Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/John Cam Hobhouse, Lord Broughton
BROUGHTON, John Cam Hobhouse, Lord, an English statesman, was the eldest son of Sir Benjamin Hobhouse, first baronet, and was born at Redlands, Bristol, June 27, 178G. He was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his degree of B.A. in 1808. During his residence at Cambridge be became the intimate friend of Lord Byron ; and in the summer of 1809 the two friends set out together on a tour in the South of Europe. They visited Spain (then the theatre of tho great war with Napoleon), Portugal. Greece. Albania, and Turkey. The winter was spent at Athens, and in 1810 Hobhouse returned home. In the campaigns of 1813 and 1814 he accompanied the allied armies, and was present at the great battle of Dresden. In the winter of 1816-17 he rejoined Byron in Italy, and they visited Venice and Rome together. Hobhouse had been trained in the Liberal school of politics, and had written pamphlets and .re view articles in defence of liberal doctrines. He had by this time become what was then contemptuously called a "downright radical." In 1816 he published anonymously a work in two volumes entitled, The Sub stance of some Letters written by an English Gentleman Resident at Paris during the last Reign of the Emperor Napoleon. His aim in it was to correct certain misrepre sentations which were current of the events of the Hundred Days. The tone of the book gave great offence to the English Government ; and being translated into French was equally offensive to the Government of the Restoration. The French translator and printer were both prosecuted in 1819 for "atrocious libel" on the Government; and were sentenced to fine and imprisonment, the former for twelve months, the latter for six. On 1 3th December of the same year the speaker s warrant was issued for the arrest of Hobhoase, and he was committed to Newgate. He made an unsuccessful application to Chief-Justice Abbott (Lord Tenterden) for discharge by habeas corpus, and he was not liberated till about the end of February. The treatment which he had suffered gave him the prestige of a martyr to the dominant Toryism, and in the eyes of the multitude this was his glory. At the close of 1818 he had contested the borough of Westminster, Sir Francis Burdett desiring him as a colleague, and giving ,1000 towards the necessary expenses of his candidature. But he was beaten by his rival, George Lamb, the brother of Lord Melbourne. He now came forward again, and was returned by a large majority (1820). In the first session of parliament he pro duced a powerful impression, first by his severe speech on the suppression of a Liberal meeting at Oldham, and soon after by the vigorous support he gave to the bill for disfranchis ing the borough of Grampound. During the next twelve years he was the ardent and courageous advocate of all Liberal measures, among them, of the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, and of Catholic Emancipation. In August 1831 he succeeded to the baronetcy, and six months later was called to office as Secretary for War under the ministry of Earl Grey. In April 1833 he was named Chief- Secretary for Ireland, but lost his seat at the new election. In the following year he was returned M.I , for Nottingham. and received the appointment of Chief-Commissioner of Woods and Forests under Lord Melbourne. Retiring with the Liberal party in the autumn, he resumed office in April 1835 as President of the Board of Control, a post for which he was well qualified, and which he held till September 1841. He was recalled to the same office under the Russell Administration in 1846, and held it till 1852. Meanwhile he had lost his seat for Nottingham and had been returned for Harwich. In 1851 he was raised to the peerage, and from that time showed himself disposed to " rest and be thankful." He gradually ceased to take part in public affairs, and returned to the studies and literary enjoyments of his youth. Lord Broughton published a volume of Imitations and Translations from the Classics ; an account of his Journey through Albania and other Provinces of Turkey with Lord Byron ; and Historical Illustrations of the Fourth Canto of " Childe Harold." He was also a contributor to periodical literature. In 1828 he married Lady Julia Hay, youngest daughter of the Marquis of Tweeddale, by whom he had three daughters, but no son. His wife died many years before him. Lord Broughton died in London, June 3, 1869. As he left no male issue his peerage became extinct.