Hotham, Beaumont (DNB00)

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HOTHAM, BEAUMONT, second Baron Hotham (1737–1814), the fourth son of Sir Beaumont Hotham, bt., by his wife Frances, daughter of the Rev. William Thompson of Welton, was born on 5 Aug. 1737. He was educated at Westminster School, and on 20 Jan. 1753 was admitted a student of the Middle Temple. He was called to the bar in May 1758, and practised in the chancery courts, though with little success. At the general election in March 1768 he was returned to the House of Commons for the borough of Wigan, and sat for that constituency until May 1775, when he was appointed a baron of the exchequer in the place of Sir George Perrot. Hotham was made a serjeant-at-law on 17 May, and received the honour of knighthood on the same day. On 9 April 1783, with Lord Loughborough, then lord chief justice of the common pleas, and Sir William Ashhurst, a justice of the king's bench, he was sworn a commissioner for the custody of the great seal (London Gazettes, 1783, No. 12430). Upon the downfall of the coalition ministry, however, Lord Thurlow was reappointed lord chancellor, and on 23 Dec. 1783 Hotham and his brother commissioners delivered up the seal. He resigned his seat in the exchequer court in Hilary term, 1805 (6 East. p. 1), having sat on the bench for nearly thirty years, and was succeeded by Sir Thomas Manners-Sutton, afterwards Lord Manners [q. v.], then solicitor-general. In May 1813 Hotham succeeded his brother William [q. v.], under a special remainder, as second Baron Hotham of South Dalton in the peerage of Ireland. He died at Hampton, Middlesex, on 4 March 1814, in the seventy-seventh year of his age, and was buried at East Moulsey, Surrey. Hotham was a man of strong common sense, of a kindly temperament and polished manners. So meagre was his knowledge of law that it is said that when any difficulty arose he was in the habit of recommending the case to be referred; thus acquiring among the wags of Westminster Hall the nickname of ‘The Common Friend’ (Foss, viii. 312). There is no record of any speech which he delivered in the House of Commons.

He married, on 6 June 1767, Susannah, second daughter of Sir Thomas Hankey, kt., an alderman of London, and widow of James Norman, of East Moulsey, Surrey, by whom he had three sons and three daughters. His eldest son, Beaumont Hotham, married, on 20 May 1790, Philadelphia, daughter of Sir John Dixon Dyke, bt., and died in his father's lifetime at Weymouth in August 1799.

Their elder son, Beaumont Hotham (1794–1870), who succeeded as third Baron Hotham on his grandfather's death, was born at Lullingstone Castle, Kent, on 9 Aug. 1794. He was educated at Westminster School, and on 27 June 1810 received a commission in the Coldstream guards. Young Hotham took part in the Peninsular war from 1812 to 1814, and was wounded at Salamanca. He was also present at the battle of Waterloo. He was placed on half-pay on 14 Oct. 1819. He represented Leominster in the tory interest from March 1820 to April 1831, and though defeated at the general election, was again returned at a by-election in December in that year, and continued to represent that borough until the dissolution in July 1841. He sat for the East Riding of Yorkshire from July 1841 to the dissolution in November 1868, when he retired from parliamentary life. Hotham was gazetted a general in the army on 12 Jan. 1865. He died on 12 Dec. 1870, at Sand Hutton, near York, while on a visit to Sir James Walker, and was buried in the family vault in South Dalton Church, East Riding of Yorkshire, on the 20th of the same month. Hotham was not married, and was succeeded in the peerage by his nephew Charles, the fourth son of Rear-admiral the Hon. George Frederick Hotham. Portraits of the second and third barons, painted by Stewart and Grant respectively, are in the possession of the present Lord Hotham at Dalton Hall, near Hull.

[Strictures on the Lives and Characters of the Most Eminent Lawyers of the Present Day, 1790, pp. 169–74; Foss's Judges of England, 1864, viii. 311–12; Gent. Mag. 1767 330, 1790 pt. i. p. 568, 1794 pt. ii. p. 764, 1799 pt. ii. p. 820, 1814 pt. i. 519; Annual Register, 1814, Chron. p. 134; Burke's Peerage, 1888, pp. 734–735; Foster's Peerage, 1883, p. 372; Dod's Peerage, 1869, p. 354; Illustrated London News, 31 Dec. 1870; Times, 14 and 21 Dec. 1870; Alumni Westmonasterienses, 1852, pp. 547, 549, 551; funeral sermon preached by the Rev. T. F. Simmons in Dalton Holme Church, 1871; Official Return of Members of Parliament, pt. ii. pp. 140, 152, 288, 303, 318, 330, 342, 353, 366, 390, 406, 423, 439, 455, 471; Army Lists.]

G. F. R. B.