Moreton, Henry John Reynolds- (DNB00)

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MORETON, HENRY JOHN REYNOLDS-, second Earl of Ducie (1802–1853), born in Conduit Street, London, on 8 May 1802, was eldest son of Thomas, fourth baron Ducie of Tortworth and first earl of Ducie (1775–1840), by his wife Lady Frances Herbert, only daughter of Henry, first earl of Carnarvon. His father, a whig and a supporter of the Reform Bill, was son of Francis, third baron Ducie of Tortworth (d. 1808), and was grandson of Elizabeth, daughter of Matthew Ducie Moreton, first baron Ducie of Moreton (d. 1735), by her second husband, Francis Reynolds. The first baron's heir, Matthew, second baron Ducie of Moreton, was created Baron Ducie of Tortworth in 1763, and died in 1770, leaving no issue. He was succeeded in the barony of Tortworth successively by his nephews Thomas and Francis Reynolds, the sons of his sister Elizabeth by her second marriage, who assumed the surname of Moreton in 1771.

Henry John was educated at Eton. He was returned in the whig interest for Gloucestershire at the general election in May 1831, and sat for East Gloucestershire from December 1832 to December 1834. He succeeded his father as the second earl of Ducie in June 1840, and took his seat in the House of Lords for the first time on 31 July following (Journals of the House of Lords, lxxii. 375). Ducie moved the address at the opening of parliament in January 1841 (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser. lvi. 4-8), but except on two other occasions he does not appear to have spoken again in the house (ib. lviii. 1115, lix. 723-8). On the formation of Lord John Russell's first administration Ducie was appointed a lord-in-waiting to the queen (24 July 1846), a post which he resigned in November 1847. He served on the charity commission which was appointed on 18 Sept. 1849 (Parl. Papers, 1850, vol. xx.) He died on 2 June 1853 at Tortworth Court, Gloucestershire, aged 61, and was buried in Tortworth Church on the 10th of the same month. Ducie was a staunch advocate of free trade, and the speech which he delivered in favour of the repeal of the corn laws at the Hall of Commerce, London, on 29 May 1843, attracted considerable attention. He was best known, however, as a breeder of shorthorns and as one of the leading agriculturists of the day. He was master of the Vale of White Horse hounds from 1832 to 1842, and was president of the Royal Agricultural Society 1851–2. During the last seven years of his life he was a prominent member of the Evangelical Alliance. The sale of his famous collection of shorthorns in August 1853 realised over 9,000l. The 'Ducie cultivator,' the invention of which is generally ascribed to him, appears to have been invented by the managers of his ironworks at Uley, Gloucestershire. He married, on 29 June 1826, Lady Elizabeth Dutton, elder daughter of John, second baron Sherborne, by whom he had eleven sons and four daughters. His widow died on 15 March 1865, aged 58. He was succeeded in the peerage by his eldest son, the Hon. Henry John Reynolds-Moreton, lord Moreton, the third and present earl.

An engraved portrait of Ducie by J. B. Hunt, after G. V. Briggs, R. A., will be found in the 'Sporting Review,' vol. xxviii. opp. p. 64.

[Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society, ii. 42, iii. 122, xix. 147, 360; Gloucester Journal, 4 June 1853; Times, 4 June 1853; Illustrated London News, 17 July 1852 (portrait), 11 June 1853,17 Sept. 1853; Mark Lane Express, 5 June 1843; Cecil's Recordsof the Chase, 1877, pp. 199–201; Sporting Review, xxviii. 64-6, xxx. 140–1; Gent. Mag. 1853, pt. ii. p. 87; Ann. Reg. 1853, App. to Chron. pp. 231-2; Stapylton's Eton School Lists, 1864, p. 84; Doyle's Official Baronage, 1886, i. 642; Burke's Peerage, 1890, pp. 442-3, 1244; Official Return of Lists of Members of Parliament, pt. ii. pp. 330, 341.]

G. F. R. B.