Sir John Sebright, 7th Baronet - Parliamentarian


Sebright disclaimed connection with a party, but generally acted with the more advanced Whigs. He was a strong advocate of economy in administration, of the abolition of sinecures and unnecessary offices, and of the reduction of indirect taxation. He was in principle a free-trader.

On 5 April 1821 he seconded Lord Cranborne's motion for an inquiry into the game laws, and supported subsequent bills for their amendment. In 1826 he attributed the increase of crime chiefly to their influence. In 1824, and again in 1828, he spoke in favour of the repeal of the usury laws, and he ‘detested monopolies of all kinds.’

As a practical agriculturist, owning land in three counties, Sebright gave his opinion (17 December 1830) against any allotments larger than kitchen-gardens, but was willing to try an experiment on a larger scale.

When, on 1 March 1831, Lord John Russell moved for leave to bring in the first Reform Bill, Sebright, as an independent member, seconded the motion; and supported this and the succeeding reform bills. On 17 December 1832 he was returned for Hertfordshire, at the head of the poll, to the first reformed parliament, but retired at its close.

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