Thomas Potter (died 1759)

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Thomas Potter (1718–1759) was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1747 and 1759.

Kingdom of Great Britain constitutional monarchy in Western Europe between 1707–1801

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called simply Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. In democratic countries, politicians seek elective positions within a government through elections or, at times, temporary appointment to replace politicians who have died, resigned or have been otherwise removed from office. In non-democratic countries, they employ other means of reaching power through appointment, bribery, revolutions and war. Some politicians are experienced in the art or science of government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

The House of Commons is the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada and historically was the name of the lower houses of the Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Great Britain, Kingdom of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Southern Ireland. Roughly equivalent bodies in other countries which were once part of the British Empire include the United States House of Representatives, the Australian House of Representatives, the New Zealand House of Representatives, and India's Lok Sabha.

Potter was born in 1718, the second son of John Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury. He acquired a law degree at Christ Church, Oxford, and was admitted to the Middle Temple. [1] Through his father's interest, he was able to secure the Recordership of Bath, a lucrative office.

Archbishop of Canterbury senior bishop of the Church of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby, who was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013. Welby is the 105th in a line which goes back more than 1400 years to Augustine of Canterbury, the "Apostle to the English", sent from Rome in the year 597. Welby succeeded Rowan Williams.

A law degree is an academic degree conferred for studies in law. Such degrees are generally preparation for legal careers; but while their curricula may be reviewed by legal authority, they do not themselves confer a license. A legal license is granted and exercised locally; while the law degree can have local, international, and world-wide aspects- e.g., in Britain the Legal Practice Course is required to become a British solicitor or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) to become a barrister.

Christ Church, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

Christ Church is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the cathedral of the Oxford diocese, which serves as the college chapel and whose dean is ex officio the college head.

Potter married firstly Anne Manningham, daughter of Rev. Thomas Manningham, rector of Slinfold, Sussex on 17 February 1740. Anne died on 4 January 1744 and he married secondly a Miss Lowe of Brightwell, Oxfordshire on 14 July 1747. [2] From his second marriage he acquired Segenhoe Manor at Ridgmont, near Woburn, Bedfordshire. [3]

Potter was a recognised member of the Hellfire Club, in Buckinghamshire, founded by Francis Dashwood, 11th Baron le Despencer and acquired a reputation as a leading rake. Potter was a friend of John Wilkes, whom he considered as something of a protégé. He was later accused of corrupting Wilkes who had been relatively innocent until that point. [4] He was believed to be the author of Essay on Woman, a crude parody of Alexander Pope's Essay on Man . The authorship of this was later attributed to John Wilkes, when it was read out in the House of Lords, during his expulsion from parliament in 1764.

Hellfire Club any of several exclusive clubs for society rakes in 18th-century Britain and Ireland

Hellfire Club was a name for several exclusive clubs for high society rakes established in Britain and Ireland in the 18th century. The name is most commonly used to refer to Sir Francis Dashwood's Order of the Friars of St. Francis of Wycombe. Such clubs were rumoured to be the meeting places of "persons of quality" who wished to take part in socially perceived immoral acts, and the members were often involved in politics. Neither the activities nor membership of the club are easy to ascertain. The clubs were rumoured to have distant ties to an elite society known only as The Order of the Second Circle.

Buckinghamshire County of England

Buckinghamshire, abbreviated Bucks, is a county in South East England which borders Greater London to the south east, Berkshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the north, Bedfordshire to the north east and Hertfordshire to the east.

Francis Dashwood, 11th Baron le Despencer British politician

Francis Dashwood, 11th Baron le Despencer PC FRS was an English rake and politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer (1762–1763) and founder of the Hellfire Club.

In 1747 Potter was elected as Member of Parliament for St Germans in Cornwall. In 1754 he was elected as MP for Aylesbury, a seat controlled by the powerful Grenville family with whom he was associated from then on. In 1756 he became a Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, another lucrative post, which did not require him to move to Ireland. [5] He was returned as MP for Okehampton in 1757. Politically he was aligned with William Pitt and was his devoted follower. He was a staunch supporter of Britain's participation in the Seven Years War. He tried to interest his son Thomas in finding a seat in Parliament. [2]

St Germans was a rotten borough in Cornwall which returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons in the English and later British Parliament from 1562 to 1832, when it was abolished by the Great Reform Act.

Cornwall County of England

Cornwall is a county in South West England in the United Kingdom. The county is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar which forms most of the border between them. Cornwall forms the westernmost part of the South West Peninsula of the island of Great Britain. The furthest southwestern point of Great Britain is Land's End; the southernmost point is Lizard Point. Cornwall has a population of 563,600 and covers an area of 3,563 km2 (1,376 sq mi). The county has been administered since 2009 by the unitary authority, Cornwall Council. The ceremonial county of Cornwall also includes the Isles of Scilly, which are administered separately. The administrative centre of Cornwall, and its only city, is Truro.

Aylesbury (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Aylesbury is a constituency created in 1553 — created as a single-member seat in 1885 — represented in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom since 1992 by David Lidington, of the Conservative Party.

All Saints, Segenhoe All Saints, Segenhoe - - 326144.jpg
All Saints, Segenhoe

Potter was in ill health for a long time, suffering in particular from gout. [6] In 1759 he died at his residence in Segenhoe at the age of forty one and was buried in nearby Segenhoe churchyard. [7] [8] He left a son and two daughters, one of which married Malcolm MacQueen, to whom Potter's estates passed.

Gout condition characterized by painful swelling of the joints, which is caused by deposition of urate crystals

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by recurrent attacks of a red, tender, hot, and swollen joint. Pain typically comes on rapidly, reaching maximal intensity in less than twelve hours. The joint at the base of the big toe is affected in about half of cases. It may also result in tophi, kidney stones, or urate nephropathy.


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  1. "Alumni oxonienses: the members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886, vol.3".
  2. 1 2 "POTTER, Thomas (?1718-59), of Ridgmont, Beds". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  3. "RIDGMONT". British History Online. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  4. Cash p.29-36
  5. Cash p.44
  6. Brown p.125
  7. Brown p.188
  8. Cash p.55
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
John Hynde Cotton
James Newsham
Member of Parliament for St Germans
With: Richard Eliot 1747–48
Edward Craggs-Eliot 1748–54
Succeeded by
Edward Craggs-Eliot
Anthony Champion
Preceded by
The Earl of Inchiquin
Edward Willes
Member of Parliament for Aylesbury
With: John Willes
Succeeded by
John Willes
John Wilkes
Preceded by
Robert Vyner
William Pitt
Member of Parliament for Okehampton
With: Robert Vyner
Succeeded by
Robert Vyner
George Brydges Rodney