1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aislabie, John

AISLABIE, JOHN (1670–1742), English politician, was born at Goodramgate, York, on the 7th of December 1670. He was the fourth son of George Aislabie, principal registrar of the archiepiscopal court of York. In 1695 he was elected member of parliament for Ripon. In 1712 he was appointed one of the commissioners for executing the office of lord high admiral, and in 1714 became treasurer of the navy, being sworn in two years later as a member of the privy council. In March 1718 he became chancellor of the exchequer. The proposal of the South Sea Company to pay off the national debt was strenuously supported by Aislabie, and finally accepted in an amended form by the House of Commons. After the collapse of that company a secret committee of inquiry was appointed by the Commons, and Aislabie, who had in the meantime resigned the seals of his office, was declared guilty of having encouraged and promoted the South Sea scheme with a view to his own exorbitant profit, and was expelled the House. Though committed to the Tower he was soon released, and was allowed to retain the property he possessed before 1718, including his country estate, to which he retired to pass the rest of his days. He died in 1742.