John Conduitt ( /( ) / ; c. 8 March 1688 – 23 May 1737), of Cranbury Park, Hampshire, was a British landowner and Whig politician. He sat in the House of Commons from 1721 to 1737. He was married to the half-niece of Sir Isaac Newton, whom Conduitt succeeded as Master of the Mint.
The son of Leonard and Sarah Conduitt, John was baptised at St Paul's, Covent Garden, London, on 8 March 1688.In June 1701 he was admitted to St Peter's College, Westminster School, as a King's scholar. In 1705, while at Westminster, he was elected a Queen's scholar to Trinity College, Cambridge, with three others. He was admitted there in June of that year and matriculated to the University, but did not graduate, staying only two years.
By 1707, based on his own account, he was "travelling" in Holland and Germany. In September 1710, he became judge advocate with the British forces in Portugal. He was a "very pretty gentleman" according to James Brydges. [ clarification needed ]. During this time, he kept the Earl of Dartmouth informed about the Portuguese court. He returned to London by October 1711 with Lord Portmore. During the following year, he was made a captain in a regiment of the dragoons serving in Portugal, but by September 1713 he had been appointed Deputy Paymaster General to the British forces in Gibraltar. Those posts appear to have been remunerative, and in May 1717 he returned home to England a rich man. In 1720, Conduitt acquired the estate and house at Cranbury Park, near Winchester.From October 1710, he acted as the Earl of Portmore's secretary when the latter arrived in Portugal (N&Q)
In June 1721, Conduitt was elected, on petition, as a Member of Parliament for Whitchurch, Hampshire, which he represented during the 1720s as a loyal supporter of Robert Walpole's Whig government. Conduitt took an active interest in the running of Isaac Newton's office of Master of the Mint in the latter years of Newton's life, and after Newton's death in March 1727 Conduitt succeeded him to the post.
Isaac Newton having died intestate, Conduitt was appointed by Newton's heirs to serve as executor of Newton's estate. Conduitt collected materials for a life of Newton, some of which he forwarded to Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle, who used them to prepare Newton's obituary as a foreign member of the French Academy of Sciences. John Newton, who as his most direct living descendant was heir to Isaac Newton's real estate, had to resort to the Chancery courts to get satisfaction from Conduitt.
By the early 1730s, Conduitt had become a relatively prominent parliamentary speaker, defending the government on a number of issues, including Walpole's maintenance of the Septennial Act. In 1734, he was re-elected to his seat, but chose to represent Southampton. Conduitt, together with fellow MP's Sir John Crosse and George Heathcote, introduced the Witchcraft Act 1735, an enlightened piece of legislation that abolished the death penalty for witchcraft. The Act marked the definitive end of witch-hunting in Great Britain, introducing instead a maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment for pretending to exercise magical powers.
Shortly after his arrival back in England, he became acquainted with Sir Isaac Newton and his half-niece Catherine Barton. After what must have been a whirlwind romance, they applied to the Faculty Office for a licence, which was granted on 23 August 1717, to marry at St Paul's, Covent Garden. Catherine, then aged 38 years, described herself as 32 years old, Conduitt more correctly as about 30. Despite the licence, they instead married three days later on 26 August in her uncle's parish in the Russell Court Chapel in the church of St Martin in the Fields. Perhaps in an effort to dignify himself for his impending marriage to one of London's famous daughters, Conduitt obtained for himself a grant of arms from the College of Heralds on 16 August.
The couple had one daughter, named after her mother, born 23 May 1721 and baptised in the same parish of St Martin's on 8 June. Partly as a result of his antiquarian interests, Conduitt was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 1 December 1718, proposed by the president, and his uncle by marriage, Sir Isaac Newton. Sir Isaac Newton took up residence at Cranbury with his niece and her husband until his death in 1727 towards the end of his life.
Conduitt died on 23 May 1737 and was buried on 29 May in Westminster Abbey, next to Sir Isaac Newton.His wife Catherine died in 1739 and was buried with him. In his will, dated 1732, he had left his estate to his wife and made her guardian of their underage daughter Catherine. Upon his death, the trustees sold the estate at Cranbury Park as well as estates at Weston and Netley, near Southampton, to Thomas Lee Dummer, who succeeded Conduitt as MP for Southampton.
In 1740 his daughter Catherine married John Wallop, Viscount Lymington, the eldest son of the Earl of Portsmouth. Catherine's son John Wallop succeeded his grandfather to the peerage.
Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, first published in 1687, established classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics, and shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus.
Master of the Mint is a title within the Royal Mint given to the most senior person responsible for its operation. It was an important office in the governments of Scotland and England, and later Great Britain, between the 16th and 19th centuries. Until 1699, appointment was usually for life. Its holder occasionally sat in the cabinet.
Earl of Portsmouth is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1743 for John Wallop, 1st Viscount Lymington, who had previously represented Hampshire in the House of Commons. He had already been created Baron Wallop, of Farleigh Wallop in Hampshire in the County of Southampton, and Viscount Lymington, in 1720, also in the Peerage of Great Britain.
During his residence in London, Isaac Newton had made the acquaintance of John Locke. Locke had taken a very great interest in the new theories of the Principia. He was one of a number of Newton's friends who began to be uneasy and dissatisfied at seeing the most eminent scientific man of his age left to depend upon the meagre remuneration of a college fellowship and a professorship.
Catherine Barton (1679–1739) was an English homemaker who oversaw the running of her uncle, scientist Isaac Newton's, household. She was reputed to be the source of the story of the apple inspiring Newton's work on gravity, and his papers came to her on his death. She was rumoured to have been the mistress of the poet and statesman Charles Montagu and later married politician John Conduitt.
Henry Bentinck, 1st Duke of Portland, of Titchfield, Hampshire, styled Viscount Woodstock from 1689 until 1709, was a British Whig politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons from 1705 until 1709 when he succeeded to the perage as Earl of Portland. He was Governor of Jamaica from 1721 to 1726.
Sir John Brownlow, 3rd Baronet of Belton House near Grantham in Lincolnshire, was an English Member of Parliament. He built the grand mansion of Belton House, which survives today.
Newton Fellowes, 4th Earl of Portsmouth was an English politician, styled Hon. Newton Wallop until 1794 and Hon. Newton Fellowes from 1794 to 1853. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Andover from 1802 to 1820, and MP for North Devon from 1832 to 1837.
The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended is an approximately 87,000-word composition written by Sir Isaac Newton, first published posthumously in 1728. Since then it has been republished. The work represents one of Newton's forays into the topic of chronology, detailing the rise and history of various ancient kingdoms throughout antiquity.
Carteia was a Phoenician and Roman town at the head of the Bay of Gibraltar in Spain. It was established at the most northerly point of the bay, next to the town of San Roque, about halfway between the modern cities of Algeciras and Gibraltar, overlooking the sea on elevated ground at the confluence of two rivers, nowadays called Guadarranque and Cachon.
Sir Ralph Freeman was a wealthy English civil judge born in St Mary-at-Hill, Billingsgate, London and lived at Military St Westminster, he was educated at Eton College then at King's College, Cambridge and was called to the Middle Temple bar in 1606 he later received a knighthood in 1617. He was also known as a dramatist and translator. He should not be confused with another contemporary Sir Ralph Freeman who was lord mayor of London, and died on 16 March 1634.
Cranbury Park is a stately home and country estate situated in the parish of Hursley, near to Otterbourne, Winchester, England. It was formerly the home to Sir Isaac Newton and later to the Chamberlayne family, whose descendants now own and occupy the house and surrounding park and farmland. The house and park are not generally open to the public, although open days are occasionally held.
Thomas Lee Dummer was an English Member of Parliament for Southampton (1737–1741) and Newport (1765–1768).
Anthony Hammond (1668–1738), of Somersham Place, Huntingdonshire and Lidlington, Bedfordshire, was an English official and Tory politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons between 1695 and 1708. He was also known as a poet and pamphleteer.
John Ashburnham, 1st Baron Ashburnham was an English landowner and politician.
Sir Robert Furnese, 2nd Baronet, of Waldershare, Kent, and Dover Street, Westminster, was an English Whig politician who sat in the British House of Commons from 1708 to 1733.
John Wallop, Viscount Lymington was a British politician, styled Hon. John Wallop from 1720 to 1743.
Colonel Rich Ingram, 5th Viscount of Irvine, was an English peer and politician.
Sir Charles Wyndham was an English politician who served as a Whig Member of Parliament from 1679 to 1701.
Isaac Newton Wallop, 5th Earl of Portsmouth MA DL JP(11 January 1825 - 4 October 1891) was a British Peer and the son of Newton Fellowes, 4th Earl of Portsmouth and Lady Catharine Fortescue.
Sir Isaac Newton
| Master of the Mint |
|Parliament of Great Britain|
| Member of Parliament for Whitchurch |
With: George Carpenter 1721–1722
Thomas Vernon 1722–1727
Thomas Farrington 172
John Selwyn 1727–1734
John Selwyn, Jr 1734–1735
John Selwyn, Jr
| Member of Parliament for Southampton |
With: Sir William Heathcote
Thomas Lee Dummer