John Pitt (of Encombe)

remodelled by Pitt between 1740 and 1770

John Pitt (~1706 – 1787) of Encombe House, Dorset was a British MP for 35 years from which there remains one reported speech to Parliament.


John was the fourth son of George Pitt (1663–1735) MP of Strathfieldsaye and second son by his second wife née Lora Grey of Kingston Maurward nr Dorchester. He was educated at Queen's College, Oxford.

The property enabling George Morton Pitt's control of the Pontefract seat came to John Pitt (of Encombe) by remainder but he sold it in 1766.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1775. [1]

Elections to ParliamentEdit


Wareham was a parliamentary borough in Dorset, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The borough was the town of Wareham on the Isle of Purbeck, a market town close to Poole Harbour. In 1831, the population of the borough was 1,676, and it contained 364 houses.
Dorchester was a parliamentary constituency centred on the town of Dorchester in Dorset. It returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons.
  • Wareham - Held again by John Pitt: 1761–1768[2]


A procedure to allow resignation from the House of Commons was invented by Pitt to vacate his Wareham seat, as he wished to stand for Dorchester but could not be a candidate while still an MP. Pitt wrote to Prime Minister Henry Pelham in May 1750 reporting that he had been invited to stand in Dorchester, and asking for "a new mark of his Majesty's favour [to] enable me to do him these further services".[3] Pelham wrote to William Pitt (the elder) indicating that he would intervene with King George II to help.[4] On 17 January 1751 Pitt was appointed to the office of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, and was then elected unopposed for Dorchester.

His one reported speech was on a petition of West Country merchants who complained of French encroachments at Newfoundland.[2]

Political appointmentsEdit

William Morton Pitt's Kingston House


He died in 1787. He had married, on 26 January 1753, Marcia daughter of Mark Anthony Morgan of Cottelstown County Sligo and they had one daughter and four sons[2] including William Morton Pitt of Kingston House, Dorset. His daughter, Marcia Pitt, married George James Cholmondeley (b. 22 Feb 1752, d. 5 Nov 1830).


  1. ^ "Fellow details". Royal Society. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Sir Lewis Namier & John Brooke, The House of Commons 1754-1790 1 Survey Constituencies Appendices, History of Parliament Trust, Secker & Warburg, London 1964
  3. ^ 'Pitt, John' in History of Parliament 1715–1754, vol II p. 350-1, citing Newcastle (Clumber) mss.
  4. ^ 'Pitt, John' in History of Parliament 1715–1754, vol II p. 350-1, citing Chatham Corresp. i. 53–54.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Nathaniel Gould
Thomas Tower
Member of Parliament for Wareham
With: Henry Drax
Succeeded by
Thomas Erle Drax
Henry Drax

Preceded by
Thomas Erle Drax
Henry Drax
Member of Parliament for Wareham
26 January 1748 – November 1750
With: Robert Banks Hodgkinson
Succeeded by
Whitshed Keene
Robert Palk
Preceded by
John Browne
Nathaniel Gundry
Member of Parliament for Dorchester
29 January 1751 – 1761
With: John Damer 29 January 1751 –1752
George Clavell 1752 – 1754
The Lord Milton 1754 – 1761
Succeeded by
Thomas Foster
John Damer
Preceded by
Edward Drax
William Augustus Pitt
Member of Parliament for Wareham
1761 – September 1768
With: Thomas Erle Drax
Succeeded by
Robert Palk
Ralph Burton