Allen Bathurst, 1st Earl Bathurst
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Early life and Political career
Bathurst was the eldest son of Sir Benjamin Bathurst, by his wife, Frances, daughter of Sir Allen Apsley, of Apsley, Sussex, and belonged to a family which is said to have settled in Sussex before the Norman Conquest. He was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, and became Member of Parliament for Cirencester in May 1705, retaining his seat until December 1711, when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Bathurst, of Battlesden in the County of Bedford. As a zealous Tory he defended Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, and in the House of Lords was an opponent of Sir Robert Walpole. After Walpole left office in 1742 he was made a Privy Councillor and served as Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen Pensioners from 1742 to 1745. In August 1772, 60 years after he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Bathurst, he was created Earl Bathurst, having previously received a pension of 2000 £ a year chargeable upon the Irish revenues.
Apart from his political career Lord Bathurst is also known for his association with the poets and scholars of the time. Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Prior, Sterne, and Congreve were among his friends. His name is listed as a founding governor on the royal charter of the Foundling Hospital, granted by King George II in 1739. He is described in Sterne's Letters to Eliza; was the subject of a graceful reference on the part of Burke speaking in the House of Commons; and the letters which passed between him and Pope are published in Pope's Works, vol. viii. (London, 1872).
Lord Bathurst married his cousin Catherine, daughter of Sir Peter Apsley, in July 1704. They had four sons and five daughters. She died in 1768. Lord Bathurst survived her by seven years and died in September 1775, aged 90. He was buried in Cirencester church. His son Henry succeeded him in the earldom, having already been created Lord Apsley in 1771 on his appointment as Lord Chancellor.
Bathurst's sister was the mother of Admiral Sir Thomas Pye. His brother Henry Bathurst served as Bishop of Norwich and his niece was Caroline de Crespigny, a poetess who some claim to be one of Lord Byron's many mistresses.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bathurst, Earls". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Bathurst, Allen". Dictionary of National Biography. 3. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Lundy, Darryl. "FAQ". The Peerage. External link in
|Parliament of Great Britain|
|Member of Parliament for Cirencester
with Henry Ireton 1705–1708
Charles Coxe 1708–1712
The Duke of Bolton
|Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners
The Lord Hobart
|Peerage of Great Britain|
|New creation||Earl Bathurst
|New creation||Baron Bathurst