Bathurst, Allen Bathurst
BATHURST, ALLEN BATHURST, EARL OF, a distinguished statesman in Queen Anne's reign, was born in the year 1684. After completing his education at Cambridge, he was elected in 1705 to represent the borough of Cirencester. He distinguished himself particularly in the struggles and debates relative to the union of England and Scotland, firmly supporting a measure which he thought calculated to strengthen the Government and add to the prosperity of the country. Though he was content to act a subordinate part in the opposition planned by Harley and St John, his intimate friends, in order to sap the credit of the duke of Marlborough and his adherents, nevertheless he did good service to his party by arraigning, with more eloquence than truth, the conduct of the general and of the earl of Godolphin, whom he accused of lavishing the treasures of the nation on conquests more splendid than serviceable. The loss. of the battle of Almanza, which happened about this time, seconded his efforts and those of his associates in dispelling what they called the intoxication of former successes, and disparaging achievements which reflect immortal honour on the British name. But his personal regard for Lora Somers, president of the council, suffered no abatement, although they were of different opinions in politics • and when Somers was deprived of office, Bathurst acted with such tenderness and delicacy as to preserve his esteem in a private station. In consideration of his zeal and services, the queen, in 1711, advanced him to the peerage by the title of Baron Bathurst, of Battlesden, in Bedfordshire. In the Upper House he distinguished himself by impeachin,D the directors of the notorious South Sea scheme, and by resisting the bill brought in against Atterbury. He was a determined opponent of Sir Robert Walpole ; and when, after an obstinate struggle, that minister was forced to resign his various posts, Lord Bathurst was sworn of the privy council, and made captain of the gentlemen pensioners, an office which he resigned in 1744. In 1757 he was appointed treasurer to George III. (then Prince of Wales), and continued in the list of privy councillors at that monarch's accession to the throne ; but, on account of his advanced age, lie declined to take any further part in politics.
Lord Bathurst was not less distinguished as a patron of literature than as an active statesman. Congreve, Vanburgh, Swift, Prior, Rowe, Addison, Pope, Arbuthnot, Gay, and most of the men of genius of his own time, cultivated his friendship, and were proud of his correspondence. Pope, in his Epistle on the Use of Riches, which is addressed to Lord Bathurst, compliments his friend in sonic highly characteristic lines. Sterne also speaks of him in terms of affectionate admiration. He received further elevation to an earldom in 1772, and lived to see his second son Henry promoted to the peerage by the title of Baron Apsley, and several years lord high chancellor of Great Britain. By his marriage with Catherine, daughter of Sir Peter Apsley, Lord Bathurst had four sons and five daughters. He died after a few days' illness, at his seat near Cirencester, September 16, 1775, in the ninety-first year of Ids age.