Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/28

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Lambton
Lambton
22

the Lambton estates after the death of his elder brolhers. In December 1761 he contested Durham city on the death of the sitting member, his brother Henry, and was duly elected. He represented the city in live succeeding parliaments, until his acceptance of the Chiltern hundreds in February 1787, and 'was deservedly popular with the citizens for the gallant stand he made for their dearest rights and privileges' (Richardson). He died 32 April 1794.

Lambton married, 5 Sept. 1763, Lady Susan Lyon, daughter of Thomas, earl of Strathmore, by whom be had two sons and two daughters. His elder son, William Henry Lambton, M.P. for Durbam city, was father of John George Lambton, first earl of Durham [q. v.]

[Debrett's Peerage. ed, 1 S3 1. under 'Durham;' Mackinnon's Origin and Hist. Coldstream Guards, London, 1832, 2 vols.; Official List of Members of Parliament; Parl. Hist. under dates; Richardson's Local Table Book, historical portion, ii. 365; Gent. Mag. l794, pt. i. p. 385.]

H. M. C.

LAMBTON, JOHN GEORGE, first Earl of Durham (1792–1840), eldest son of William Henry Lambton, of Lambton, co. Durham, M.P. for the city of Durham, by his wife, Lady Anne Barbara Frances Villiers, second daughter of George, fourth earl of Jersey, was born in Berkeley Square, London, on 12 April 1792. On the death of his father at Pisa in November 1797, he inherited the family estate, which had been held in uninterrupted male succession from the twelfth century. He was educated at Eton, and on 8 June 1809 was gazetted a cornet in the 10th dragoons. He became a lieutenant in the same raiment on 3 May 1810, but retired from the army in August 1811. At a by-election in September 1813 he was returned to the House of Commons in the whig interest for the county of Durham, and continued to represent the constituency until his elevation to the peerage in 1828. On 12 May 1814 Lambton, in a Maiden speech, seconded C. W. Wynn's motion for an address to the crown in favour of mediation on behalf of Norway (Parl. Debates, 1st ser. xvii. 842-3), and on 21 Feb. 1816 moved for the production of papers relating to the transfer of Genoa, which he stigmatised as 'a transaction the foulness of which had never been exceeded in the political history of the country' (ib. xxix. 928-31). In March 1815 he unsuccessfully opposed the second reading of the Corn Bill (ib. xxix. 1209, 1242), and in May l8l7 his resolutions condemning Canning's appointment as ambassador extraordinary to Lisbon were defeated by a large majority (ib. xxxvi. 160-7, 233-4). In March 1818 he led the opposition to the first reading of the Indemnity Bill (ib. ixxvii. 891-9). and in May of the same year unsuccessfully opposed the second reading of the Alien Bill (ib. xxxix. 735—41). At a public meeting held at Durham on 21 Oct. 1819, Lambton denounced the government for their share in the Manchester massacre. His speech on this occasion was severely criticised by Henry Phillpotts, afterwards bishop of Eieler, and at that time a prebendary of Durham, in a 'Letter to the Freeholders of the County of Durham,' &c (Durham, 1819, 8vo).

In July 1820 Lambton fought a duel with T. W. Beaumout, who had made a personal attack upon him in a speech during the Northumberland election (Life and Times of Henry, Lord Brougham, iii. 505-7). In February 1821 he seconded the Marquis of Tavistock's motion censuring the conduct of the ministers in their proceedings against the queen (Parl. Debates, 2nd ser. iv. 368-79), and on 17 April 1821 brought forward his motion for parliamentary reform, which was defeated by a majority of twelve in a small house on the following day (ib. v. 359-85). Lambton was in favour of electoral districts, household suffrage, and triennial parliaments, and bis proposed bill 'for effecting a reform in the representation of the people in parliament' is given at length in the appendix to 2nd ser. vol. v. of 'Parliamentary Debates' (pp. ciii-ciiviii). For the next few years Lambton took little or no part in the more important debates in the house, and in 1826 went to Naples for the sake of his health, remaining abroad about a year. Though he is said to have warmly supported the Canning and Godericb administrations, his name does not appear as a speaker in the 'Parliamentary Debates' of that period. On Goderich's resignation Lambton was created Baron Durham of the city of Durham and of Lambton Castle, by letters patent dated 29 Jan. 1828, and took his seat i the House of Lords on the Slstof the same month (Journal of the House of Lords, lx. 10). On the formation of the administration of Earl Grey, who was father of Durham's second wife, Durham was sworn a member of the privy council, and appointed lord privy seal (22 Nov. 1830). In conjunction with Lord John Russell, Sir James Graham, and Lord Duncannon, he was entrusted by Lord Grey with the preparation of the first Reform Bill. A copy of the draft plan, with the alterations which were subsequently made in it, is given in Lord John Russell's 'English Government and Constitution,' 1866 (pp. 225-7). When the proposals were completed Durham wrote a report on the plan, which, with the exception