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Edward Bouverie (1738–1810) was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1761 and 1810.


Early lifeEdit

Delapré Abbey

Bouverie was the second son of Sir Jacob Bouverie, MP, 1st Viscount Folkestone, and Mary Clarke, daughter of Bartholomew Clarke of Hardingstone, Northamptonshire and was born 5 September 1738. He was educated at Eton from 1753 to 1756 and matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford in 1757. As the second son, Bouverie had to some extent make his own way in the world which he did by his marriage to Harriet Falkner the daughter of Sir Everard Fawkener, ambassador to the Porte on 30 June 1764.[1] On his marriage Bouverie bought Delapré Abbey for £22,000[2] from Sir Charles Hardy, Governor of New York, the husband of the Mary Tate, the last of the Tate family, who had owned the estate since their purchase of the former nunnery on its dissolution.


Bouverie was first elected to parliament for Salisbury in 1761, a seat under the patronage of the Bouverie family, which he occupied until his nephew Viscount Folkestone came of age and could take up the seat in 1771. In Parliament he followed an independent line. In 1763 he supported the radical MP John Wilkes when he was charged with seditious liable for an article attacking George III, but voted with Administration on the expulsion of Wilkes from parliament in 1769. At various times he was listed as a Whig supporter and at others as a Tory.[1]

Bouverie attempted to return to parliament in 1774 offering himself at Northampton hoping for the support of the Compton interest, but withdrew without making the canvass.[3] Although he considered standing at a by-election in 1782 and the general election in 1784 he did not stand again until 1790 when he won one of the Northampton seats.[1]

Following his return to Parliament Bouverie became a staunch supporter of Charles James Fox and voted with him consistently. He was supported by his wife, a renowned London beauty and socialite who became a political hostess and close friend of other aristocratic supporters.[1]

Family lifeEdit

Harriet Bouverie 1770

Edward and Harriet had three sons and five daughters. Their eldest son was also called Edward Bouverie and he inherited Delapré estate. Their second son was Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Frederick Bouverie KBC GCMG, Governor of Malta from 1836 to 1843. The third son was John Bouverie rector at Midhurst from 1808 until his death in 1855. The couple also had five daughters, one of whom, Diana, was considered to be the daughter of Lord Robert Spencer with whom Harriet had a long liaison. They were married in 1811, a year after Bouverie died, and Diana was left the bulk of Spencer's estate.[4]

At home Edward worked to develop the Delapré estate. In 1765/6 he enclosed the open fields at Hardingstone, making him one of the pioneers of the early inclosure movement in Northamptonshire.[5]

In the early 1770s Hunsbury Hill farm, which was part of the estate and an early model farm, was built. We may never know were Bouverie got the design for his new farm but it is clear that his architect provided quite an innovative and effective solution.[5]

Contributions were also made for re-roofing and rebuilding the chancel and the top of the tower local church of St Edmonds, Hardingstone.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "BOUVERIE, Hon. Edward I (1738-1810), of Delapré Abbey, nr. Northampton". History of Parliament Online (1754-1790). Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  2. ^ Forgotten History of Northamptonshire: The Bouverie’s of Delapre Abbey – Northampton Herald & Post
  3. ^ John Rowell, steward at Castle Ashby, to Lord Northampton 'Christmas eve', 1774.
  4. ^ "BOUVERIE, Hon. Edward I (1738-1810), of Delapré Abbey, nr. Northampton". History of Parliament Online (1790-1820). Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b Hunsbury Hill Centre Northampton – Historical Report
  6. ^ English Heritage

External linksEdit

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Hon. William Bouverie
Julines Beckford
Member of Parliament for Salisbury
With: Julines Beckford to 1765
Samuel Eyre 1765–68
Stephen Fox from 1768
Succeeded by
Viscount Folkestone
Stephen Fox
Preceded by
Fiennes Trotman
Lord Compton
Member of Parliament for Northampton
With: Lord Compton to 1796
Hon. Spencer Perceval from 1796
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Northampton
With: Hon. Spencer Perceval
Succeeded by
William Hanbury Bateman
Hon. Spencer Perceval