1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Melcombe, George Bubb Doddington, Baron

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MELCOMBE, GEORGE BUBB DODDINGTON, Baron (1691-1762), English politician. His father's name was Bubb, but the son took the name of Doddington on inheriting a large property by the death of an uncle of that name (1720). He was educated at Oxford. In 1715 he was returned to parliament as member for Winchelsea, and was sent as envoy extraordinary to Spain. He carried on a scandalous traffic in the five or six parliamentary votes which he controlled, his tergiversation and venality furnishing food for the political satirists and caricaturists of the day. His most estimable political action was his defence of Admiral Byng in the House of Commons (1757). From 1722 to 1754 he sat in parliament for Bridgewater; from 1724 to 1740 was a lord of the treasury; and, in 1744, became treasurer of the navy under Henry Pelham, and, again in 1755, under Newcastle and Fox. In April 1761 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Melcombe of Melcombe Regis in Dorsetshire. He died at La Trappe, his Hammersmith house, on the 28th of July 1762. His wife, acknowledged only after the death of another lady to whom he had given a bond that he would marry no one else, died without issue. He was a wit and a friend of wits, a good scholar, and something of a Maecenas; Thomson's “Summer” was dedicated to him, Fielding addressed to him an epistle and Edward Young a satire. He was a leading spirit of the “Hell-fire” Club, whose members, called “Franciscans,” from their founder Sir Francis Dashwood (d. 1781), held their revels in the ruined Cistercian abbey of Medmenham, Bucks.

His diary, published in 1784, reveals him in his character of place-hunter and throws a curious light on the political methods of the time.