Stone, Andrew (DNB00)

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STONE, ANDREW (1703–1773), under-secretary of state and tutor to George III, born in 1703, was elder son of Andrew Stone, a banker of Lombard Street, London, by his wife, Anne Holbrooke. George Stone [q. v.], archbishop of Armagh, was his younger brother. The father resided for some time at Winchester, and Andrew was sent to a school there. In 1717 he was admitted scholar at Westminster, whence he was elected to Christ Church, Oxford, matriculating on 6 June 1722. He graduated B.A. in 1726 and M.A. in 1728. He then became private secretary to Thomas Pelham-Holles, duke of Newcastle [q. v.], to whom he was introduced by William Barnard [q. v.] (afterwards bishop of Derry), who married Stone's sister. He became the intimate confidant of Newcastle and his brother Henry Pelham [q. v.] When Horace Walpole was seeking Newcastle's favour, his first step was to present Stone with a snuff-box (Walpole, Letters, ed. Cunningham, i. 223, 319), and to his influence was largely due his brother's rapid rise to the primacy of Ireland. According to Horace Walpole, Stone, whom he describes as ‘the dark and suspected friend of the Stuarts,’ exercised a pernicious influence over the Pelhams. ‘From that hour,’ he wrote, ‘every measure was coloured with a tincture of prerogative; and a foundation was laid for that structure against which the disciples of the Pelhams have so much declaimed since’ (Memoirs of the Reign of George III, ed. Barker, iv. 91). The negotiations between Hardwicke, Pulteney, Carteret, and Newcastle for the formation of a ministry on Walpole's fall in 1741 were carried on at Stone's house, and ‘during 30 or 40 years no man was more completely behind the scenes of the political stage.’

In 1734 Stone was appointed under-secretary of state to Newcastle, and in 1739 joint collector of papers in the office of the secretary of state. On 5 May 1741 he was returned to parliament for Hastings, for which he sat continuously until 1761, being re-elected on 26 June 1747 and 15 April 1754 (Official Return, ii. 94, 106, 119). He was appointed secretary to the island of Barbados in 1712, joint secretary to the lords justices of the regency during George II's absence in 1744, and registrar of chancery, Jamaica, in 1747. In May 1748 he accompanied the king on his visit to Hanover, acting as his private secretary until the arrival of the Duke of Newcastle. According to the latter, the king showed him ‘the greatest distinction’ and expressed ‘the greatest regard and approbation.’ From 1749 to 1761 Stone was also a commissioner of trade and plantations, and in 1752 he was elected a trustee of the Busby charities.

When, on the death of Frederick, prince of Wales, in 1751, the household of his son, the future George III, was reconstituted, Stone was appointed sub-governor to the young prince, under the Earl of Harcourt. The whigs regarded his influence over Prince George with fear and suspicion; he was credited with instilling into his mind those exaggerated ideas of the royal prerogative which were derived from Bolingbroke's ‘Patriot King,’ and were afterwards put in practice when George became king. Early in 1763 Horace Walpole anonymously circulated a memorial denouncing the establishment in the prince's household of men who were ‘the friends and pupils of the late Lord Bolingbroke.’ Stone was also accused, with William Murray (afterwards first Earl of Mansfield) [q. v.], of having toasted the Pretender. The question was taken up by Lord Ravensworth, the Duke of Bedford, and others, and caused some sensation. Several cabinet councils were held to discuss the matter in February, and Stone was summoned to answer the charges against him, which he did to the cabinet's satisfaction. These charges were the subject of a lengthy debate in the House of Lords on 22 Feb., but Bedford's motion for further inquiry was finally negatived without a division (Parl. Hist. xiv. 1294–7; Walpole, Mem. of Reign of George II, i. 289–332; Addit. MS. 33050, ff. 200–368; cf. art. Johnson, James, 1705–1774).

Stone retained the entire confidence of the court. In 1755 he conducted the negotiations which led to Henry Fox (afterwards first Baron Holland) [q. v.] taking office, and after the accession of George III he was appointed treasurer to the new queen, Charlotte Sophia [q. v.], on her arrival in England in September 1761. He attached himself to Bute, and was one of the party of ‘king's friends’ whom Burke denounced (Thoughts on Present Discontents, 1769, passim). In 1763 Horace Walpole reported that Bute's private junto met daily at Stone's house in Privy Garden (Mem. of Reign of George III, ed. Barker, i. 334). Stone died at his house in Privy Garden on 16 Dec. 1773, and was buried in Westminster Abbey on the 24th (Gent. Mag. 1773, p. 622; Walpole, Letters, ed. Cunningham, vi. 34).

Stone married at Tooting, on 7 July 1743, Hannah, daughter of Stephen Mauvillain of Tooting and Morden, Surrey, by his wife, Hannah Gregory. She died on 5 June 1782, aged 72, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Stone's only son, Thomas, born on 6 Dec. 1749, died on 7 Feb. 1761, and was buried in Westminster Abbey on the 15th (Chester, Reg. West. Abbey, pp. 397, 433).

According to Walpole, Stone was ‘a dark, proud man, very able, but very mercenary,’ and probably his high tory views influenced George III's mind in a direction that subsequently proved disastrous. Bishop Newton described him as a man of much reading, great knowledge, and exact memory. A mass of Stone's correspondence, including letters to Sir John Norris, Sir Thomas Robinson, Lord Tyrawley, and other politicians, is among the British Museum Additional MSS. (see Cat. of Additions, 1854–75) and forms an important source for the ministerial history of the period.

[Gent. Mag. 1749 p. 475, 1761 p. 44, 1773 p. 622; Hist. Reg. xxi. Chron. Diary, p. 22; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Welch's Alumni Westmon. pp. 277–9; Egerton MS. 2529 ff. 211, 218, 235, 237; Parl. Hist. xii. 219, xiv. 84, xv. 318; Hervey's Memoirs, ii. 328; Walpole's Letters, ed. Cunningham, vols. i–iii. and v–vi.; Walpole's Mem. of the Reign of George II, ed. 1847 i. 283, 289–332, ii. 43, 45, and Memoirs of the Reign of George III, ed. Barker, 4 vols. passim; Bubb Dodington's Diary, 1784; Coxe's Pelham Administration, i. 423, 430, ii. 128, 167, 235–6; Bishop Newton's Life, pp. 133–5; Lord Waldegrave's Memoirs, pp. 10, 80; Torrens's Hist. of Cabinets, 2 vols. 1894, passim.]

A. F. P.