Pulteney, Daniel (DNB00)

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PULTENEY, DANIEL (d. 1731), politician, was the eldest son of John Pulteney (d. 1726), commissioner of customs and M.P. for Hastings, who married Lucy Colville of Northamptonshire. His grandfather, Sir William Pulteney, represented Westminster in many parliaments, and is mentioned in Marvell's satire, ‘Clarendon's House-warming’ (Poems, &c., ed. Aitken, passim). Daniel was first cousin of William Pulteney, earl of Bath [q. v.] He matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, on 15 July 1699, at the age of fifteen, as a fellow-commoner ‘superioris ordinis,’ but left without a degree. He contributed in 1700 a set of Latin verses to the university collection of poems on the death of the young Duke of Gloucester. In the reign of Queen Anne he was sent as envoy to Denmark, and from 1717 to 1720 he served as a commissioner for trade. In March 1720–1 he was returned for the Cornish borough of Tregony, and when he vacated his seat on 7 Nov. 1721, by his appointment as a lord of the admiralty in Walpole's ministry, he was returned by William Pulteney for his pocket borough of Hedon or Heydon, near Hull. At the general election in March 1721–2 he was again elected for Hedon, but he preferred to sit for Preston in Lancashire, which had also chosen him, and he represented that borough until his death. In May 1726 he was appointed clerk of the council in Ireland.

Married to the sister of Lord Sunderland's last wife, Pulteney was deep in Sunderland's secrets. He would have been secretary of state in Sunderland's projected administration had that statesman overthrown Walpole and Townshend. While at the admiralty Pulteney was a secret opponent of Walpole's policy. When he resigned that post he drew his cousin William, though they were dissimilar in character and not in friendly relations, into open opposition. His hatred of Walpole was implacable. He ‘gave up pleasures and comforts and every other consideration to his anger,’ and took infinite pains in uniting politicians of all shades and characters against his enemy. His failure preyed upon his spirits; he lived much with Bolingbroke, and this ‘threw him into an irregularity of drinking that occasioned his death.’ Otherwise he was ‘a very worthy man, very knowing and laborious in business, especially in foreign affairs, of strong but not lively parts, a clear and weighty speaker, grave in his deportment, and of great virtue and decorum in his private life, generous and friendly’ (Coxe's, Walpole, ii. 558–60).

Pulteney died at Harefield, Middlesex, on 7 Sept. 1731, and was buried at St. James's, Westminster, on 14 Sept. His remains were removed to the east end of the south cloister in Westminster Abbey on 17 May 1732, and a monument lauding his independence in politics was erected to his memory. He married, on 14 Dec. 1717, Margaret Deering, daughter and coheiress of Benjamin Tichborne, by Elizabeth, daughter of Major Edward Gibbs of Gloucester city. She died on 22 April 1763, aged 64, and was buried in the south cloister of Westminster Abbey on 29 April. Three sons and three daughters died early in life. To two of these, Margaret and Charlotte, Ambrose Philips addressed odes. Frances Pulteney, their fourth and youngest daughter and eventually sole heiress, married William Johnstone. She succeeded to the great Bath estates in 1767, and her husband took the name of Pulteney.

[Chester's Westminster Abbey Reg. pp. 335, 402, 433; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Pink and Beavan's Lancashire Parl. Rep. pp. 162–3; Courtney's Parl. Rep. of Cornwall, pp. 174–5; Coxe's Sir Robert Walpole, ii. 185–97; Nichols's Leicestershire, iv. 319–20.]

W. P. C.