William Sturges Bourne

William Sturges Bourne

William Sturges Bourne (7 November 1769 - 1 February 1845) was a British Tory politician.

The son of the Reverend John Sturges and Judith Sturges ("née" Bourne), the young William Sturges was educated at Winchester College and Christ Church, Oxford, and was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1793. At Oxford he became good friends with George Canning, who helped him become elected to parliament for Hastings in 1798.

In 1803, Sturges inherited property from his uncle Francis Bourne, causing him to change his surname to Bourne. In Pitt's second government, Sturges Bourne became Secretary to the Treasury, and, after a period out of government during the Ministry of All the Talents, he became a Lord of the Treasury from 1807 to 1809, retiring along with his ally Canning from the government.

Sturges Bourne left parliament after the 1812 general election, but, due again to Canning's influence, became a Privy Councillor in 1814, and returned to parliament for Bandon Bridge in 1815. In 1814 he became a commissioner on the Board of Control, remaining in this office until 1822. He also served from 1818 to 1819 as Chairman of a Committee to reform the Poor Laws, which was successfully carried out as the Sturges Bourne Acts.

Although he retired from government in 1822 due to a large inheritance, he returned to government as Home Secretary when Canning became prime minister in April 1827. He only served briefly in this post, becoming instead First Commissioner of Woods and Forests when the Whig grandee Lord Lansdowne joined the ministry as Home Secretary a few months later. He was offered the Chancellorship of the Exchequer several times by Canning's successor Lord Goderich, but turned it down, leading Colonial Secretary William Huskisson to accuse him of sabotaging the ministry. Sturges Bourne retired from government with Wellington's accession as premier in February 1828.

Sturges Bourne supported Catholic emancipation, but opposed the Whig Reform Bill, and retired from parliament in 1831. In his later career, he served as a member of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws.

References

*Rayment

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
title = Member of Parliament for Christchurch
years = 1802–1812
with William Stewart Rose
before = William Chamberlayne and
William Stewart Rose
after = William Edward Tomline and
William Stewart Rose
succession box
title = Member of Parliament for Bandon
years = 1815–1818
before = Richard Boyle Bernard
after = Augustus William James Clifford
succession box
title = Member of Parliament for Ashburton
years = 1826–1830
with Sir Sir Lawrence Palk, Bt.
before = Sir Sir Lawrence Palk, Bt. and
John Copley
after = Charles Arbuthnot and
Sir Sir Lawrence Palk, Bt.
succession box
title = Member of Parliament for Milborne Port
years = 1830–1831
with George Stevens Byng
before = John Henry North and
Arthur Chichester
after = Richard Lalor Sheil and
George Byng


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