M.P. for Richmond (1796-Nov. 1798), Major (1803), of South Lodge, St. Leonards, Sussex.
The son of a well known wit, Beauclerk was considered ‘clever, well-educated, and perfectly a gentleman’. An ‘invincible shyness’ robbed him of the social and political success to which his talents seemed to entitle him.
A friend of Lord Holland, his natural political affiliation was with the Whigs and during his two years in Parliament, sitting for Lord Dundas’s borough of Richmond, he voted steadily with the opposition and for Grey’s parliamentary reform motion, 26 May 1797. Like other Foxite seceders he returned to oppose the assessed taxes, 14 Dec. 1797, 4 Jan., and the conduct of Irish affairs, 22 June 1798. He is not known to have spoken in parliament.
A member of Brooks’s since 1793, he joined the Whig Club on 9 Jan. 1798. In November 1798 he took the Chiltern Hundreds. Thomas Tyrwhitt wrote, 23 Nov. 1798, ‘opposition never were so low, all those who purchased seats are selling as well as they can. Beauclerk gave £5,000 and has sold for £2,000 to [Arthur] Shakespeare.’
In 1799 he married Emily Charlotte Ogilvie.
After his marriage Beauclerk lived in almost complete retirement. Lady Holland, apparently unaware of his brief political career, wrote that he:
"... seems happy but it is the bliss of torpor ... It is to be regretted, as he has a most acute perception, and an uncommon degree of subtlety in his arguments. No person is clearer on the obscure subject of abstract metaphysics; his definitions are ingenious and brilliant. Finance is also a branch of political economy he is profound in, and had he entered Parliament he would have distinguished himself. At present he is lost."
He died on 25 December 1845, aged 71.
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