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Thomas Potter (died 1759)

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Name  Thomas Potter
Role  Politician

Education  University of Oxford
Children  Thomas Potter
Died  1759, Bath, United Kingdom

Thomas Potter (1718–1759) was a British politician who sat as a Member of Parliament for Aylesbury, Okehampton and St Germans in Cornwall.

Potter was the second son of John Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was born in 1718. He acquired a law degree at Christ Church, Oxford, and was admitted to the Middle Temple. Through his father's interest, he was able to secure the Recordership of Bath, a lucrative office. Originally a member for St Germans, in 1754 he was elected as MP for Aylesbury, a seat controlled by the powerful Grenville family with whom he was associated from then on. In 1756 he became a Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, another lucrative post, which did not require him to move to Ireland.

Potter acquired a reputation as a leading rake. Potter was a friend of John Wilkes, who he considered as something of a protégé. He was later accused of corrupting Wilkes who had been relatively innocent until that point. Politically he was aligned with William Pitt who he was a devoted follower of. He was a staunch supporter of Britain's participation in the Seven Years War.

Potter was in ill health for a long time, suffering in particular from gout. In 1759 he died at Bath at the age of forty one.

He was believed to be the author of Essay on Woman, a crude parody of Alexander Pope's Essay on Man. The authorship of this was later attributed to John Wilkes, when it was read out in the House of Lords, during his expulsion from parliament in 1764.

He was a recognised member of the Hellfire Club, in Buckinghamshire, founded by Francis Dashwood, 11th Baron le Despencer.


Thomas Potter (died 1759) Wikipedia

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