Francis Dashwood, 15th Baron Le Despencer - Biography - Early Political Career

Early Political Career

In 1741 he was elected Member of Parliament for New Romney and subsequently abandoning his earlier Jacobite sympathies he joined the court of Frederick, Prince of Wales and sponsored alleged spy-master Lord Melcombe’s membership of the Dilettanti.

In 1744 he and fellow Dilettante the Earl of Sandwich founded the short-lived Divan Club for those who had visited the Ottoman Empire to share their experiences, but this club was disbanded two years later.

In 1747 he introduced a poor-relief bill that recommended commissioning public works, such as the caves he later had excavated at West Wycombe Park, to combat unemployment, but it failed to pass.

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