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Title: John Russell, the fourth Duke of Bedford, and politics, 1745-1751
Author: Philp, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3489 5402
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1991
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This dissertation on the fourth duke of Bedford examines the political activities of a member of the House of Lords. It documents the activities of the members of the Pelham Administration, using Bedford's correspondence to provide an outline for the narrative. The aim is to provide a greater understanding of Bedford's political career, and also to illustrate the influence this individual had in determining ministerial policy. A discussion of Bedford's social connections leads into an overview of the events culminating in his inclusion in the Administration in 1745. Initially First Lord of the Admiralty, Bedford was promoted in 1748 to the office of Secretary of State for the Southern Department. In both offices, his concern was the promotion and protection of trade. He advocated the 'Country' Whig view that the protection of British merchants and their overseas markets by the navy was in the country‘s best interest. Bedford recognized the importance of securing and expanding American markets, and implemented measures, such as the proposed 'reduction' of Canada, to promote this aim. Bedford also lead the negotiations for the commercial treaty with Spain, signed at Madrid in 1750, that gave special trade status to Britain. Bedford sought to increase his political influence in various constituencies during the 1747 General Election. The local influence he wielded, however, did not enable him to carry through private turnpike legislation in Parliament. His legislation was defeated on 13 February 1750, at third reading, in an unusually high vote (154-208). Newcastle, whose relationship with Bedford had grown increasingly acrimonious, played a role in the defeat of this bill. The deterioration in this relationship contributed to Bedford's resignation from office on 14 June 1751.
Supervisor: Langford, Paul Sponsor: Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Bedford, John Russell, Duke of, 1710-1771 ; Great Britain--Politics and government--1727-1760 ; 18th century ; eighteenth century ; Bedford ; politics ; John Russell