The Lord Hampton
The 1st Baron Hampton, c. 1867
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
In office
17 February 1852 – 17 December 1852
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Derby
Preceded byThe Earl Grey
Succeeded byThe Duke of Newcastle
Secretary of State for War
In office
8 March 1867 – 1 December 1868
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Derby
Benjamin Disraeli
Preceded byJonathan Peel
Succeeded byEdward Cardwell
Personal details
Born(1799-02-20)20 February 1799
Died(1880-04-09)9 April 1880 (aged 81)
Eaton Square, London
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)(1) Mary Slaney (d. 1843)
(2) Augusta Murray (d. 1848)
(3) Augusta de Crespigny
Alma materOriel College, Oxford

John Somerset Pakington, 1st Baron Hampton, GCB, PC, FRS (20 February 1799 – 9 April 1880), known as Sir John Pakington, Bt, from 1846 to 1874, was a British Conservative politician.

Background and education

He was born John Somerset Russell, the son of William Russell and Elizabeth Pakington, of the Pakington family of a Worcestershire family, sister and heiress of Sir John Pakington, the 8th and last Baronet Pakington of Ailesbury.[1] His birthplace was Slaughter's Court, Powick, Worcestershire.[2]

His father William Russell (1750–1812) was a barrister and magistrate, the son of a surgeon of Worcester of the same name, and first cousin of William Oldnall Russell, and had first been married to Mary Cocks, with whom he had a daughter Mary.[3] He was left an orphan when his mother died in 1813:[2] his half-sister Mary had married in 1806 the Rev. Henry Barry Domvile, and Domvile from 1811 had the living near Powick of Leigh with Bransford.[3][4] John was educated at Eton College and matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford in 1818.[2][5]

The second son, John became the heir when his elder brother William Herbert Russell died in 1819, and he left Oxford without a degree.[2] In 1827 he fought a duel, over a matter concerning the Worcestershire Hunt. It took place at Kempsey, when he and John Parker, Master of the Hunt, fired at each other without injury.[6]

John Somerset Russell assumed in 1831 by Royal Licence the surname of Pakington in lieu of his patronymic, having inherited in 1830 the estates of his maternal uncle Sir John Pakington, which he held jointly with the baronet's younger sister Ann Pakington.[2][7] The estate included Westwood House, Worcestershire and Pakington moved there with his first wife Mary, in 1832.

Political career

Pakington had a family connection to Sir Compton Domvile, 1st Baronet, a Tory Member of Parliament in the 1820s and early 1830s, and the brother of Henry Barry Domvile who had married his half-sister Mary.[8] He turned down the chance to stand as a reform candidate at the 1831 general election, instead speaking for the Tory Henry Beauchamp Lygon standing for Worcestershire.[9] He was elected at the fourth attempt as the Tory Member of Parliament for Droitwich in 1837, a seat he held until 1874.[1]

Pakington is considered a liberal conservative.[10] He was first given office by Sir Robert Peel in 1841 and created in 1846 Baronet Pakington of the second creation, of Westwood in the County of Worcester.[1]

1850s and 1860s

Pakington served under Lord Derby one-year administration, as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies in 1852.[1] He announced the end of penal transportation to Van Diemen's Land, shortly to be known as Tasmania.[11] He gave the green light to responsible government in New South Wales, which came about in 1855.[12] Pressed by Charles Adderley, he granted New Zealand a constitution qualified by London's control of policy on indigenous peoples.[13]

In opposition Pakington developed an interest in education reform. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1852, and became a member of its Committee of Council on Education, which oversaw spending of public money on primary education.[14][15][16] He introduced in 1855 an unsuccessful Education Bill which foreshadowed the Elementary Education Act 1870. As with Lord John Russell's previous effort, it foundered on the issue of Anglican schools that supposed nonconformist financial support.[17]

With the Tories back in power, Pakington again held office under Lord Derby, as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1858 to 1859 and from 1866 to 1867. As First Lord he commissioned the first ironclad warship, HMS Warrior, launched in 1860. Following design work by John Scott Russell working with Baldwin Wake Walker, the time was ripe, given the French appointment of the naval architect Henri Dupuy de Lôme.[18]

Under Derby and his successor Benjamin Disraeli Pakington was Secretary of State for War from 1867 to 1868.[1] He was appointed a GCB in 1859.[14] He chaired the Pakington Inquiry on education in 1865.[15]

A butt of Derby's robust sense of humour, Pakington at a dinner in 1858 found himself being toasted by Derby who proposed "Sir John Pakington and the Wooden Spoons of Old England", the parliamentary wooden spoon being given to the Member who voted the fewest times in a session. Another anecdote had him late for a Cabinet meeting and excusing himself as having been "at Spithead", where naval reviews were held. Derby replied with a sarcastic pun on swell, meaning dandy as well as a form of wave.[19]


Pakington caricatured by "ATn" in Vanity Fair, 1870

In 1871 Pakington addressed the Social Science Congress, speaking on the "New Social Alliance", with which Disraeli was toying.[20] The term referred to discussions being held between Conservative Party leaders and workers' representatives.[21] They aroused hostility from Tory backbenchers;[22] and George Charles Brodrick called it a "semi-communistic programme".[23] Pakington had joined the ephemeral movement of John Scott Russell, signing with Stafford Northcote, Gathorne Hardy and some of the House of Lords a memorandum on social reform measures to be taken, the "seven points".[24][25] In October, in an article "The New Social Movement", the Saturday Review commented:

The pompous announcement of an alliance between the aristocracy and the artisans bears traces of Mr. Disraeli's earlier manner; but a serious belief in the practicability in the present day of a limited and regulated socialism is only worthy of Sir John Pakington or of Lord John Manners. When Coningsby and Sybil were published, there had been no insurrection of a Paris Commune, nor had Mr. Mill and the Land and Labour League attacked directly or indirectly the right of property in land.[26]

Pakington, by now unpopular with Tory leaders, lost his seat in the Commons in the 1874 general election, defeated on a large swing from 1868 by John Corbett, a local Liberal.[2][27] He was raised to the peerage as Baron Hampton, of Hampton Lovett and of Westwood in the County of Worcester.

Other public appointments

Hampton served for many years as chairman of the Worcestershire Quarter Sessions. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June 1858.[28] He was also President of the Royal Statistical Society from 1861 to 1863 and Chief Civil Service Commissioner from 1875 until his death. He was also the president of the Institution of Naval Architects from its inception in 1860 until months before his death.[29]


Lord Hampton died at his London home in April 1880, aged 81, and was succeeded by his son from his first marriage, John Slaney Pakington.[30]


He was three times married:[30]

His son John Slaney Pakington (born 1826) by the first marriage became the 2nd Baron Hampton; he had a son Herbert Perrott Murray Pakington (born 1846) by the second marriage, who became the 3rd Baron Hampton, and was father of Herbert Stuart Pakington who on his death in 1906 became the 4th Baron. There were no children of the third marriage.[31][32]


  1. ^ a b c d e Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pakington" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 521.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Chilcott, Paul. "Pakington [formerly Russell], John Somerset, first Baron Hampton". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/21149. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b Grazebrook, Henry Sydney (1873). The Heraldry of Worcestershire. Vol. II. J.R. Smith. p. 480.
  4. ^ "Domville, Henry Barry (1804–1833) (CCEd Person ID 10648)". The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540–1835. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  5. ^ Foster, Joseph (1888–1892). "Pakington, John Somerset" . Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715–1886. Oxford: Parker and Co – via Wikisource.
  6. ^ Tuberville, T. C. (1852). Worcestershire in the nineteenth century. A complete digest of facts occurring in the county since the commencement of the year 1800. London : Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. p. 265.
  7. ^ Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry. Vol. II. London: H. Colburn. 1847. p. 991.
  8. ^ Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage. Burke's Peerage Limited. 1878. p. 371.
  9. ^ The Illustrated London News. Vol. 20. Leighton. 1852. p. 321.
  10. ^ Ellens, J. P. (1994). Religious Routes to Gladstonian Liberalism: The Church Rate Conflict in England and Wales 1852-1868. Penn State Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-271-04283-1.
  11. ^ Pike, Douglas (1966). Australia: The Quiet Continent. CUP Archive. p. 91.
  12. ^ Clune, David (2006). The Premiers of New South Wales, 1856-2005. Vol. 1. Federation Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-86287-550-0.
  13. ^ Childe-Pemberton, William Shakespear (1909). Life of Lord Norton (Right Hon. Sir Charles Adderley, K. C. M. G., M. P.) 1814–1905, statesman & philanthropist. London : J. Murray. p. 112.
  14. ^ a b Dod, Charles Roger Phipps (1863). The Peerage, Baronetage, And Knightage, Of Great Britain And Ireland For ... Including All the Titled Classes. Whittaker And Company. p. 453.
  15. ^ a b Moss, Gemma. "IOE LibGuides: Literacy Attainment: Historical Resources: Education Policy".
  16. ^ Cates, William Leist Readwin (1885). A Dictionary of General Biography. Longmans, Green. pp. 1516–1517.
  17. ^ Heffer, Simon (2013). High Minds: The Victorians and the Birth of Modern Britain. Random House. pp. 416–417. ISBN 978-1-4464-7382-5.
  18. ^ Emmerson, George S. (1977). John Scott Russell: A Great Victorian Engineer and Naval Architect. Murray. pp. 160–161. ISBN 978-0-7195-3393-8.
  19. ^ Malmesbury, James Howard Harris Earl of (1884). Memoirs of an Ex-minister: An Autobiography. Vol. II. Longmans, Green. p. 127.
  20. ^ Shannon, Richard (1992). The Age of Disraeli, 1868-1881: The Rise of Tory Democracy. Longman. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-582-50713-5.
  21. ^ John, Ian St (2016). The Historiography of Gladstone and Disraeli. Anthem Press. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-78308-529-3.
  22. ^ Fleming, N. C. (2020). Britannia's Zealots, Volume I: Tradition, Empire and the Forging of the Conservative Right. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-4742-3785-7.
  23. ^ Brodrick, George C. (George Charles) (1877). Liberal principles. Liberal Central Association. p. 24. JSTOR 60226256.
  24. ^ Leggett, Don (2016). Re-inventing the Ship: Science, Technology and the Maritime World, 1800-1918. Routledge. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-317-06838-9.
  25. ^ Burke, Edmund (1872). The Annual Register of World Events: A Review of the Year. Longmans, Green. p. 119.
  26. ^ The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art. Vol. XXXII. J. W. Parker and Son. 1871. p. 512.
  27. ^ Public Opinion. Vol. 25. G. Cole. 1874. p. 190.
  28. ^ "Lists of Royal Society Fellows 1660-2007". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  29. ^ K.C. Barnaby, The Institution of Naval Architects, 1860 - 1960: An Historical Survey, London, 1960.
  30. ^ a b Barker, George Fisher Russell (1895). "Pakington, John Somerset" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 43. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 94.
  31. ^ Jewitt, Llewellynn Frederick William Hall, Samuel Carter (2018). The Stately Homes of England. BoD – Books on Demand. p. 550. ISBN 978-3-7340-1212-9.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  32. ^ Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1910). Armorial Families: A Directory of Gentlemen of Coat-armour. London and Edinburgh: T.C. & E.C. Jack. p. 1239.


Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byJohn Barneby Member of Parliament for Droitwich 1837–1874 Succeeded byJohn Corbett Political offices Preceded byThe Earl Grey Secretary of State for War and the Colonies 1852 Succeeded byThe Duke of Newcastle Preceded bySir Charles Wood, Bt First Lord of the Admiralty 1858–1859 Succeeded byThe Duke of Somerset Preceded byThe Duke of Somerset First Lord of the Admiralty 1866–1867 Succeeded byHenry Lowry-Corry Preceded byJonathan Peel Secretary of State for War 1867–1868 Succeeded byEdward Cardwell Government offices Preceded bySir Edward Ryan First Civil Service Commissioner 1875–1880 Succeeded byThe Earl of Strafford Peerage of the United Kingdom New creation Baron Hampton 1874–1880 Succeeded byJohn Pakington Baronetage of the United Kingdom New creation Baronet(of Westwood) 1846–1880 Succeeded byJohn Pakington