sutton, 1st Baronet.

He was also patron of the cleric William Warburton.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Racers at georgianindex.net, accessed 16 February 2012
  2. ^ a b Jeremy Black, ‘Sutton, Sir Robert (1671/2–1746)’, rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [1], accessed 20 June 2009
  3. ^ Members expelled from the House of Commons since the Restoration
  4. ^ [2]
  • The despatches of Sir Robert Sutton, ambassador in Constantinople, 1710–1714, ed. Akdes Minet Kurat (1953)
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Robert Sutton, 2nd Baron Lexinton
as Envoy Extraordinary
British Resident at Vienna
1697–1700
Succeeded by
George Stepney
as Envoy Extraordinary
Preceded by
Lord Paget
British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
1700 – 1717
Succeeded by
Edward Wortley Montagu
Preceded by
The Earl of Stair
British Ambassador to France
1720–1721
Succeeded by
Sir Luke Schaub
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Levinz
Hon. Francis Willoughby
Member of Parliament for Nottinghamshire
1722–1732
With: The Viscount Howe
Succeeded by
William Levinz
Thomas Bennet
Preceded by
John Page
George Monson
Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby
1734–1741
With: Robert Knight
Succeeded by
William Lock
Robert Knight